Frosty weather isn’t always the most comforting, but there’s a chance to get out of the chill and warm up with the Athens Area Mediation Service.
The mediation service will host the 17th Annual Souper Bowl at the Athens Community Center at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are on sale now and will be sold at the door for $25, and $5 for children.
Everyone with a ticket will receive a handmade bowl that volunteers glazed themselves and soup options from 17 different local restaurants. The event will feature an auction, a raffle and live music.
“It’s our big fundraiser of the year, and the proceeds go toward conflict resolution training,” Rachel Szostek, the director of the Athens Area Mediation Service, said. “It’s a big community tradition and a fun way to get food.”
Bowls were provided by multiple sources, including the Ohio University Art Department and the Nelsonville Emporium. The service hosted glazing parties to decorate the bowls individually.
“Volunteers make them, and every one is unique and handmade,” Szostek said.
Szostek said the Nelsonville Emporium has been an awesome partner for bowl making and has been incredibly helpful, along with the OU art department.
“We offered studio space, a place for people to work and store the bowls for the entire process,” Cayla Liebold, a manager at Nelsonville Emporium, said. “We’re firing them all in the kiln.”
Those attending the Souper Bowl will be able to try as many soups as they’d like. Local bakeries, such as Fluff Bakery and the Athens Bread Company, donated bread and desserts.
The Athens Area Mediation Service is a local community mediation nonprofit that trains volunteers and provides opportunities to resolve conflicts.
“Mediation is way for those in a conflict to get together with someone outside of the conflict and lead them through the conversation and work through it,” Szostek said. “Mediation gives everyone a chance to be heard.”
The service works with OU faculty and students, whether it’s through training or mediating conflicts in departments.
“(The Souper Bowl is) a reminder that we’re here and that they can use us, and for more people to learn other ways to resolve conflict,” Szostek said. “(Mediation is) essential for keeping peace, and relationships are important.”
That tradition in Athens is amazing to see, Szostek said.
“The bowls are cool, and people have collections of the bowls from the event from different years,” Szostek said.