Empty Bowl Project Fundraising Soup for Charity

Austin, Texas knows how to soup it up. The Empty Bowl project brings together potters, artists, bakers, chefs and hungry residents to raise money for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.

“The Empty Bowl Project is potters donate bowls, restaurants donate soup and bread. Folks come out and buy a bowl for $15 and have it filled with soup which they enjoy while listening to live music,” said organizer Hester Weigand. “Everything we have out here is donated.”

When we arrived at 11AM, hundreds of people lined the grass outside the American Mexican Cultural Center. On this bright Austin day at the 14th annual Empty Bowl Project, the atmosphere was festive as the lines snakes through the grass field.

Potter Kelly Hill and her daughter demonstrated bowl making for an attentive crowd gathered around their pottery wheel.

Potter Kelly Hill Demostrates #EmptyBowl Project

Potter Kelly Hill Demonstrates at the Empty Bowl Project

Kids could not resist the photo op and jumped in and out of a huge soup pot complete with stirring paddles. Here is one cutie stirring up Trouble!

Kaleigh and Paige Muellner Cooking Up Trouble #EmptyBowl Project

Kaliegh and Paige Muellner Cooking Up Trouble at the Empty Bowl Project

We selected our bowls from hundreds of unique pieces of every size and color imaginable. After we paid for our bowl, our next stop was the cleaning table. Each bowl is washed, rinsed and dried assembly line fashion.

Bowls in all shapes, sizes and colors to choose from #EmptyBowl

Bowls in all shapes, sizes and colors to choose from

Next, it was time to fill our bowls. Four soups were available to choose from with different soups rotating in. I was glad to see vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options offered. We stopped at the bread baskets on the way to our tables. We dined outdoors at long community tables and listened to live music. After we ate, we washed our bowls at the washing station.

We admired the the silent auction artist and celebrity created bowls. Cindi Lauper, John Waters, Aaron Neville, Pat Metheny, Adam West, Dan Aykrod, Steve Martin, Dr. John, Chris Isaak and others.

Click on Hester’s picture below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Hester told us, “The event is a fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank, specifically the Kids Cafe program which provides a hot evening meal and after school tutoring for kids who might not have a place to go after school. There are 34 of those locations around town and they serve over 2,000 kids a day.

Plans are under way for next year’s Empty Bowl project. For more information on volunteering or attending the event, visit the Empty Bowl Project online or follow them on Facebook. Find them on Twitter and use the hashtag #emptybowl.

Visiting Hutto Texas Home of the Hippo

In this episode of “Where Are You Today?“, we are in Hutto, Texas. The Hutto Chamber of Commerce states the town grew from 630 residents in 1990 to over 20,000 current residents. Just outside Round Rock, Texas the home of Dell Computer is this friendly. small town known for hippos. It is the only school with a hippo for a mascot. Stop by to see “Henrietta” the hippo on East Street. While driving through town, you will see hippos in a rainbow of colors and different sizes in front of businesses and homes.

Henrietta Hippo and friends in Hutto, Texas

Henrietta Hippo and friends in Hutto, Texas

I spoke to Tom Britton, President of the Hutto area Chamber of Commerce. Listen in as he tells us the hippo legend. You can follow the Chamber on Twitter @huttochamber.

If you are in the area, stop by to say hello to Tom at the Hutto Area Chamber Of Commerce. They are located at 122 East St, Hutto, TX 78634. They have a pot of coffee and a warm smile waiting for you.

Where are you today? Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?” as we visit Hutto, Texas.

Snowing in Chicago and Hutto Texas

More snow in Chicago. We just returned from Hutto and Padre Island, Texas where the temps were unseasonably cool. The snow storm due to hit Chicago just grazed the city and left three inches of heavy, wet snow for our arrival.

This morning, large flakes began falling. A pretty sight for sure. Pictures from Hutto, Texas show 2 inches of snow on the ground. We left town just in time.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

While many of us just recently learned of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floating 1000 miles off the California coast in the North Pacific Gyre, scientists tell us it has been growing steadily since the 1950’s. Birds and animals get entangled in the trash and ingest tempting looking pieces of plastic causing a high concentration of chemicals in our food chain.

Weight is estimated at over 100 million tons spanning an area twice the size of the state of Texas. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch even has its own Wikipedia entry. Experts believe 80% of the plastic comes from land based sources while 20% comes from ships.

I delighted in taking my kids snorkeling in Hanauma Bay in Hawaii this month. They were wide-eyed as they watched the colorful tropical fish swim arms length away. At all the beaches we visited in Hawaii we found plastic bags and other trash on the shore and in the water. It’s not just Hawaii beaches. We find garbage everywhere we go. While out hiking or geocaching, we take a bag to collect garbage. In fact, the other week I had to buy a tactical backpack to carry our hiking snacks/water in one compartment while filling up the others with beach trash. Cache in – Trash out.

Hanauma Bay in Hawaii

Hanauma Bay in Hawaii

Plastic is 100% non biodegradable. It never breaks down.

What do you do about this growing problem? Start locally.
* Bring reusable bags with you when you go shopping. It’s an easy step.
* Pick up trash you find on your walks
* Reduce your waste. Can you fix it? Repurpose? Do without?

Only humans are to blame for this disaster and we are the only ones who can resolve the situation.

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