KSS throws soup-er meal

Caitlyn Wilhelm, of Port Orchard was born 16 weeks early and thrust her parents into a world nothing could prepare them for.

“My girlfriend described (Caitlyn) as a ‘having a Barbie-doll body’ because she was so skinny,” said Tiffany Wilhelm, Caitlyn’s mother. Weighing just one pound, seven ounces, Caitlyn survived with no lasting effects — a rarity among rarities.

She, now 5 years old, and her family were guests of honor at the Klahowya Key Club’s “Bowls for Babies” fundraiser for the March of Dimes. For the past few years the Key Club has been the youth chairman for the Walk America event — an 8.8-mile walk scheduled today in downtown Silverdale. In year’s past the service group sold paper baby booties and displayed them at the school. They also sold bean bag animals.

This year, they cast their net wide involving art students and local businesses. Thursday night, guests bid on student-made ceramic bowls while supping on soup from Skipper’s, Sizzlers and Pat’s Cookie Jar.

From sun-shaped plates to one that resembled a bathtub the bowls on display caught the fancy of nearly everyone who browsed. Most of the bowls were microwave and dishwasher safe.

“It’s fabulous. This is museum-quality work,” said parent Deann Osgood, of Lake Symington. She also thought the combination of a silent auction and bowls was a clever one.

Students in grades 7-12 spent weeks working on the bowls.

“They were into it. The quality of the work is really up there,” said art teacher Gina Marchetti. Some students made more than one bowl and others who weren’t taking art classes made bowls.

“They really put their hearts into it,” Marchetti said. So much thought and care went to into the pieces that a few students at first did not want to donate them. But in the end they became part of the auction.

The Key Club students served soup, sliced Safeway-donated garlic bread and today will setup, cleanup and help out with the walk.

“It’s going pretty well, we’re happy with it,” said JulieAnne LeGare as she ladled soup.

All of the proceeds raised from ticket sales and the silent auction will be donated to March of Dimes, an organization that funds advances in researches causes and preventions of premature births.

Caitlyn was born early because the placenta ruptured due to high blood pressure. Tiffany took blood pressure medication while pregnant with her son and carried him to full term.

“We really like to out and inspire people,” Tiffany said. March of Dimes, she said, offers a tremendous support system to parents of premature babies.

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