Painted bowls auctioned for a good cause in Petaluma

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Even the loveliest bowl is a sad sight when it’s set empty before someone who’s hungry.

A celebration of community and practical art Friday in Petaluma raised dollars to help ensure the plates and bowls before people who struggle in southern Sonoma County are full of nourishing food.

The hosting Petaluma Peoples Services Center calls the anticipated, highly sociable annual event 1,000 Petaluma Bowls. For weeks in advance, individuals and organizations throughout greater Petaluma painted the bowls that were displayed in a ballroom at historic Hotel Petaluma.

Numbering 800, they were available for sale by silent bidding. Guests who’d decorated a bowl and wished to take it home could do so for the $20 admission fee, and $20 more.

The money raised will support the Petaluma human services center’s Meals on Wheels and Petaluma Bounty nutrition programs.

Guests of 1,000 Petaluma Bowls strolled the ballroom, examined the bowls and considered which they most wanted to take home.

Of course, there was a meal. Tracy Gentry, who runs the Petaluma People Services Center kitchen, served up root vegetables and French onion soups complemented by breads from Full Circle Bakery of Penngrove, Barber Cellars wines and Lagunitas beers.

And everyone was bowled over by the dessert: pumpkin cheesecake by J.M. Rosen.

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