North Tapps students serve up Empty Bowls event

The holidays are often a time to gather family together to enjoy good company and good food. But – as Denise Lakin pointed out to her students this year – not everyone can get a hot meal.

Saige Aarstad, Nick Rezek, Charles Jones, Alyssa Retchless and other students working hard on making bowls for the upcoming Empty Bowls event. Photo courtesy of Danise Lakin.

The holidays are often a time to gather family together to enjoy good company and good food.

But – as Denise Lakin pointed out to her students this year – not everyone can get a hot meal.

That’s why North Tapps Middle School students are hosting their own Empty Bowls event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 in the school commons.

Empty Bowl events began in 1990 as a way for communities to raise money to give to charitable causes that focus on hunger, like food banks.

Another iconic piece of Empty Bowl events is that the bowls are handmade.

Lakin and her students have been working since December to make bowls for the event, and Lakin herself has been firing up her kiln every day to keep up, even over the holiday break.

It started out with only the students in her class, but the project grew to include 112 middle school students who have made more than 325 bowls.

“It’s one of those projects that takes a village,” Lakin said. “The kids are really caring, and it’s nice to do something with our art skills that helps people.”

Participants in the event are able to browse around the bowls before making a selection with a $10 to $20 donation, and are able to bring their bowl home with them when they’re finished, “as a reminder that there’s a lot of empty bowls around the world,” Lakin said.

Lakin, now in her 36th year of teaching at the school, gave a shoutout to the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association for their help, which included finding donors for the event, like local restaurant Al Lago for the soup and Emerald Downs for bread rolls.

For entertainment, students Jack Corliss, Miles Strasbaugh and Henry Jacobsen will be playing jazz.

Money raised at the event will be donated to the Sumner Food Bank.

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