Eat soup, help your neighbors. That’s the idea behind Empty Bowls, an annual community event to help raise money for El Caldito Soup Kitchen. Now in its 31st year, and organized by The Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces, the goal of Empty Bowls is to help El Caldito provide the 400 meals they serve to our community’s less fortunate every day. Even better, the soups are made by some of Las Cruces’ most experienced chefs, and you get to walk away with a unique bowl, handcrafted by a member of The Potters’ Guild. Empty Bowls serves up spoonfuls of comfort at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Friday, October 13, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The process is simple. For $25 the patron chooses a bowl from the over 1,000 display-worthy handcrafted vessels donated by the Potters’ Guild. Area restaurants donate steaming pots of your favorite soups, and area bakeries donate fresh breads. Serve up, sit down amongst your friends and neighbors, enjoy a nice lunch, and the bowl that is taken home afterwards will remind you that you are helping the hungry in our community. Some supporters are proud to say they have been to every Empty Bowls event.
As a founding member of The Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces, as well as its current president, Jan Preston Archey has been a leading volunteer during every Las Cruces Empty Bowls event, helping to make it the oldest and most successful fundraiser of its kind in New Mexico. “I’m all about mission and public service,” said Jan, who has been a potter for more than 40 years, “What a blessing it is to be able to use one’s talent to make somebody else’s life better.”
The Need Is Real
Because of increased food insecurities, the Potters’ Guild has taken on a goal of raising an additional $10,000 to help El Caldito with their current needs. That goal for 2023 is $42,000. That’s a lot of soup! You can help by spreading the word to friends, family, workmates, anybody who loves a good bowl of soup.
To help raise the additional funding needed for El Caldito, Empty Bowls will also have additional events. New this year is Wine and Dine. Area wineries and restaurants have donated wine and meal gift cards. For $50, one chooses their brown bag for their mystery meal and wine. There will be wine cups and goblets for sale, as well. Add a couple of drinking vessels to the brown bag and you have a great gift for a boss, family member, or newcomer to Las Cruces and you are supporting a great cause.
Still a favorite of Empty Bowls is the Silent Auction, featuring donated pottery items from guild members, along with vintage items, art, and other items of interest. Mesilla Valley Estate Sales will once again handle the online auction, which opens at noon on October 10 and closes October 17, at 6 p.m. Included in this year’s auction will be Native American pieces donated from a private collector. Also returning is the Special Priced Tables. Here one will find large yard art, sculpture, and other items of interest.
A Quilt of Support
Each year Las Colcheras Quilters Guild provides a beautiful handmade quilt for auction to benefit Empty Bowls. This year they’re doubling down with TWO quilts. An art quilting group of the Guild, BEE It A.R.T. has made an art wall quilt with beautiful layers of quilting and stitching, and ceramic spoons made by Vickie Morrow. This quilt will be auctioned off in a live auction. The quilt will be at Empty Bowls and people will be able to place their live bid while there. The quilt will be awarded to the highest bidder on Monday, October 16.
The second quilt will be offered through a raffle. This beautiful quilt is festooned with chiles and food, making any wall a Southwestern delight. Chances will be sold, and the drawing for the quilt will be made during the opening weekend of the Potters’ Guild Holiday Market at Gallery 925, Sunday, December 3 at 3 p.m. Raffle tickets are $1 each, or 6 for $5.
Tickets for Empty Bowls 2023 will be $25 and available in advance at locations in Las Cruces and Mesilla, as well as at the door the day of the event. For your $25, you get to select a bowl to take home, then enjoy soup from a variety of local restaurants, a beverage, and bread. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the following locations: Be Sew Creative, NM Spanish Kitchen, Color Your World, Save Mart, The Potteries Mesilla, Spirit Winds, New Digs Clothing Exchange, Agave Artists’ Gallery, El Caldito Soup Kitchen, or from members of The Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces.
A new feature this year will be a separate entrance for those patrons who purchase their tickets ahead of time. The entrance for patrons who have purchased their tickets in advance will be located at the West Court gate on N. Alameda Blvd. The entrance for those purchasing their tickets at the event will be located at the South entrance on W. May Ave, which has been the traditional entrance for Empty Bowls. Signs will indicate the separate and distinct entrances.
For more information about Empty Bowls, or The Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces, visit the website. Happy souping!
Posted by LasCruces.com