Bellingham High senior's Empty Bowls fundraiser nets $1,200 for food bank


Donnalee Acosta checks out the selection of bowls at the Empty Bowls fundraiser at Bellingham High School.


Remy Acosta's culminating school project to call attention to hunger raised nearly $1,200 for the Bellingham Food Bank and Maple Alley.

Remy worked with his Bellingham High School ceramics teacher Ann Marie DeCollibus on his "Empty Bowls" fundraiser that drew a crowd of about 100 people to the Bellingham High School Commons on April 11.

Admission was $10 for a handcrafted bowl and included soup from Bellwether chef Jordan Lawson, Avenue Bread and performances by student musicians. The silent auction included art and jewelry.


Laina Jansma of Whatcom Voice of the Animals sent me this about the value of microchipping your pet:

"On Wednesday, March 13, at 9:10 a.m. an office worker at the First Congregational Church on Cornwall Avenue called and said someone had left a long-haired orange cat in a large green kennel outside their front door with part of a small bag of food on top of the kennel. I went over and got it. The cat was very friendly and clean but also needed to use a litter box, badly.

"I made an appointment for the cat the following Monday at Maplewood Animal Hospital to check for a microchip (he had previously been neutered). Lo and behold, to my surprise, there was a microchip from the Avid Company and when I called them soon after, I was told it was in the NOAH Animal Shelter's (Stanwood) name. Obviously the adoptee had never done the paperwork to change it over into their name.

"I called NOAH only to find out he had been adopted out the summer of 2010 at 11 months of age to a family from Ferndale whose last name is Vincent. The person at NOAH said they would try to make contact with them.

"Needless to say, Mrs. Vincent was quite shocked to hear the cat, which had vanished a short while after they had adopted him, was still alive. They thought at the time he had probably been eaten by a wild animal (they had just purchased their home and neighbors told them about raccoons and the occasional coyote).

"The Vincent family has since been reunited with their handsome cat thanks to the microchip implanted by NOAH almost three years ago. They have promised to keep their wandering boy inside and safe."


The Mount Baker chapter of the American Red Cross raised more than $11,000 for its annual "Fill the ERV" campaign to supply the chapter's Emergency Response Vehicle, according to a press release.

The vehicles are used at floods, fires and other disasters to bring food, clothing, cots, blankets and medical supplies to those in need. It costs the Mount Baker chapter more than $27,000 to fill the vehicle annually.

Donations of every size help: $50 buys 10 blankets for use at a disaster scene, $100 buys three cots for an emergency Red Cross shelter, $250 buys 1,000 bottles of water to hydrate disaster victims and first responders, $500 buys 20 home cleanup kits for use after a fire or flood, and $1,000 buys a hot meal for 200 people.

Donations continue to be accepted online at Or, you can mail a check to the American Red Cross Mount Baker Chapter, 2111 King St., Bellingham, WA 98225 or call 360-733-3290.


Dakota Littlefield, a freshman at Squalicum High School in Bellingham; Brianna Rachinski, a junior at Lynden High School; and McKenna Lautenbach, a junior at Bellingham High School, served as pages for the Washington state Senate at the Capitol in Olympia, according to press releases.

They were among the 26 students who served as Senate pages for the 12th week of the 2013 legislative session. Pages learn about parliamentary procedure and the legislative process and deliver documents, messages and mail.

"It was a lot of fun to explore the campus and learn about what really goes on here this week," Dakota said. "Page school taught us what it takes to propose a bill and then get it passed. I never knew the process was so involved."

Dakota plays on her school's fast pitch softball team as well as being a member of the Washington State High-Power Rifle Team. She is the daughter of Joanna Littlefield of Bellingham.

"There were so many things I learned this week," Brianna said. "I feel very fortunate; not everyone is able to have this experience. Learning how to write a bill in page school was one of my favorite activities."

She plays tennis and runs on her school's track team. She is the daughter of Ronnett and Jeff Rachinski of Ferndale.

42nd District Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, sponsored Dakota and Brianna for the week and Secretary of the Senate Hunter Goodman sponsored McKenna.

"It was very interesting to see how the state is run," McKenna said. "I have learned so many new things this week. I really like being in the know when it comes to how the legislative process works."

McKenna enjoys swimming and is the daughter of Kris and Troy Lautenbach of Bellingham.

Out and About is published on Mondays in The Bellingham Herald. Reach Executive Editor Julie Shirley at 360-715-2261 or

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