Empty Bowl Dinner Comes to Eastern Washington County

Above Cheryl Krakow, one of the leaders for the Empty Bowl Dinner in Pembroke next month, shows her husband's completed bowls to visitors at their workshop in Pembroke. (Submitted photo)

By Dorothy Johnson


This area of eastern Washington County will be introduced to an “Empty Bowl Dinner” on October 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Pembroke Elementary School.  These fund-raising dinners have been held all over the United States (even in Auburn, Maine last May) with much success, but the idea has been slow to get to this area. 

 The ‘Empty Bowls’ is an international initiative that began some years ago. Two high teachers offered the first empty bowls dinner in Michigan. Cheryl Kralow and her husband Carl Kamulski, part time residents of Pembroke, worked with students at community colleges in Michigan, New Jersey and Illinois to offer local events that served the food pantries near campus. After retiring, the couple worked with their town (Luna Pier, Michigan) to continue the work.  Carl does the lion’s share of the work there-throwing about 300 bowls, with additional bowls coming from an artist friend and a former student.

Now that Cheryl Krakow and Carl Kamulski divide their time between Maine and Michigan, they thought they would bring this fund-raiser to the area. They asked the Pembroke Library workers if they would be interested in collaborating on the event. The workers embraced the concept of local people and local restaurants raising money for local food pantries with a bread and soup dinner.  All food and supplies will be donated so that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to local food pantries.  The planners have identified four pantries in the immediate area to share in the funds-Calais, Eastport, Lubec and Pleasant Point.

The planners are just beginning to reach out to restaurants and local stores for soup, bread, rolls, paper goods, supplies and door prizes.  Local cooks are being asked to donate a soup if they want to support the project. 

Although Carl is primarily a sculptor, he is throwing and glazing over 200 bowls for the event, and Carl and Cheryl will be contacting other local ceramic artists to see if they are interested in joining the project.  Shanna Wheelock of Cobscook Pottery in Lubec has already offered her support. Many of the bowls have already been thrown and glazed and can be seen at The Pie Ladies’ Bakery in Pembroke. 

For a modest price, those that attend can take their own handcrafted bowl home after having soup and bread in the company of friends. Tickets will be available at the door as long as the bowls last. In addition to getting a piece of art work to take home, participants will enjoy a night out, no dishes to be washed and the good feeling of helping neighbors in need. Who could ask for anything more?

Anyone-potters, restaurant and store owners or individuals who want to be involved-may contact Cheryl Krakow at marycheryl1@aol.com by e-mail.

Write the date on the calendar (October 14, 2017 from 4 to 6 p.m.). Join your neighbors at the Pembroke Elementary School.

Above Sculptor Carl Kamulski works on his donation of 200 glazed bowls at this work area on Garnett Head in Pembroke.  His contribution will join the efforts of other potters in the area to provide "empty bowls" for the dinner on October 14. (Submitted photo)