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Soup-er effort aids clinic

February 13, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM


The first time Terry Wills and his wife, Diane, had tickets to the annual Potter's Bowl, it was canceled after a large snowstorm.

Several years after their first attempt, the couple stood in a soup line Sunday with handcrafted clay bowls. But a few days before the event, watching weather reports that predicted a large storm, the couple thought snow might keep them away again.

Carol Mendelsohn, one of the organizers of the 12th annual Potter's Bowl, said snow did not keep many away from the event in a large room at Trinity Lutheran Church on Randolph Avenue in Hagers-town.


About 300 bowls were crafted by 26 potters from the Tri-State area, she said. Those bowls were expected to be filled by 240 guests with nine types of soup made by members of Congregation B'Nai Abraham in Hagerstown.

Mavis Surratt, of Hagerstown, was at the Potter's Bowl for the 11th time. She started with Maryland crab soup, but said she wanted to try another before she left.

"It's just for a great cause," she said.

The money from the event, which includes raffles and an auction, goes to the Community Free Clinic in Hagers-town. Last year, $15,000 was raised at the Potter's Bowl, said clinic Director Robin Roberson.

"That's a huge amount of money for the clinic," she said. "Without the support of the community, we could not operate."

Eight years ago, Surratt's daughter, Tiffany Cline of Hagerstown, began accompanying her to the dinner.

"It's become like a tradition for us," Cline said. "It's just something we do."

Her daughter, Haley Cline, 9, attended for the first time four years ago and said she enjoys it.

Her bowl was blue - one of her favorite colors.

Candy Appleby of Greencastle, Pa., who was at her sixth Potter's Bowl, said she uses the bowls for decoration, but also for soup.

Bill Flohr of Waynesboro, Pa., does the same. About once every year, he invites friends over and lays out the five bowls he has received at the Potter's Bowl. His friends select bowls and Flohr serves them soup.

It's a miniature Potter's Bowl in his home, Flohr said.

"It's something we do usually in the winter," he said.

At least half of the 300 bowls for the event were made by Doris Hoopengardner's students at Hagerstown Community College. About 20 students worked since August to make the bowls, and the last batch came out of the kiln Friday, she said.

"We're all just very proud they do this," Hoopengardner said.

Charlie Burdick and his wife, Debbie, of Williamsport, are two of Hoopengardner's former students. The Burdicks worked sporadically for about a year to make at least 60 of the bowls available Sunday.

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