DERRY — Delicious soups and a chance to donate to Community Caregivers of Greater Derry drew a large crowd to the group’s ninth annual Potter’s Bowl on Friday night.
The large turnout for the event at Promises to Keep on Route 28 helped Community Caregivers surpass its fundraising goal of $10,000, said Julie Levesque, office manager.
“This is awesome — nine years,” Levesque said at the close of the fundraiser. “We are bursting at the seams; we can’t get any bigger.”
Through ticket sales, a raffle and silent auction, donations exceeded $11,000, Levesque said.
For a $35 ticket, patrons were able to select a pottery bowl handcrafted by a New Hampshire artist, said Cindee Tanuma, executive director. Only 135 tickets were available, and the event sold out quickly.
More than a dozen different soups were donated from local restaurants for the Potter’s Bowl, Tanuma said. Breads and desserts were also served.
A 50/50 raffle was featured again as an added fundraiser, along with a silent auction.
Donated items for the auction included gift certificates, oil paintings, acrylic paintings, matted photography, watercolors and handcrafted jewelry from New Hampshire artists. The value of all donated art totaled more than $5,000.
As she admired her handcrafted pottery bowl, Derry resident Michelle Noel said she went to the fundraiser for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
“I thought it was a great format, a lot of fun and a perfect way to raise a lot of money,” she said.
She sat next to Debra Becker, who donated a basket for the event.
Louise Duys said she has been attending the event for several years but didn’t go last year; she said she was glad she came back this year.
“It’s a great event because it’s a good way to be with people and the soups are great,” Duys said. “It’s reasonable to give a nice donation, and they are a great organization.”
Tanuma took time to say goodbye to guests as she moved around the large room. She said she sees the same group of dedicated donors turn out for the Potter’s Bowl year after year.
“It’s nice to see them enjoying themselves out on the town,” Tanuma said. “And then the same volunteers help every year, and they don’t obviously get to see each other either.”
Founded in 1983, Community Caregivers helps the elderly, disabled, and chronically and temporarily ill stay in their own homes and communities as long as possible.
Volunteers assist with such tasks as medical transports, light chores, grocery shopping, friendly visiting, yard work and home upkeep.
For more information, visit Community Caregivers at www.comcaregivers.org.