Foothills Empty Bowls Lunch And Art Auction Set For October 20

Online auction added to 2017 event aimed at helping feed hungry in need

The annual Foothills Empty Bowls Lunch & Art Auction 2017 will honor World Hunger Day Friday, October 20, and will be held at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek, from 11am–1pm.

According to Pam DiPietro, executive director of Foothills Food Bank, this year the organization is adding a new feature to its Empty Bowls event. The auction will be on the food bank’s website,, which gives people the opportunity to bid on 60 fine art and craft items donated by renowned local artists.

“We are excited to offer this auction online so people who support this worthy cause can spend the quality time they need to research the bid items,’ says DiPietro. “This has always been an amazing event with a great turnout, but this year we will take Empty Bowls to a new level with the online auction.”

Carole Perry and Robin Ray, two highly regarded Sonoran Arts League artists, brought Empty Bowls to the northern desert foothills to benefit Foothills Food Bank more than 17 years ago. Perry says that online bidding began September 20 and be available to bidders throughout the celebration, and that 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center to support its ongoing effort to provide emergency food and services to area families in need of assistance.

Lunch will be served in handmade ceramic or glass bowls. Individuals are encouraged to donate $15 to the cause and select their own unique bowl made by Arizona artists, and keep it as a lasting reminder of world hunger.

The Foothills Empty Bowls & Art Auction 2017 is sponsored by the Sonoran Arts League, Harold’s Corral, Marjon Ceramics and Laguna Clay. Other donors are Saguaro and Cactus Shadows High School students, Paradise Valley Community College ceramics students and local potters and artists who make and donate the bowls and auction items.

For more information, call 480.488.1145 or visit

Local Artist’s Glasswork Featured At Empty Bowls

Carole Perry, who helped create the Foothills Empty Bowls Lunch in the Northern Desert Foothills more than 17 years ago, knows glass. Intimately. Her business, Laughing Glass Contemporary Glass Art Studio, has been producing beautiful glass artwork for more than 27 years and thousands of Laughing Glass bowls have been a hallmark of the colorful glass and ceramic bowls offered each year as part of the Foothills Empty Bowls Lunch to honor World Hunger Day.

This year, Perry and other local artists’ glass and ceramic bowls will be available to participants who attend the event at Harold’s Corral, from 11am–1pm, Friday, October 20. Perry says she began working with the project because her local community supports artists and as an artist, she wanted to give back in a meaningful way. Perry and her Sonoran Arts League friends began by creating and donating bowls to the Empty Bowls project at the Arizona Center in 1997. After starting the Foothills Empty Bowls Lunch to benefit the Foothills Food Bank at El Pedregal in North Scottsdale in 2000, Empty Bowls now has found a home in Cave Creek. Today, Perry continues giving back while enjoying her own success as one of the top glass artists of her kind.

“When I came back to the desert, every magical, mystical thing came together for me,” says Perry. “I love what I do and this is where I learned the simplest of rules: the more you give, the more you receive…and, I get to live in the greatest place on Earth.”

Robin Ray’s Ceramics Boost Empty Bowls Event

Robin Ray mastered her craft while teaching visual arts to students of all ages for more than 26 years. However, as an accomplished painter and ceramics expert, she also took the time to help bring the 17-year-old Empty Bowls Lunch event to the northern desert foothills.

For the first five years, she gathered artists and friends to create ceramic bowls in the ceramic department of a high school. And, every year since, like clockwork, a cadre of ceramic lovers gets together at her studio in early September to make bowls for the October fund-raiser. Her leadership has resulted in thousands of additional bowls for the annual event.

Ray, owner of Robin’s Nest in Cave Creek, produces her own beautiful paintings, ceramics and murals for people from around the world. However, when it comes to creating distinctive ceramic bowls for the event, which benefits Foothills Food Bank, her peers and students love working on the bowls which will help focus people on hunger in the world.

“These special bowls will be filled with pasta at the Empty Bowls Lunch,” says Ray. “The amount of pasta that fills each bowl roughly matches the amount of calories a homeless person is provided in a single meal.”

Walkathon & Carnival To Support Brain Tumor Research

SSBTR_logoDid you know that brain tumors have now become the number one cause of cancer deaths among teenagers? Were you aware that nearly three-quarters of a million people are currently fighting their brain tumors in the United States alone? Tiffany Miller, vice president of the Shadow Mountain High School Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) Club, and the organization, wants to help educate the public.

