EL DORADO HIGH Alumnus, Stephen Geller, 17, of Diamond Springs creates a bowl as his mentor, ceramics teacher, Jim Garmire, of Grass Valley looks on. Geller, a 2012 graduate, returned to the school to help out during the making of 300 wheel-thrown and press-mold bowls. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


Empty Bowls help feed the hungry

What: Empty Bowls Supper

Who: The El Dorado Peace and Justice Community

Where: St. Patrick Church at Sacramento and Fiske streets in Placerville

When: Saturday, Nov. 16 from 4:30-8 p.m.

Cost: A donation of $15 or more

Information: Maureen Dion-Perry at [email protected]


What: Empty Bowls Benefit Concert featuring Mind X, Mark Sexton Band and Madeline Mathews

Who: Solstice Productions

Where: Cozmic Café, 594 Main St. in Placerville

When: Saturday, Nov 16 from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Cost: Tickets are $8 in advance with pre-sale at the Cozmic Café or at the Empty Bowls event and $12 at the door

Information: Maureen Dion-Perry at [email protected]

There are thousands of families and individuals in El Dorado County that cannot meet their basic nutritional needs. According to the World Hunger Organization, approximately 870 million people world wide are malnourished. Unfortunately, the numbers have increased since last year and children are the most visible victims.

Last year, the Empty Bowls Supper raised more than $13,000 to feed the hungry. The El Dorado Peace and Justice Community is the proud sponsor of this event.

The Empty Bowls Supper will be held again this fall at St. Patrick Church at Sacramento and Fiske streets in Placerville on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 4:30-8 p.m.

For a donation of $15 or more, diners will receive a meal of homemade soup, served in a hand-made bowl to keep, bread and a beverage.

The generosity of El Dorado County residents is strong. Last year around 600 people attended the fundraiser with more than 200 volunteers working together to make it happen.

The business and arts community annually donates food, drinks and more than 100 silent auction items. The soup and some of the bread is made by members of the community. Many of the volunteers who set up, serve and clean up for the supper are from the service clubs at local schools including El Dorado and Ponderosa Key Clubs, Cedar Springs Waldorf School and local Girl Scouts. Student and professional potters make the keep-sake bowls that everyone gets to take home.



Each year two organizations that feed the hungry receive the funds raised, one local and one international.

The Upper Room Dining Hall in Placerville has been the local recipient for many years. They provide 140 dinners every day to hungry people in the community.

Semilla Nueva will be this year’s international recipient. Semilla Nueva means “New Seed” and they are helping farmers in rural Guatemala grow their way out of poverty.

Semilla Nueva teaches sustainable agriculture techniques that help farmers protect their soils, increase their yields and provide better food for their families. They support farmer to farmer education by teaching farmers to experiment with new technologies and ideas and to share their results with members of their community.

Past international recipients have included El Porvenir in Nicaragua, Children’s Hope of Haiti, Miracles in Guatemala, Heiffer, Mercy Corps and Oxfam.

In the past decade, El Dorado County, through the Empty Bowls fundraiser has distributed more than $100,000 to the Upper Room in Placerville and these international organizations.

St. Patrick Church gives the event a large space and the wonderful music of Coloma Celtic and Doug of the Rusty Buckets will help create a fun and meaningful event.

In addition, the silent auction has items from local merchants and artists to start the holiday shopping season, while donating to a worthy cause.


After dinner concert

Solstice Productions is serving up some music after the dinner to raise additional funds. The first Empty Bowls Benefit Concert is at the Cozmic Café, 594 Main St. in Placerville, on Saturday, Nov 16.

This musical event was added based on feedback from participants to help build hunger awareness with more live music and dancing.

There will be a full night of music with two sets by Mind X, a set with Mark Sexton Band and a special opening act by local favorite Madeline Mathews.

The show is from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Tickets are $8 in advance with pre-sale at the Cozmic Café or at the Empty Bowls event. Tickets are $12 at the door.

Mind X is Northern California’s premiere groove funk, bluegrass, jazz, psychedelic, rock band. Formed in 1996 as a six-piece fusion band blending styles across the spectrum of music while obliterating genre walls.

A typical Mind X set will include Afro-Celtic, Caribbean, southern rock, calypso, zydeco, an ever-changing array of Latin styles and space, often weaving two or more styles into a single piece.

Mark Sexton Band is a Reno based soul, funk trio. They’ve become regular staples in the Northern California music scene.

Last month they supported Daptone’s Charles Bradley at the Crystal Bay Club, as well as performing at Squaw Valley’s Brews, Jazz and Funk Festival.

Sexton, along with bassist Alex Korostinsky and drummer Daniel Weiss, have been playing music together since they were teenagers. Each are masters of their instrument, with jaw dropping chops and a deep, subconscious group synergy that fellow musicians notice in a heartbeat.

The night features a special opening appearance by a local Placerville favorite Mathews. Her haunting vocals blend an eclectic mix of genres ranging from blues and folk to indie and jazz. Also known by her stage name “Little Hands,” 20-year old Mathews began her musical journey at the ripe-old-age of 8 when her grandparents paid for piano lessons.


Donations welcome

Organizers welcome donations to help feed the hungry. Donations are tax deductible.

For more information about the soup makers contact Carla Turoff at [email protected] For information about the artists and bowl makers contact Gwen Yaeger at [email protected] For general information contact Maureen Dion-Perry at [email protected]

More information is available on Facebook at Empty Bowls Placerville and the El Dorado Peace and Justice Community Website, where you can find the soup recipes.

El Dorado Peace And Justice Community

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