Education

Education on Centre: Students to turn art into charity

Bellefonte Area High School art club students made bowls for a larger national campaign they’re participating in called Empty Bowls project. A charity dinner will be held Friday that raises money for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.
Bellefonte Area High School art club students made bowls for a larger national campaign they’re participating in called Empty Bowls project. A charity dinner will be held Friday that raises money for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.

When it comes to serving the community, a group of people at Bellefonte Area High School jumped at the opportunity.

From 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, the art club, with direction from teacher Heather Fry, will host an Empty Bowls charity dinner in the school’s cafeteria.

The mission this year, Fry said, is to raise money for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.

A $15 fee gets you a bowl of soup in a ceramic bowl made by art club students. It also includes bread, drinks and dessert, and patrons get to keep the bowl.

The food this year will be donated by restaurants such as the Nittany Lion Inn, Bonfatto’s Restaurant, Home D Pizzeria, Panera Bread, Pizza Mia and more.

Live entertainment is also planned for the night.

Fry said tickets are presale and can be purchased by contacting her at the school at 355-4833 ext. 8235.

She said tickets will be sold until they sell up to 250 bowls.

“That’s our goal,” Fry told the CDT on Wednesday. “We have about 30 more bowls to go.”

With a group of about 22 students, planning started at the beginning of the school year and put their creativity and generosity to the test.

Fry said a group of students vetted several local organizations before choosing which to donate to.

“They went through it with a fine-tooth comb,” Fry said. “They asked things like where the money would go, and how it would be distributed, then talked it over as a group and voted a couple months later on which organization we’d choose.”

She said the club participated in the Empty Bowls project last year as part of the national grassroots movement to help end hunger.

With about $3,750 raised, donations went to the FaithCentre in Bellefonte.

“This was something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Fry said. “I heard of the Empty Bowls (project) before, and got a lot of support to bring it here. It’s something that takes an army to put on, and helps kids understand their work is going to a larger cause.”

By the new year, art club members already had their hands in the clay.

Fry said students began making the bowls a few months ago — each with a unique design.

“It’s a really cool process for them,” she said. “They’re being creative and finding they’re also working for a purpose.”

After forming the bowls, they’re then refined, dried and put in a fire and glazed.

Nicholas Bertolet is one of the students participating in the effort. He also participated last year.

“In the many weeks prior to the event, we worked on a variety of glazes on two types of clay used for the bowls,” he said. “Each clay, red and white, acted slightly different for each glaze. So there were wide selections of designs and color pallets we could choose from.”

But the bigger message, some students said, is having the chance to give back to the community.

“Getting to see the importance of volunteering and helping was a lesson I’m grateful for learning early on,” Bertolet said.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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