Natalie Kane ’14
On the evening of April 17, 2012, MLHS was crowded with community residents of all ages celebrating the 11th annual Empty Bowls event. First held in 2001, Empty Bowls has become a combined service project for multiple grades as well as a day when students of all ages and their families can be together. Each year, the junior class organizes the $5 Soup and Salad Dinner in the cafeteria to benefit the Morristown Soup Kitchen. Since 2005, the sophomore class has planned a family fun night in the gyms to raise money for a national charity. This year, they chose the Lung Cancer Research Fund at Columbia University in memory of Cheryl Wilson Grace, MLHS Class of 1989, as the theme for their MLHS Sophomore Class Laker Pride Fair.
This year the Class of 2013 raised $2,689 at their Soup and Salad Dinner. A total of $3,500 was raised for the Lung Cancer Research Fund, in addition to a Pasta Sale by the MLHS Key Club. The freshmen class also took part in the evening’s giving spirit with their Pizza for the Principal fundraiser, which raised $4,300 to benefit the Cera Family. Mrs. McElduff, who coordinated the event, expressed her thanks most of all for “the strong example we have set for our youngsters, who have learned what being a ‘Laker’ is all about.”
That unique element of our community was especially evident in the theme of this year’s event: Laker Pride. Many town residents have long associated the slogan with football championships and an abundance of orange- and blue-clad fans, but at Empty Bowls, Lakers proved that they stand for something much greater. As Mrs. McElduff explained, “Watching our students – from kindergarten through high school senior – play games, enjoy laughs and stand in united cause to make a difference, we are reminded why Mountain Lakes is so special.” Empty Bowls is truly unique because every part of the community comes together for one evening to celebrate and to help others less fortunate. As Mrs. McElduff concluded, “Our students learned the value of joining hands to make a difference; their pride was palpable as they congratulated each other on a job well done.”