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19th Annual Potter’s Bowl raises funds for caring for elderly, infirm

By Staff | Apr 12, 2019

Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Board of Directors Chair Ginnie Runion, left, looks at pottery donations with her friend, Karen Brown, of Frederick, Maryland, during the 19th Annual Potter’s Bowl. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN – For the 19th year in a row, Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers hosted its annual Potter’s Bowl fundraiser in Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department on Friday evening.

The event proceeds largely support the charity’s work throughout the year, and last year’s large attendance paid for a quarter of GSIVC’s 2018 expenses. Unfortunately, this year’s attendance dropped from 180 to about 125 attendees due to rain, according to event coordinator K.C. Brewster.

“Not as many attendees are here this year, but we’ve always had a lot of support from the community for donations,” Brewster said, mentioning the event relies on the generosity of donors. “It helps out a great deal with the organization – all of our services are free of charge. We help out so many people with transportation, getting medical equipment, wellness calls and training for caregivers, as well. We service over 400 clients every year – that’s just for transportation.”

According to Brewster, the fire department donates the use of the hall every year; the silent auction items were donated by 78 individuals and local businesses; the food – soups, bread and cake – was a combination of donations from 21 local restaurants and chefs; and the bowls were donated by local potters. Each attendee took a free bowl home with them, after using the bowl for the meal.

Despite the small turnout, Brewster said she viewed this year’s Potter’s Bowl as a success.

Charles Town resident Darrell Nagle, right, looks at silent auction bids during the 19th Annual Potter’s Bowl on Friday night. Tabitha Johnston

“This year, I think we learned from last year, and it’s gone very smooth. So that’s great, how it worked out,” Brewster said. “We hope next year we’ll have more attendees to support GSIVC. Our focus is on neighbors helping neighbors.”

Silent auction items at the event included everything from gift certificates, to a silver serving tray, to American Girl dolls, to hand-crafted cutting boards, to a Redskins autographed football, to a 9 inch round cake from Shepherdstown Sweet Shop.

Charles Town resident Darrell Nagle looked at other attendees’ bids after he finished his meal, as he considered bidding on an item.

“We’ve been coming here for seven years to support this,” Nagle said, mentioning he and his wife attend the event with a group of about 20 people from their neighborhood. “We had neighbors who told us about coming here. It’s a good time with friends and a good cause.”

Other attendees came from even farther away, including Karen Brown, of Frederick, Maryland, who comes to the event every year because her friend, Ginnie Runion, chairs the board of directors.

“I’ve probably come to this event for at least 10 times – I like it because it supports a good cause,” Brown said.

According to Runion, the community’s support of this and other GSIVC fundraisers is essential to GSIVC’s success.

“We have to do fundraising to be able to support our clients,” Runion said, mentioning the reason she and other community members should support GSIVC is because they want GSIVC to be there when they need its help. “The idea is we need to support our neighbors, because you never know when it will be you.”