Empty Bowl Fundraiser to Benefit Chataqua Adult Program and Hiland Park United Methodist Shelter

Panama City - Eighteen different Bay County schools and organizations are participating in this year's Empty Bowl fundraiser on Tuesday, April 3rd to raise awareness about hunger in our community. Ceramic bowls crafted by hundreds of students will be sold to raise money for two different Bay County organizations. One, a homeless shelter for women and children. The other, the Chataqua Learn and Serve Charter School Adult Program, which receives no funding beyond grants and donations.

Colorful bowls sitting empty will serve as a reminder of the many families in our community who can't afford enough food. On Tuesday, April 3rd, hundreds of the bowls will be on display during the annual Empty Bowl event at Bay High School. Created by Bay County students, each clay bowl gets it's start with the adults in Chataqua's Adult Program. "We roll it, slice it, it gets delivered to schools and they turn it into bowls. We glaze it and cook it in that kiln," said Alex Arteaga. Arteaga, is one of dozens enrolled in Chataqua's program for adults with disabilities. "It's a great place to work it is, it really is," said Arteaga.

"A lot of our students after they graduate at age 22, are really not ready for the real world or are not able to go to work without close supervision or stay at home without close supervision. So they really need a place to come to, so we have a small army of volunteers most of them are graduates. They are able to be here with us in a supportive environment, help around the school, in the cafeteria at Bay High, also help with our other service projects in the community," said Mary Pat Zerboski, a Chataqua Teacher. Many of those activities require transportation. Half the funds from this year's event will help with things like trolley passes for Chataqua's Adult Program. The other half of the funds raised will go to the Hiland Park United Methodist Church Transformational Recovery Mission and Shelter Program for homeless women and children.

The Empty Bowl event is Tuesday, April 3rd at 5:30 at Bay High School. For $5 everyone gets a delicious soup dinner provided by local restaurants. And you can buy the bowls to take home with you.


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