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Serving Aspen

John Colson

Several hundred hand-made ceramic bowls, which the youngest of potters fashioned with care, will be filled to the brim Wednesday at the closest thing Aspen ever sees to a soup kitchen.That is when the second annual Empty Bowls Dinner will swing into action at Bumps Restaurant, at the base of Buttermilk, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.It is a fundraising event to help the hungry, and this year, organizers hope, it will attract even more patrons than it did last year.The cost of admission is a $10 donation at the door, and each donor will get a bowl Aspen Middle School, Aspen Community School and the Aspen Country Day School students crafted for the purpose. The bowl will be filled, a hunk of bread will be served, and the eating will commence, with dessert following. The patrons get to keep the bowls.Organizer Rae Lampe, art teacher at AMS, said the Aspen Skiing Co. is “basically donating the space” for the event, which follows the national Empty Bowls program.More than a dozen area restaurants are doing the cooking. And Lampe expected more to sign up. The Thrift Shop is donating the metal spoons, “So the only trash produced is the napkins.” She said all food waste will go to “the little piggies at the Rock Bottom Ranch,” making it what she termed “a no-waste event.”Last year, Lampe’s art students and students at the Community School churned out more than 400 bowls, and raised more than $5,000 for a national hunger foundation. This year, she said, everybody at the middle school, plus students at the other two schools, have all been working at the task.”I think we’ll have more than 900 bowls,” Lampe predicted, adding that the proceeds are staying in the valley.”We’re donating it to Lift-Up, the local foundation, because we want it to stay local, because there are so many who need [help] right here in our valley,” she saidLampe stressed that, to be sure there will be enough to go around, the deal is for one serving to a patron.”It’s like a meal in a soup kitchen,” she said, “and then we added the luxury of having dessert.”John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com


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