Online Auction Now Open!

Check back often, new items are added daily! The Online Auction will close on Sunday, March 26th at Midnight.

The 2023 event raised a record $40,875.77! 

Our Annual Alli Ortega Empty Bowls Fundraiser has helped hundreds of Scottsdale families and seniors receive food, school supplies, healthy lunches, necessary supplies, and assistance through City of Scottsdale Human Services

What is it?

The Alli Ortega Empty Bowls event is a fundraiser benefiting Scottsdale Community Partners (SCP) and City of Scottsdale Human Services in partnership with Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation, Scottsdale Unified School District, Paradise Valley Unified School District, and Scottsdale Community College 

The Online Auction:

The online auction ran from March 20th until March 26th and featured getaways, activities, and local goods donated by the community. 

The In-Person Event:

The 2023 event took place inside SkySong building 1 at the Scottsdale Family ArtsFest at SkySong on March 24th from 4pm – 6pm and March 25th from 10am – 6pm. The festival was the first-annual SUSD end-of-year showcase featuring student performances and artwork in a two-day festival atmosphere with food trucks, family activities, art galleries, and performances.

All proceeds benefitted SCP and City of Scottsdale Human Services shared programs for youth (Back to School and Healthy Packs), families (Vista del Camino Food Bank at the City of Scottsdale Vista del Camino Community Center, Adopt a Family, and Emergency Rent & Utility Assistance), and seniors (Adopt a Senior, Beat the Heat, Brown Bag) in the Scottsdale community who are experiencing a crisis.

In 2022, 249 families, 116 seniors, and 811 students in Scottsdale were served through these critical programs. 

In the months leading up to this year’s fundraiser, Tammy Hinds from Scottsdale Center for the Arts and Scottsdale Community Partners and Janet Blum will be facilitating bowl-making workshops at various Scottsdale Unified School District and Paradise Valley Unified School District schools, teaching the students and artists about the 30-year mission of the Alli Ortega Empty Bowls Fundraiser as part of the process of creating their bowls. The goal of the program is to get students educated about the benefits of philanthropy within their local communities. Typically these bowls are sold at a wonderful in-person event, but as a precaution for the safety of our community, Scottsdale Community Partners will instead hold this fundraiser online with the hopes of returning to its beloved original format in 2023.

Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors!

Our history with the Empty Bowls Program

How it all began

In the early 1990’s, Janet Blum, the visual arts teacher at Coronado High School, created a partnership between her after school art club and SCP Founder, Francis Young, Vista del Camino, and the Paiute Center as a way of involving the students in their community and finding ways for them to give back. The student’s passion for philanthropy inspired them to bring the international Empty Bowls fundraising program to the school as a way to support the Vista del Camino Food Bank. The students would make the ceramic bowls and partner with a local vendor to fill the bowls with food and sell them at the event. The first event raised over $750! Thirty years later, several of the original students and their families still support this event.

A true community partnership

Several local partners became more and more involved in this even­­­t over the years. From the Scottsdale Mayor’s office and city council, and SCC President, to representatives from The Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Administrators from the Scottsdale Unified School District and Scottsdale Community Partners. The creation of the bowls that were to be sold at the event also gained community-wide involvement. Workshops were now offered at several locations such as Artists in Residencies in the Paradise Valley School District, Scottsdale Senior Citizen Centers, Vista del Camino, Delta Kappa Gamma Women Educators meetings, and the program also grew to have extensive teacher and student participation within the Scottsdale School District.

Introducing, Alli Ortega

Alli, a passionate Art Teacher and mentor in Scottsdale, was a friend to the organization and an active community member who passionately believed in helping others. She lead workshops at the Paiute Center and worked closely with Janet and The Center for The Arts to teach students the importance of Empty Bowls and the incredible impact it makes on our community, becoming an integral part of the organization over the years. Alli, as a young woman, passed away several years ago and it seemed natural to honor her by renaming the event, Alli Ortega Empty Bowls.

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Raised between Sponsors and individual Donors during the 2022 online auction fundraiser!

“Thank you so very much from my family to your family and for your donation. We have come across hard times and because of your generosity and kind heart we are able to have a bountiful Thanksgiving. Thank you and God bless…”

Help us make a difference!

The more funds we raise, the more Scottsdale residents and students we can help!

Support our cause in a big way and become a sponsor partner.

We’re always looking for smiling faces to help facilitate our events.

City of Scottsdale Partnership

For over 40-years, we have been working closely with the City of Scottsdale to develop, support, and expand human services programs for Scottsdale youth, families, and seniors.

History of our Organization

From the passionate vision of one woman dedicated to helping her community, to becoming a significant fundraising arm for the City of Scottsdale programs, see how Scottsdale Community Partners evolved to be who we are today and how we continue to grow.