GBEMS hosting first annual Empty Bowls, Mug Style fundraiser

Alison Flegel’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade students at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School pose with some of the mugs they made for the first annual Empty Bowls, mug style fundraiser. Front row, from left: Aleea Carr, Emily Rimm, Taylor Arnold, Ella Johnston, Trenton Brock, Kaydence Waybright, Jeremy Mick, Khloee Faler, Haylee McCallister and Hailey Meeks. Back row, from left: Flegel, Treyson Simmons and Jordan Jackson. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Experiencing the success of the second annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Pocahontas County Family Resource Network, Green Bank Elementary-Middle School art teacher Alison Flegel decided to add an event in Green Bank which will also benefit the FRN.

Flegel, a renowned potter, made bowls for both Empty Bowls events and wanted to get her middle school students involved in the community benefit.

“My sixth, seventh and eighth grade art students have spent the last couple months making slab mugs and pinch pot mugs for our fundraiser,” she said. “You might just be in the sixth grade, but there are things you can do to help and support your community.”

Flegel and her students made nearly 275 mugs for the event which rounded out to about 10 mugs per student.

Along with learning about using their talents to give back to the community, the students learned several pottery techniques as they created their colorful mugs.

“Some of them were using objects to create texture,” Flegel explained. “Some used rubber stamps. Some of them had to do tessellation. I asked them to create a scene for some of them. They could do animals. They had parameters to work with, but all-in-all, this was their creation.”

Flegel said she decided to do mugs instead of bowls to change it up a bit, as well as give the students more of a challenge.

“We were using paper towel rolls to form the clay for our slabs, and I felt like it was more of a challenge for them because they had to add handles and they had to think if somebody was going to drink out of it or eat out of it,” she said. “I guess that made it more of a challenge.”

The students shared their enthusiasm in participating in the event and agreed that they hope to turn it into an annual fundraiser.

“It’s really fun,” sixth grader Trenton Brock said. “We should do it next year.”

The Empty Bowls, mug style event will be Wednesday, November 14, at 6:30 p.m. at GBEMS. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, and are available at the school for pre-purchase or the night of the event. The ticket includes a mug, and a meal of soup, bread, dessert and a drink.

Live entertainment will be provided by Uncle Gary and the Porch Pickers.

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