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Alexandria Area High School's 10th Annual Empty Bowls Project takes place March 30

All proceeds support the AAHS' The Shelf, the Discovery Middle School Food Shelf, Outreach Food Shelf and United Way Backpack Attack.

Horse Hair pottery
From left, Brady Eckhoff, 9, and Sam Eckhoff, 7, throw sugar on a hot pot wrapped in horsehair to carmelize the hair, which adds a stringy design during the 2022 Empty Bowls event.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA โ€” Alexandria Area High School's 10th Annual Empty Bowls Project takes place on Thursday, March 30, from 5-7 p.m.

The event is organized by Kelly Hilbrands' civic service and engagement class to raise awareness about hunger in the community and money for local food shelves. The class is split into three groups โ€” marketing, entertainment and awareness. All have specific duties to get the event up and running.

All proceeds support the AAHS' The Shelf, the Discovery Middle School Food Shelf, Douglas County's Outreach Food Shelf and United Way's Backpack Attack.

"We want to make a big impact on our community," said AAHS senior Victoria Rounds, who is a part of the class marketing group. "I think this is a really good way to show we are trying to make an impact in the community."

Victoria Rounds and Hadyn Halverson.jpg
Victoria Rounds, left, and Hadyn Halverson, both seniors at AAHS, are a part of the civic service and engagement class marketing group.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

The goal is to raise $10,000 for the 10th anniversary. Funds will be raised through a silent auction, live entertainment, a student art show and food โ€” $5 for a meal and $10 for a meal and a bowl.

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There will also be a horsehair pottery experience. Horsehair pottery originated with Navajo Natives to honor the death of a horse or celebrate the birth of a foal. It is completed by reheating a previously fired porcelain pot, adding strands of horsehair that burn on contact with the pot, and then caramelizing the burning hair by tossing sugar or sawdust onto it. The result is a stringy lightning-like design to the pot.

EmptyBowls 0015.jpg
Audrey, left, and Joe Spengler of Albany check out homemade pottery bowls created by AAHS students at the 2022 Empty Bowls Project.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

There are only 20 slots available for the horsehair experience โ€” which runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. โ€” and they will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Those attending can choose from several kinds of bowls hand-crafted by AAHS students.

Contact Hilbrands at 320-762-2142 to donate. Checks must be made out to Calvary Lutheran Church with Empty Bowls Project in the memo line. Another way to donate is through the Venmo phone app @calvarychurchalex. Donations will be accepted up to two weeks after the event.

Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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