SSBTR is a non-profit organization that helps raise money for brain tumor research in order to find a cure. All of the money raised is distributed to the Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the National Brain Tumor Society, TGen and Steele Children’s Research Center in Tucson. Brain tumors are the number one cause of solid tumor cancer deaths in children through high school age. The organization’s mission is to provide education and leadership development of youth, furnish a platform for them to play a principle role in effecting positive changes in their communities, promote awareness of how common brain tumors are as one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among their peers and act as an outreach to support individuals and their families.

Join Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research and 3,000 of their closest friends and family members Saturday, February 28, at Saguaro High School from 12-3pm for its 14th annual walkathon and carnival as they raise funds to find a cure.

Enjoy live bands, games, a rock wall, bounce houses, a photo booth, giant selection of silent auction items, numerous choices of free food, guest celebrities, and much more for all ages. All money raised to is support cutting edge brain tumor research to stop this dreaded killer. Register at or call 888.772.8729.

Saguaro Sabercats Heading To Playoffs

– By Catherine Hahne

Techno rave music booms through the speakers as the team pounds on the lockers psyching themselves up for the upcoming game.

This is the preferred method of revving up for the current undefeated and No. 3 ranked team in the state, the Saguaro Sabercat Varsity Football team. Over the past 10 seasons, the Sabercats have won six championships with hope this year will make it seven.

The Sabercats started this season with a bang by defeating their top rival, the Chaparral Firebirds, with a final score of 41-14. A goal for the team over the past three seasons.

Assistant Coach Frank Ruben said that the team had been working hard all summer for this win.  The seniors on the team had yet to beat Chaparral in a game.  All of that changed this year, which helped build camaraderie for the team.

“It was the confidence builder that they needed, it was the only game the team lost last year,” Jason Mohns, head coach, said.

Defeating the Firebirds was not a stopping point for them it just was a starting point. Winning the game was a validation of all the hard work the team had put over the past year. To achieve excellence you have to do more than just show up, training for the next season starts the day after fall season comes to an end, Frank said.

It all begins the players’ freshman year with a weeklong retreat in Flagstaff.  There they do a lot of challenge courses and focus on team building exercises. Every year the varsity team goes on its own retreat to keep the feeling of family.

“I always felt that this is where the team came together,” Alex Ruben, varsity linebacker alumn, said.  “It was a distraction free training camp and it was a great way to build better relationships with each other.”

The Sabercats consider themselves more than just a football team and closer to a family, which they attribute for a lot of their success.  There is a family concept that they foster and promote throughout the season with both the players and the coaches, Frank said.

The Sabercats have not always been a championship winning team and winning those six championships are products of their hard work and dedication.  In many ways Alex’s senior team started that winning tradition.

“I certainly think we did something special in 2006 and the younger guys built on that the following season,” Alex said.  “I’ll tell you that winning a championship is something that you fight for everyday.  It’s a goal you buy into.”

Ever since that championship season in 2006, there has been a winning legacy passed on to each team.  Seniors are proud to leave the team as champions handing off the torch of their traditions to the next group.

“I think we learned a ton from the teams that came before me,” Alex said.  “So by the time we were seniors we kind of put it all together, we bought into a goal and we were a unified program.”

There is an outstanding presence of senior leadership and an extraordinary senior class this year.  Many have been a part of a champion team before and are looking forward to the possibility of making their dream into a reality once again.  There has become a culture of winning within the group, Mohns said.

After adopting their slogan of ‘all in,’ the team members will work tirelessly to achieve their goals.  “It’s a commitment that requires more time and energy; it requires more than any other extra curricular activity,” Mohns said.

The playoffs will begin soon.  Saguaro won’t know who they will be playing until they receive their brackets. Because many of the team members have been to a playoff before, they know what to expect but are keeping their heads cool.

“Just take it one game at a time,” Alex said. “You may be a great team but you’re not a champion until you’ve won that final game and you get to hoist the golden football.”

Hard work and dedication is what has brought the Sabercats through this season.  It has become a school with a tradition of success.  One that Coach Mohns plans on maintaining this year.

“I don’t really know if there is a specific secret to our success, I think it really comes down to people buying into a purpose,” Alex said. “We had a lot of young talent, but I felt that year we relied on winning as a team and having great leadership.  We rallied behind the idea that we would do whatever it takes to win a championship and we would do it with no regrets.”

Catherine Hahne is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reach the reporter at

Editor’s note: The Saguaro Sabercats will play Canyon Del Oro Friday, November 14, in Round 2 of the playoffs. Kickoff is 7pm at Saguaro High School. Learn more:

%d bloggers like this: