Pottery studio gives boost to SoupPort fundraiser

The annual event needs bowls, and painters are sought to donate time and cash for the cause.

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Patrice Townsend contemplates the masterpieces yet to be created for the SoupPort fundraiser for Helpline, which brings in about $13,000 for the agency annually.

WALLA WALLA -- Everybody with a drop of art in their veins can get the chance to express their creativity for a worthy cause, Patrice Townsend said.

Townsend heads the Pottery Painting Studio for the city Parks and Recreation Department, which has blended with this year's "SoupPort," Helpline's signature fundraiser.

The event has live music and local celebrity servers and raises an average of $13,000 for the Helpline's programs. The agency provides food, clothing, temporary housing and utility help to the area's most needy citizens.

The annual luncheon features soups created by Walla Walla Community College culinary students from ingredients donated by the community. It's all served in bowls that are painted -- then donated -- by many willing hands.

Trouble is, time is short, and Townsend is hoping those willing hands are raised to be called on.

In the past, groups of all kinds have come forward to have bowl painting parties, she said. "Think Girl Scouts, church youth groups, sororities, gatherings of families ..."

For less than $11, people can create a custom bowl that will land in the waiting hands of a hungry SoupPort attendee, who will have purchased a ticket to eat delicious soup and take the bowl home as a souvenir.

It's an excellent way to serve the community and your inner artist, Townsend said.

The Pottery Painting Studio is on the ground floor of the Carnegie Center, 109 S. Palouse St. It is open Wednesday, 2:30-6 p.m.; Thursday, 3:30-8 p.m.; Friday, 3:30-6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Other days and hours may be available by arrangement. For more information call 527-4527.

SoupPort will be April 21, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Blanchet Hall at St. Patrick Catholic Church. Tickets, $25, are on sale now at Helpline, 16 S. Colville St. Soups will include cream of broccoli, seafood chowder and cream of tomato with basil. For information, call 529-3377.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/fromthestorageroom.

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