While many folks were sleeping on Saturday morning, July 11, volunteers filled the Mackle Park Teen Center, painting bowls for the Fourth Annual Souper Bowl Marco 2016.
The fundraising event is organized by the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce to benefit the Leadership Marco scholarship fund. Hand painted ceramic bowls are sold to event attendees, who can then sample a variety of delicious soups prepared by local restaurants and chefs.
Over $20,000 was awarded to Marco Island high school students last year.
This year’s event is co-chaired by Jada Shigley and Desiree Buhelos. They are preparing for an event to top last year’s sell-out, where every one of the 1,000 bowls available was sold. This year,organizers plan on having 1,200 bowls on hand.
The bisque bowls go through a three step process to prepare them for the event. The first step involves painting the bowls. Creativity is key here- and anything goes! The next two steps- glazing and firing – are done at the Marco Island Art League or Lely High School where they have kilns.
At this time, there is a call for volunteers to help with the first step of the process.
Saturday’s bowl-painting event brought together members of the community of all ages, as well as visitors to the island.
Natasha Shevchenko brought her four children, ages three months to 11 years old. Sons Lucas, 11 and Santino, 9, also painted bowlsin school. Last year, between the two of them, they painted eight. Daughter Eva, 4, who is not yet in school, did not have the same opportunity as her brothers. On Saturday she enjoyed the activity. Natasha tells us “We love painting bowls! We use them at home- they are the perfect size for cereal or ice cream.”
Friends Kathryn Kerpchar and Phyllis Finn painted together. Phyllis, from New York, and Kathryn, a Connecticut resident who has a condo in Marco Island, were looking for ways to volunteer during their visit. Other volunteers included residents Sharon Doggett and Jane Schlechtweg.
Donna Lang brought her grandson Gavin and his friend Ryan Garraty. The boys are in 5th grade atTommie Barfield Elementary School. By 9 AM, when they arrived, the turnout was so good that a second table had to be set up to accommodate them. Organizers hope that this enthusiasm will continue until the event, so that all 1,200 bowls may be painted and ready.
Co-Chair Desiree Buhelos wanted to “thank everybody that showed up to help, and thank Mackle Park for letting us use the Teen Center for the first Saturday of every month.”
Help is still needed to paint the large inventory of bowls. Volunteers can come to the Mackle Park Teen Center the first Saturday of every month until the February 6, 2016 event. The next bowl painting event is scheduled for Saturday, August 1 from 8:30-10:30 AM.