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'Winter Warmth’ bowl benefit hits Radio Social


A charity event to be hosted at Radio Social this weekend is an annual draw for art collectors, pottery enthusiasts, and those who just want to add a cool new cereal bowl to their cupboards.

“Winter Warmth” has been presented for more than 15 years by Cat Clay, an art studio and gallery located in The Hungerford Building.

People who attend donate $25, and in return they get to choose one from hundreds of handmade bowls donated by artists, and graze on snacks provided by Radio Social’s kitchen.

“Then we donate 100 percent of the proceeds to a charity,” said artist and Cat Clay owner Sabra Wood.

In the past, the event has benefitted different groups, including emergency shelter Sanctuary House and Healthy Sisters Soup & Bean Works, a since-shuttered operation that helped women struggling with chronic unemployment, poverty, or displacement.

This year, the beneficiary is Sample Soap, Wood's own organization that collects and distributes sample-sized toiletries to shelters and other human service agencies in town. Wood says the organization is there for Rochester’s neediest people.

“You can't buy toiletries with any form of assistance,” Wood told CITY. “Whether you're burned out of your house, or you're a runaway kid, or you're homeless, or you're a survivor of sexual violence, you're on your own when it comes to toiletries.”

Wood says the event, which draws hundreds of people, has raised as much as $4,000 in past years.

More than 260 bowls will be on display, all handmade creations donated by dozens of artists, including Richard Aerni, Kelly B. Justus, Katie Gookin, and Cory O’Rourke.

Some of the bowls are more functional than others, but all are works of art.

“The majority of them retail for more than the $25 donation,” she said. “Some of them much more than that.”

The benefit takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. Unclaimed bowls will be available for purchase at a last-chance opportunity on Friday, Feb. 17, at Cat Clay Studios at The Hungerford on East Main Street. Learn more at

Rebecca Rafferty is CITY's life editor. She can be reached at [email protected].