Chili bowl meal to help St. Mary’s soup kitchen

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Concordia Lutheran High School sophomore Cameron Brown (left) and senior Michelle Frerking (right) make pottery for the school’s chili-bowl fundraiser April 19.

Concordia Lutheran High School students and staff are taking to the pottery wheels for a chili-bowl fundraiser for St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen in support of the school’s theme for this year, “United in Service.”

What started as an idea from Concordia art teacher Trevor Campbell has turned into much more in the minds and hearts of the school’s students.

One goal Campbell had for the project was to give students who didn’t take an art class the opportunity to learn to do something artistic and make art on the pottery wheel.

“Then off of that, how they can use their artistic talents to benefit our community and give back,” Campbell said.

This is the school’s first semester hosting the fundraiser. They intend to continue it in the coming years and hopefully expand it with additional pottery wheels.

Around 33 students and staff members are participating in the service project, taking time throughout the semester during lunch and after school to make, trim and glaze five to 10 bowls each. On the day of the event, each participant will bring in a slow cooker of their own homemade chili to serve to patrons who attend.

“This is kind of exciting for us to do and it can help people so much. Just being able to put on a fun event for our parents and friends to come to and just have fun with them and eat a bowl of chili, but also have it go toward a good cause. It’s really special,” Michelle Frerking, a senior at Concordia High School, said.

“This is actually doing something that will benefit other people,” senior Baylee Coburn said, adding that her family members and friends intend to come to the event. “They want to support me but really they’re supporting others, which is really cool.”

The event is affecting more than patrons of St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen as the students themselves discover their artistic talents and how they can serve their community.

“I kind of want to brag on Mr. Campbell,” Concordia senior Mitchell Studebaker said. “I’m not a very artistic person, but this guy has almost changed my entire view of arts right now and especially because I would have never seen myself freshman and sophomore year doing this.”

Concordia hopes to make 200 bowls of all shapes and sizes to sell at the event on Thursday, April 19. On that day, beginning at 5 p.m., patrons will pay $20 at the door and receive a handmade bowl filled with homemade chili. All are welcome to the event, which will take place at Concordia Lutheran High School, 1601 St. Joe River Drive, Fort Wayne. All proceeds will go to St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen.