Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Empty Bowls fundraising for El Caldito Soup Kitchen for 30th year

LAS CRUCES – The 30th Empty Bowls event will be held Friday, Oct. 14 to support the mission of El Caldito Soup Kitchen.

Empty Bowls is a national grassroots effort to support local organizations in their work to combat food insecurity.

Each year, the Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces partners with area restaurants in a fundraiser for El Caldito, the local soup kitchen that is part of the Community of Hope campus at 999 W. Amador Ave. Guild members and others in the community have spent the past year creating bowls for the event, which attendees get to purchase and then have their choice of soup from participating restaurants. Restaurants include:

  • Andele restaurant
  • the games
  • Chala’s Wood Fire Grill
  • Urban cafe
  • Hacienda de Mesilla
  • La Posta de Mesilla
  • DH Lescombes
  • Lunarossa Winery
  • Cafe de Mesilla
  • Hello! de Mesilla
  • NM Spanish Kitchen
  • Cocina Mexicana restaurant
  • Mezcla
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • NMSU Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
  • High Desert Brewing
  • La Nueva Casita
  • hooters
  • Zeffiros
  • Olive Garden
  • Chili’s
  • Cattle Barron
  • Ruby Tuesday’s
  • Cracker Barrel
  • The Shed
  • Le rendezvous
  • Habanero’s Fresh Mex
  • Village at Northrise
  • Boba Cafe
  • Nopalitos
  • Chilitos
  • aqua reef
  • Good Samaritan
  • Farley’s
  • wake up
  • Grapevine Vintage
  • T Birds Tacos

Area potters create handmade bowls at New Mexico State University's ceramic studio in July 2022 in preparation for their 30th annual Empty Bowls event Oct.  14, 2022.

Kathleen Baker, co-chair for Empty Bowls, said guild members have been gathering at community pottery studios to make bowls, as well as making them in their private spaces. Over 1,000 unique bowls and mugs were created.

This year, Baker said nearly 40 local restaurants will donate gallons of specially made soup for the occasion. Over $35,000 was raised for the nonprofit last year — one third of the soup kitchen’s annual budget, she said.

Jan Archey, president of the Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces, has taken part in Empty Bowls since it was first started in Las Cruces. She said she personally made about 20 bowls this year, but her hands touched hundreds of them as she cleaned the bases, glazed them and loaded and unloaded them from the kiln.

“What a great idea to share our talents for the benefit of other people,” Archey said. I also believe in the wonderful way it brings the community together, whether they are donating a special item for the (online auction), or if they come to one of our work days and help out, or if they’re a professional potter and they come and spend time as a ‘super bowler’ and they make a lot of bowls for our event.”

Area potters create handmade bowls at New Mexico State University's ceramic studio in July 2022 in preparation for their 30th annual Empty Bowls event Oct.  14, 2022.

Empty Bowls will be held from 11 am to 2 pm Friday, Oct. 14 at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 225 W. Griggs Ave. Tickets for lunch and a handmade bowl are $20 at the door. People interested in the soup but not the pottery can purchase a ticket for $12. Takeout is also available.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or ahead of time at local businesses:

  • Be Sew Creative, 1601 E. Lohman Ave.
  • Boudreau Jewelers & Gallery, 2001 E. Lohman Ave. suite 125
  • The Potteries, 2260 Calle de Santiago
  • Color your World, 540 N Telshor Blvd.
  • New Digs Clothing, 1021 E Amador Ave.
  • Save Mart, 495 N. Valley Dr.
  • Spanish Kitchen, 2960 N. Main St.

Mesilla Valley Estate Sales is also hosting an online auction in conjunction with Empty Bowls with proceeds going to El Caldito Soup Kitchen. Auction items can be seen at nmestateauctions.com. Bidding opens at noon Oct. 13 and continues through 6 pm Oct. 21. Items include pottery, jewelry, textiles, paintings and more, several of which were donated from a collection made by nationally known artists.

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Leah Romero is the trending reporter at the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, [email protected] or @rromero_leah on Twitter.

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