Oakton Ceramics Club raises $28,000 for food pantries

Empty Bowls at Oakton Community College raised more than $28,000 for local food pantries by selling more than 1,700 ceramic pieces and completing silent auctions for larger, fine-art pieces. The event took place Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Des Plaines campus, 1600 E. Golf Road.

Over the past 15 years, Empty Bowls at Oakton has raised more than $270,000 to fight hunger. Throughout the year, members of the Oakton Ceramics Club create works of ceramic art - bowls, cups and vases - to donate to the Empty Bowls fundraiser.

The Chicago Woodturners, involved in the last 13 events, also play a part in the creation of unique pieces for the fundraiser. Patrons of the event purchased handmade pieces, enjoyed a hot bowl of soup and were entertained with music by the Rick and Trevor Shandling Duo.

"Even though it was raining outside and a generally miserable day, over 100 people turned up before the event started," Oakton Ceramics Club President Sue Capillo said. "Throughout the day, people just kept coming, and it was the best crowd I've seen at Empty Bowls in Oakton in years."

The money raised at this year's Empty Bowls at Oakton will be divided and distributed among the following organizations: Des Plaines Self Help Closet and Food Pantry, New Trier Township Food Pantry, Niles Township Food Pantry, Northfield Township Food Pantry, Maine Township Food Pantry and Interfaith Action of Evanston.

It is estimated that one in seven families in America rely on food pantries for a substantial percent of their diet, according to a recent USA Today poll.

"Empty Bowls at Oakton is always a fun and rewarding way to assist organizations working to support the need of our community," Oakton's chairman of Art and Design Lou Pierozzi said. "It's always a pleasure and honor to connect with so many generous people willing to donate their time and talent to help the less fortunate."

Individuals of any age interested in taking a ceramics course or getting involved by becoming a club member can visit, email or call (847) 635-1699.

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