Volunteers turn an art project at OUR center into a way to feed those in need in the community

Open Bowls auction raises money to feed the hungry

LONGMONT - Two strangers had an inspiration to help others in the Longmont area.

Coincidentally, each woman contacted a non-profit, known as the OUR Center, with their idea on the same day. That was eleven years ago.

Today, Mary Doubek and Cathy Gubersky work together to combat hunger through an event called Empty Bowls.

"The Empty Bowls event is very important to us because it helps us raise cash to purchase food -- food we do not get donated from the local food bank," said Edwina Salazar, Exec. Dir., of the OUR Center.

Artists, students, and citizens decorate ceramic bowls that are used in a benefit dinner, then auctioned off.

The event raises around $30,000 a year. That money helps the OUR Center serve more than 16,000 households.

"You get a bowl, you get two kinds of soup.  You get to take something home and every time you look at the bowl and fill that bowl, it is a reminder that somebody else is not eating," said Gubersky,

"It is really gratifying.  The community really gets into it.  And we've raised a lot of money -- an amazing amount of money for the OUR Center," said Doubek.

Doubek is an art teacher at Frederick High School. She is passing along her passion to her students. Many of them make bowls used in the annual Empty Bowls event.

"It's what we're about, helping other people.  We need to help each other.  And I wanted to teach my students too, that they could do that with their art work," said Doubek.

Both Doubek and Gubersky use art and compassion to serve others. 

"You always get something when you volunteer.  You get a lot more than you've given," said Gubersky.

To learn more about the OUR Center Empty Bowls event, held each March, go to www.ourcenter.org

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