Empty Bowls event is set for Nov. 6 in Walpole, N.H.

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WALPOLE, N.H. — Tickets are now on sale for the 19th annual Empty Bowl dinner and auctions Sunday, Nov. 6, at Alyson's Orchard, to benefit the food programs of Our Place Drop-in Center.

The event gets underway at 5 p.m. and includes a soup supper featuring signature soups from local restaurants and chefs and silent and live auctions, with auctioneer Sharon Boccelli.

Tickets are $35 each and are on sale at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, Galloway Real Estate in Walpole or at Our Place. A table for eight can be reserved for $400.

Volunteers are now collecting bowls and auction items for the event.

Potters who have already pledged bowls include Dan Lasser, Virginia Wyoming, Susan Dunning, Claudia Teachman, Dawn-Marie Gehrung, Linda Bouchard-Bracken, Melissa Clark, Jean Meinhardt, Willie Finkel and Ryan Burch and his Vermont Academy pottery students.

With the theme of "Gather and Share," the event begins with an auction preview and social hour. A highlight of the event is each attendee's selection of one of the handmade bowls to take home as a reminder of those who struggle to put food on the family table. Proceeds of the dinner go towards supporting the food programs of Our Place, which include a food pantry, a daily breakfast and lunch, and nutrition education.

"This is our most important fundraiser of the year," said OP director Lisa Pitcher. "We are very grateful for the donations of bowls, auction items and food that make it possible."

Soups, bread, and salad for the supper are donated by area restaurants and schools and are served by students from New England Kurn Hattin Homes. Burdick's and Shona Grill are providing appetizers, and the Grafton Tavern is supplying apple crisp for dessert.

Items that have been gathered for the live auction so far include the experiences of a two-hour session with the designer at Silver Forest to create a pair of earrings, an hour class with glassmaker Chris Sherwin to create your own piece, an opportunity for woodworking with master Shaker cabinetmaker John Ryan, and two hours on the Vermont Academy ice rink.

Also, a hay ride through the hills of Vermont, a tour of a Victorian mansion, a week in a rustic cabin, six hours of sewing lessons with master seamstress Christine Yampanis House, and a singer-songwriter for your own party.

In addition, Blake Hill Preserves will create a jam or jelly from your family recipe and bottle it with your personal label.

For the first time, bidders will be able to submit pre-event bids by e-mailing flay2589@mypacks.net once the auction items are up on the OP Facebook page.

This year's sponsors include Whitney Blake, Silver Forest of Vermont, Marquise & Morano, Robinson Sales, Westminster Auto, and Vermont Academy.

The oldest such event in the area, the Our Place Empty Bowl is part of an international effort that began in 1990 to raise money for food programs. What started as a local effort in a Michigan high school has grown into a worldwide program that has raised more than a million dollars to help fight hunger.

Our Place is a daytime shelter and food pantry located at 4 Island Street whose mission is to connect people to food and each other. It serves families in the greater Rockingham and surrounding areas, as well as Walpole and North Walpole, N.H. Information is available by contacting OP at 802-463-2217 or ourplace@sover.net, on line at www.ourplacevt.org or on Facebook.


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