Filling Empty Bowls at the Wynne Home

For the thirteenth year, the Wynne Home Arts and Visitor Center hosted “Empty Bowls,” a worthy fundraiser that not only supports the arts, but which also fights hunger. Spearheaded by Wynne Home Staff Sarah Faulkner and Leara Phillips, the fundraiser brought in more than 100 people, raising more than $2,500 for the Senior Center in the non-profit’s efforts to fight hunger. For the LEAP Ambassadors, it is always a pleasure to help with a Wynne Home event, especially for such a worthy cause.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Wynne Home Arts & Visitors Center, Empty Bowls, Fundraiser

Approximately 200 people participated in bowl-making, either by actually working with Leara Phillips, ceramicists, or by working at Cork & Canvas to paint a bowl. Some of these bowls were selected for the silent auction, which are sold off to high bidders, with the funds also going to the Senior Center’s “Meals on Wheels” program. Other bowls were given to patrons who made a donation for lunch. The main lunch sponsor was HEB, with 5 Loaves Deli, City Hall Cafe, Carbonero Chicken Rotisserie, and Floyd’s on 14th also donating some great soups!

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Wynne Home Arts & Visitors Center, Empty Bowls, Fundraiser

For us, the tasks were pretty simple. We ladled soup or otherwise helped with food provision, we greeted people, and we cleaned up a bit. It was a great learning experience, too, not just to see how the fundraiser works, but also to meet new people. With three of the Ambassadors being freshmen, most people in Huntsville are new to us, and we had the privilege of meeting City staff (Aron Kulhavy, City Manager; Rick Rudometkin, new Deputy City Manager; Tammy Gann, Economic Development/Special Projects Director; Tourism Manager, Tracy Rikard; Jessica Lacy, Visitor Center Coordinator; and, of course, Cultural Services Manager Sarah Faulkner; and Wynne Home Events Coordinator Leara Phillips), elected officials (Councilmember Pat Graham), and many other delightful people.

And not only did we see some wonderful bowls…

…but we also had a chance to see some great art in the Wynne Home’s main gallery. John Rodak’s work is currently on display, and the exhibit showcases his intricate and wonderful art work.

But perhaps our favorite aspect of this event is that a LEAP Center intern originally brought this event to Walker County some thirteen years ago. For almost every year since then, LEAP Ambassadors have volunteered for the event in some capacity, a tradition we hope continues for many more years.

Empty Bowls, 2018

Many thanks to the Sarah Faulkner and Leara Phillips of the Wynne Home Arts & Visitor Center and all of the sponsors for putting on another great event and helping a great cause!

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Wynne Home Arts & Visitors Center, Empty Bowls, Fundraiser

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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