DASSEL, MN Aron and Jena Levandowski have been fired up about planning an Empty Bowl fundraiser for almost 20 years.
The couple, owners of Levandowski Pottery in Dassel, first attended an Empty Bowl event in 2003, in Minneapolis.
They are finally making their goal a reality, and are hosting an Empty Bowl fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Dassel History Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Empty Bowl concept is simple. People gather together to enjoy a humble meal of soup, bread, a beverage, and dessert. Diners choose a bowl made by a local potter to take home.
The empty bowl serves as a reminder that not everyone has the food they need. Funds raised are then donated to hunger-allieviating organizations.
The proceeds from the Dassel event will go to the Meeker County Food Shelf, and for the Dassel location, specifically. (The suggested donation amount is $15 per person.)
Jena actually began planning the Dassel event last fall, after brainstorming with Mary and Amy at Garden Nook Tea & Gifts. The women were discussing ways to get Jena’s Girl Scout troop more involved in community activities something in addition to the girls’ food drive.
Dassel’s Empty Bowl event sprang from there. Mary Hoffman and Amy Kaiser offered to help make the soups, and Jena checked on proper licensing.
“I contacted the city hall to get the History Center booked,” Jena said, “and volunteered my Girl Scout troop to be helpers and cleaners for the event.”
She also asked for and received some solid help from the home front. “I went home and told Aron what I had started in motion, and he said that he would throw 150 bowls, and we’d grab some pre-made ones from the gallery.”
Jena then talked to her “potter friends,” who quickly got on board to help.
Bowls for the fundraiser have been made and donated not only by Aron and Jena, but also by Katie Teesdale of Teesdale Studios; Tom Wirt of NewClay Pottery; Marcia Watson Ernst of Four Eagles Pottery; Steve Hemingway of Hemingway Ceramics; Studio 2 Ceramics; and Dassel-Cokato High School National Honor Society and ceramics class students
Jena has also received support from local businesses. Event sponsors include: Thrivent, Ailie Construction; Perennial Bank, Bait & Hook, Mary Pekkala, My Kitchen, Charger Chiropractic, and Red Rooster Foods
She is delighted by the advance support the Empty Bowl project has received. “I can’t be happier that this event is taking place,” she said. “Aron is excited, too. We love to see community coming together for such a great cause.”