Bowls for charity

In this 2009 file photo, Mark Honaker and his students Greg Baginski, center, and Ryan Krosky prepare some of the 300 ceramic bowls for the kiln. The bowls will be sold and the proceeds will go to charity.

There is a bond between people who work in ceramics. It doesn't hurt that when they come together for something, the benefits result in thousands of dollars raised for charity.

The staff and students of Tempe Union High School district schools, including Desert Vista and Corona del Sol, wanted to get their 2012 fundraising effort off on the right foot. More than 25 people showed up to Mark Honaker's ceramic's room at Desert Vista on Monday and crafted ceramic bowls for a variety of local causes over the course of several hours.

All he had to do was send out a message that let them know when and where.

The fundraising efforts of those affiliated with Desert Vista ceramics stretch far and wide.

Proceeds from the bowls reach close to home, such as to Phoenix Children's Hospital, and to national causes like Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. And with each donation, someone is getting a pretty quality ceramic bowl.

"The goal was to create awareness on our campus and let it spread to others about the possibilities of assisting people who need it," Honaker said. "We let the other groups know what we are doing and, hopefully, get the ball rolling to do a collaborative event like this."

On Monday, students from Desert Vista, Corona del Sol and Marcos de Niza high schools and South Mountain Community College traded off from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the wheel in Honaker's classroom.

More than 100 bowls were made and will subsequently be sold to benefit Phoenix Children's Hospital, Relay for Life, Arizona Child Action Alliance, and Tempe Empty Bowls, which Honaker and his students have participated in for the past five years.

The group from Desert Vista, known as Bowl P'Trol, will walk 11 miles for the 11th annual Tempe Empty Bowls event on Feb. 24, pulling a wagon of their bowls behind them to sell when they reach their destination and along the way.

Desert Vista does an enormous amount of fundraising throughout the school year and by far the biggest is Relay for Life, which is a combined effort between both Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high schools. Last year, the Ahwatukee Foothills event, which is run almost exclusively by the student bodies, became the second largest such event in the country. Over the course of several months leading up to the event, the groups raised $145,000, which goes to the American Cancer Society.

"The kids are just so amazing and they deserve all the recognition in the world," Honaker said. "It was a real honor for us to work with the American Cancer Society and be able to raise that amount of money."

The next Relay for Life is right around the corner, coming up on April 14 and 15, and will be at Mountain Pointe High School this year.

In the meantime, Ahwatukee Foothills resident should ready their wallets to purchase the bowls and help out these great causes.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.