Serving up soup and support

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By The Staff

A beneficial bevy of bowls are gracing store windows this week as the annual Empty Bowls Project to benefit Self Help Inc., which will be held Saturday, approaches.

The 16th annual event will feature hand -painted masterpieces currently on display at The Coffee Booth Café, Mesa Public Library, CB Fox, Village Arts, Ruby K’s and the KRSN AM 1490 studios. The hand-painted bowls, cups, plates and mugs will be available for purchase next weekend at the Betty Ehart Senior Center from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

A variety of community organizations have turned out to support the painting of the bowls, kicked off by AM 1490 KRSN owner and volunteer project coordinator Gillian Sutton.

Sutton has made her way from Los Alamos to Española to White Rock and back again as some 1,100 bowls have been painted by everyone from tots to seniors. KRSN resident glazer, Bea Cushing, has overseen the entire glaze process.

The Los Alamos Public Schools art department, UNM-LA art department and Thelma Hahn through the venue of the Art Center at Fuller Lodge, created a firing firestorm after the glazing process, which Sutton defines as, “a pouring of public support throughout our community.”

The artists in residence included volunteers from Los Alamos Middle and Los Alamos High School classes, the United Church of Los Alamos, the Unitarian Church, the Church of the Later-day Saints, local Cub Scouts packs, Los Alamos Family Council’s Youth Activity Centers in Los Alamos and White Rock, the YMCA Española Teen Center and its after school elementary programs.

On Saturday, all 1,100 bowls will be up for grabs.

“We hope to raise more than $11,000 dollars since we have 1,100 bowls,“ Sutton said, and at the fair price of $10 each, a goal that may be reached with ease.

The beautiful bowls come filled with decadent delights from local businesses like Papa Murphy’s, Film Festival/ Hot Rocks Café, Bob’s Bodacious BBQ, Smith’s Food and Drug, Los Alamos Medical Center, Coffee Booth Café, Pizza Hut, Subway, Best Western Hilltop House, Bandelier Grill, Central Avenue Grill, Hill Diner, Viola’s, Ruby K’s, Tea World, Los Alamos Home Run Pizza, San Martin de Poores Soup Kitchen, the Decadent Table and DeColores.

“All of these local restaurants have contributed to the successful Empty Bowl lunch,” said Sutton, who with a small cadre of faithful volunteers has acquired a plethora of support for the worthy cause.

“We will have a variety of soups including vegan, Texas Chili, Green Chili Stew, chicken and beef,” she said. “We will have a variety of breads, and cookies for desert.”  

Sutton has left no stone unturned in her quest for success. Any leftover soup will be donated to the San Martin de Poores Soup Kitchen in Española, which dishes up good deeds daily.

There’s no rest for the weary when it comes to the big day and volunteers are still being sought for the Saturday work party. While shoppers will shop till they drop from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., help is needed prior to the scoop of the first ladle until clean up commences.

Those not available on game day are welcome to make bread or cookie donations by calling Sutton at 663-1490. Sutton even recommends an easy way to contribute by visiting a local Girl Scout booth at Smith’s Food and Drug in Los Alamos or White Rock to pick up a box. This deed will benefit not one but two worthy causes.

Self  Help was the winner of the prestigious Piñon Award.

It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting those in need in northern New Mexico.

The organization is committed to enhancing life skills and empowering individuals by providing programs and services that focus on developing self-reliance.

Since 1969, Self Help has provided consultation and advocacy, emergency financial assistance and seed money grants to residents of Los Alamos, northern Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Taos counties.

The organization, through grants and private and public contributions, is able to support those who need help most, during emergencies or in the quest to become economically self-sufficient.

Self Help is a member of the United Way of Northern New Mexico and to learn more about the organization, call 662-4666 or visit www.selfhelpla.com. You can also hear Sutton on Monday Matters from 9-10 a.m. Monday on AM 1490, KRSN or via the web at www.krsnam1490.com.