Greenwood Area Studio Potters wants everyone to go bowling during Bowl-A-Rama in May and you don't even have to wear special shoe to do so. What a very cool idea.

Bowl-A-Rama is just another way the organization is reaching the community to help with it philanthropic efforts while educating and having fun doing so. Bowl-A-Rama will give anyone a chance to make bowls for GASP's annual community project, Empty Bowls, which is a fundraiser for the Greenwood Soup Kitchen. There are three opportunities to decorate bowls at The Museum in Uptown Greenwood. Times and dates are 10 a.m.-noon May 10; 2-4 p.m. May 17 and 10 a.m.-noon May 24.

In the past, GASP has worked with area woodworkers, Greenwood County school students and students in Lander University's pottery class to bolster the number of bowls available to be purchased for Empty Bowls. The number of bowls for this year's event, which is usually the first or second Thursday each October, could reach astronomical figures.

"We are excited about adding this to our community projects and estimate that this will add about $1,500 to our Empty Bowls monies to support the soup kitchen," said GASP member Dohnna Boyajian.

Boyajian and fellow GASP member Laura Bachinski sounded like school girls having just been asked to the prom when they told me about the project.

Here's how it will work. It costs $5 to decorate a bowl, which is a bisque-fired soup bowl. All materials are provided and members of GASP will be on hand to assist and decorate. Glazing and firing of the bowls will be done by members of GASP at their studios.

Once a bowl is completed, the person who made it will have a chance to purchase it or donate it to Empty Bowls. Completed bowls are $20. 

"Either way, the Greenwood Soup Kitchen benefits," Boyajian said. 

Completed works from Bowl-A-Rama will be part of the exhibit featuring the Greenwood Empty Bowls Project at The Museum in July, August and September. 

Information about Bowl-A-Rama will be available during the third Heritage Trail Tour and Sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Edgefield and Greenwood counties.

I'm learning potters are an interesting sort, and there's one thing that can't be denied. They are truly passionate about what they do.

Greenwood Area Studio Potters members are dedicated to preserving and advancing their craft through a variety of events each year, including Empty Bowls and Fired Up pottery camps for youngsters at The Museum.

This year, Greenwood Area Studio Potters has received a grant from Greenwood County Community Foundation for a variety of projects. Wendi Andrews, who joined Greenwood County Community Foundation from United Way in February, said there wasn't much to not like about GASP's efforts.

"We liked that it had a lot of different components that we found exciting," Andrews said, noting the grant during its community enhancement cycle. 

While it wasn't presented through the youth cycle, it could have because of the involvement of family and teaching children about pottery and giving back to the community, 

"It was really exciting. We really liked that aspect of it," Andrews said. "We think they're going to do a lot to enhance the community and reach out to the youth and adults."

I couldn't agree more. I've seen the faces of people as they select their vessel at Empty Bowls. I've watched the faces of Lander students glow when told many who attend Empty Bowls see the bowls as art. I've marveled at the enthusiasm and pride exhibited by students in the pottery camp as they showed off their works.

I plan to make a bowl. I hope to see you there, too. 

Sitarz can be reached at 864-943-2529 or via email at Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only do not represent the newspaper's opinion.