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'Empty bowls' raises funds

Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2005

The line of people waiting for soup Saturday snaked out of the Centennial Hall dining room and through much of the building. But people didn't complain.

"I wished I would have been here last year," said Sharon Kelly, who made it a point to show up at the second annual Empty Bowl Benefit in support of the Glory Hole, Juneau's only emergency shelter and soup kitchen for people in need.

The $25 ticket was good for a soup dinner and "a beautiful bowl" donated by the community, said Jetta Whittaker, executive director of the Glory Hole. "They're getting a beautiful bowl and doing a good thing."

She said the 2005 Empty Bowls Benefit, presented by the Juneau Rotary Club, was expected to raise about $12,000. That's about enough to operate the Glory Hole for a month. Last year's event raised $10,000.

Doris Alcorn said she made at least 10 of the bowls in her University of Alaska Southeast ceramics class. Last year's benefit was one of the things that inspired her to take ceramics while working a full-time job, she added.

"I always wanted to take ceramics, and I wanted to make a bowl to donate," she said. She said she saw two of her bowls out on the table where people were looking at the selection they had to choose from.

"It's like you're winning," she said. On top of supporting the Glory Hole by donating bowls and buying a ticket, she got a good meal and a wonderful bowl to take home, she said.

People didn't seem to mind that the soup was served in plastic bowls instead of the shiny new ones they were taking home.

Whittaker said she was impressed with the support from the community. "We have a lot of support for the Glory Hole. Juneau is a very giving community."

Kelly said she came to support the Glory Hole. She also was happy with what she picked out, a bowl with variations of the color blue. Inside was the darkest blue - "like the ocean," she said.

"I'm going to use it to put sea shells in," she said.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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