Family Service Night and Empty Bowls Fundraiser Combine Efforts

Character Counts students volunteered to set up a booth for the night to inform others about the program
Anika Sodhi
Soup and coffee were donated by local restaurants for the event.

On Thursday April 25, the Orono Intermediate School hosted the first ever combined Empty Bowls and Family Service night. The two events have long been a long standing tradition as a way of giving back to the community. The Empty Bowls event started over 10 years ago, and Family Service night just four years ago. This was the first time they were held on the same night.

Family Service night aims to show Orono students and families how to give back to the community and those in need. There are over 16 different organizations that attended the event this year including the Orono Police and Fire Departments, WeCan, and more. These organizations each have a booth and activities that teach children ways that they can help others. For example, The Orono Foundation had students writing ‘thank you’ letters for teachers and the WeCan organization made snack bags for Orono’s SPARKS tutoring program.

We combined them this year to try and get more participation in giving back to the community”

— Ms. Lubke

Empty Bowls has been a part of the arts program at Orono for over ten years now. For $10, community members receive soup and a ceramic bowl made by an Orono student. All of the food is donated by local restaurants like Birches on the lake, D’amico and sons, McGarry’s, and even coffee from the Long Lake Caribou. 100% of the money made goes to the local food shelves as another way of benefiting the Orono Community.

“We combined them this year to try and get more participation in giving back to the community,” middle school academic planner Ms. Lubke said. Lubke, along with help from the Orono Parent Teacher Organization and the art teachers, worked for a year to put the event together.

Overall, the night was quite the success. With students and parents of all ages filling the gym, dogs were pet, snack bags were made, cards for teachers signed, and the fire department even gave CPR lessons.

Students and Rye, the (off duty) service dog!
Middle Schooler’s Empty Bowls
Students got to decorate notebooks for children in need
Choosing a bowl.
A character counts student volunteered to set up a booth for the night!
Soup and Coffee, all donated by local restaurants.
Packaging snack bags for SPARKS students
A final treat students get for helping out 🙂