Filling empty bowls with promise

Ceramic artists are making a statement with their pottery pieces while raising funds to help homeless families.

The third annual Empty Bowl fundraiser benefits Family Promise of the East San Fernando Valley. The event is from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. June 2 at the First United Methodist Church of Glendale, 134 N. Kenwood St., Glendale. Proceeds provide safe shelter, meals and support to homeless families.

Area artists are creating one-of-a-kind bowls and donating them to the fundraiser. Guests can choose a bowl and fill it with one of several soups donated by local restaurants. An assortment of donated breads and desserts accompany the meal. Then everyone takes their bowls home as a reminder of the hunger and uncertainty homeless families face daily.

Last year, more than 300 bowls left the building in happy hands, said bowl Chairwoman Barbara Lazar, who has been a pottery student at the Burbank Creative Arts Center for 10 years.

"I start out in January bugging everybody I know that makes pottery and it's not just at the Creative Arts Center; it's at the colleges, high schools come to us, individual potters and other pottery studios in the East San Fernando Valley," she said.

One of the event's most passionate potters is Ellissa Weekley of Burbank, who has made more than 80 bowls this year and she keeps adding more.

Her inspiration to create bowls for the fundraiser, she said, is that she believes in the idea of getting people back to work and in a home, especially homeless families with children. Family Promise offers counseling and assistance in getting a job. Weekley also realizes how fortunate she is.

"I just recognize that I just have so much to be thankful for," she said. "Most of it is not material needs, it's just our community, friends and family and being able to help."

Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children under 12. For tickets or more information, visit, email or call (747) 333-6081.

Nickelodeon partnering with schools

Nickelodeon Animation Studios has formed a partnership with Muir Middle School to help get its media program running, said Carson Smith, human resources manager.

Nickelodeon's media technology services team, under Director Boris Beaubien, worked with Muir's Principal Greg Miller to develop a three-session, one-hour class that serves as an introduction to the role of the computer in the animation process.

The media technology team brought computers into the classroom and instructed the students on how to safely install hardware and trouble-shoot potential issues during the first class.

The second class addressed the type of software used in the animation process and how to install and trouble-shoot.

For the final class, the media technology team, along with one of the studio editors, brought editing workstations into the classroom and instructed the students in how to assemble and cut together animated footage using software called Final Cut Pro.

Nickelodeon has also partnered with Burbank High School and on April 25 presented BASH, Best Animated Shorts Festival, which showcased 11 short animated films that were written, produced and directed by students from the high school's animation program. It was the culminating event after a year of mentoring projects taught by Nick artists.

Nickelodeon is working with the animation program's teacher, Jonelle Pickett, to expand the curriculum for next school year.

City Council recognizes volunteers

Three senior adult volunteers who are 60 years old or older received the Burbank Older Americans Volunteer Service Award from the Burbank City Council earlier this month for giving numerous hours to city services and charitable organizations throughout the year.

Sandy Struble has given her time to perform tasks at City Hall and the Joslyn Adult Center. Sue Stimpson volunteers at the Burbank Animal Shelter and the Burbank Community YMCA. Peg Setti, who also received the L.A. County Volunteer Service Award, was honored for service she gives to Burbank Temporary Aid Center and St. Francis Xavier Church.

Jaycees run carnival for relay

The Burbank Jaycees' Carnival for a Cure raised $389 for cancer research at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life earlier this month at Johnny Carson Park. That puts the total amount raised by this group of young professionals at more than $3,000 for the fundraising event.

The Jaycees held a mini-carnival for kids as well as raffles for adults featuring prizes from local restaurants and movie theaters. The group meets every month for business mixers and for a volunteering event somewhere in Burbank. For information, visit

The Burbank Relay for Life raised $114,192.97, said Daniela Barragan, manager of Relay for Life. There were 49 teams and 499 participants, she added. Donations are being accepted through Aug. 31.

Mail checks to the American Cancer Society, Attn: Burbank Relay, 500 N. Victory Blvd., Burbank, Burbank, CA 91502


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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