Retired forester Brian Lapointe was the first person to make a purchase from the Empty Bowls Fundraiser project which kicked off Tuesday, March 2 in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Retired forester Brian Lapointe was the first person to make a purchase from the Empty Bowls Fundraiser project which kicked off Tuesday, March 2 in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake potters give back with Empty Bowls fundraiser

The popular fundraiser for the Salvation Army foodbank is being offered differently due to COVID-19

An annual popular fundraiser for the food bank in Williams Lake will last a month instead of just a day this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cariboo Potters Guild has teamed up with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society (CCCS) to offer its Empty Bowls fundraiser at two locations through the month of March.

People can purchase a hand-crafted bowl for a minimum of $20 each with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army food bank.

“We were trying to figure out if we could do a drive-by version when the Conservation Society approached us and suggested this idea,” said Colleen Kielman who shares the role of guild events planner with Lesley Lloyd.

The CCCS program co-ordinator Amber Gregg and communications co-ordinator Brianna van de Wijingaard dropped bowls off on Tuesday, March 2 at the Bean Counter Bistro and Coffee on Third Avenue and Mint and Lime Catering on Oliver Street, the two businesses that are participating.

They said Lloyd’s husband Bill Lloyd is the chair of CCCS and he said he would love the CCCS to do a community cheer event of some kind.

“He mentioned the potters were wanting to run the Empty Bowls still but weren’t sure about the details. We talked about and decided it would be fun to do it together,” van de Wijingaard said.

The potters will continue to make bowls and the CCCS will restock them as the month unfolds.

Normally the guild sells about 250 at the one-day event.

Read more: Secondary Empty Bowls and Talent Show helps Williams Lake food bank

Kielman normally produces about 50 bowls for the event and makes them at home where she has a studio and a kiln.

When the guild decided to do the Empty Bowls project in 2011, it was a way to support the food bank while teaching new members how to make bowls and glaze them, she recalled.

A potter since 2003, Kielman’s interest was sparked after spending time in Nelson where her son played hockey and there were many local potters.

As she couldn’t afford to buy pottery at the time, she decided she’d learn how to make it.

Six months of the year she runs the Fennel Cup food truck so during the winter is when she does her pottery.

“We love putting on the event and it always sells out,” she said.

Read more: Empty Bowl Luncheon coming up



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