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Getting dirty for hunger

Community members young and old alike gathered at the New Richmond High School art/ceramics studio last Saturday,  Feb. 18, for what has become an annual tradition, the Empty Bowls Community Bowl Building Day.

Participants were greeted by a familiar face, potter, clay glaze chemist, art teacher and dedicated Empty Bowls volunteer, Mark Lusardi. Over the years, Lusardi has become the face of the Empty Bowls program in New Richmond, volunteering his time, expertise and connections. Lusardi's been able to persuade reputable potters from both sides of the river to participate and donate their creations to the Empty Bowls silent auction each year.

Lusardi's also been able to convince Continental Clay to donate much of the clay for the program.

Saturday's participants received hands-on demonstrations by Lusardi assisted by his wife Barb and daughter Laura. Over the next month, community members will have several opportunities to get into the studio, roll up their sleeves, and bring their clay creations to life. Participants can reserve their own pieces for purchase or put them up for sale at the 10th annual Empty Bowls event to be held Thursday, April 20, at the New Richmond Middle School.

Proceeds from the event go toward purchasing food for the New Richmond Food Shelf and Happy Kids Backpack program.