Hudson -- The traditional cups, saucers and other ceramics usually crafted by high school art students have been set aside by one group of classmates for the time being.
Taking their place are "Bowls of Hope," which are designed to be cherished objects heralding a future free of cancer and filled with promise.
Students of Hudson High School art teacher Laura Toth have joined with other local school districts to help support a service project of the Summa Youth Leadership, Education and Development (Y-LEAD) Board. The students have crafted ceramic bowls which will be selected by cancer patients to "symbolize the journey of survivorship for cancer patients," according to the district.
The bowls will be used Dec. 5 at Summa Heath Systems' Inaugural Bowls of Hope Survivorship event which commemorates the journey of cancer patients and those who are indirectly affected by cancer.
"Each cancer patient selects a keepsake bowl that speaks to them and reminds them that Summa and their community nourishes and supports them," according to the district.
"I personally have had family members with cancer so it is very close to my heart," Toth said of the project. "Many of our students have been touched by cancer in some way, so if we can give back by making some bowls to give to cancer survivors and hopefully put a smile on their faces, I'm all for it."
Nineteen members of Toth's class participated in the project.
"I personally know some who had lung cancer and needed a transplant which is really scary and I felt like I couldn't really help," said Alexis Proskopec, a 16-year-old junior. "So by participating in this contribution towards cancer [support], I feel like I'm helping other families get through a tough time."
Connor Kasarda, also a junior, feels the program is letting him give something to those in need.
"Someone I know has many medical issues and I see how hard it is on the family, so by participating in the cancer survivorship program I feel like I'm giving to those who are going through struggles," Connor, 16, said.
The Leadership, Education and Development Board is made up of 11 teenage volunteers, according to Ashley Green, coordinator of volunteer services at Summa Health System. The focus of the board is to plan, implement and participate in a service project each year.
The board partnered with Cooper Cancer Center this year, according to Green.
At the Dec. 5 event, a meal will be served which will include soup in the bowls made by students,
"Our vision is to have the soup served in ceramic bowls that are donated and made by our community," Green said "Each participant will choose a bowl that speaks to them. They will also get to keep the bowl as a memento for participating in this event."
The goal of the service project is to collect a minimum of 300 bowls and raise funds for the Survivorship event, Green said.