5 Questions With… Kayla Mannikko of YWCA of Sweetwater County


In this week’s edition of “5 Questions With…” we interviewed Kayla Mannikko of YWCA of Sweetwater County and asked her about the YWCA’s upcoming event Bowls of Caring.

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What’s your role with YWCA of Sweetwater County.

Development Director.

The YWCA of Sweetwater County’s annual Bowls of Caring is coming up on March 22nd. For those who are unfamiliar with the event, what is it?

Bowls of Caring began as Bowls of Sharing in 2004 in memory of Kathy Crabtree, an accomplished potter and co-founder of Local Color. Kathy passed away from complications of Cushing’s syndrome. Her friends and family wanted to do something to honor her memory and so they created pottery bowls and held a soup dinner fundraiser. They donated the money raised to local charities and a regular fundraiser was born. The event continued to grow each year, eventually outgrowing its initial home in the SCM Parish Center. This expansion also led to the creation of “bowl parties” where individuals and groups could paint their own pre-made bowl to bring to the event.

In 2014 the Bowls of Sharing committee decided they could no longer dedicate the time and hours of work it took to produce such an event. YWCA stepped forward and asked to be able to continue this popular and successful fundraiser as an all YWCA event. Due to legal and tax reasons the name had to be changed and Bowls of Caring was created. The profits brought in from the event continue to benefit all of Sweetwater County through the services offered at YWCA. The services provided to the community include quality child care at the Early Care and Learning Center, Financial Empowerment, and The Center for Families and Children.

The event includes a soup dinner, children games with prizes and a cake walk, raffles, a silent auction, and just an all-around fun filled evening for the whole family to benefit YWCA.

The YWCA also hosts “bowl parties” wherein participants can paint bowls to be used for the event. For those that are interested are bookings for the parties still available?

We start our bowl parties in January and end them in early March; to give us time to prepare for the actual event night. March 3rd is our last open bowl party, so anyone can participate. The party will take place at White Mountain Mall from 10-3. If anyone is interested in booking a bowl party, they can call us at 352-6635 and we can see if we can squeeze them in, however we are pretty booked at this point doing multiple parties a day.

What’s your favorite part about Bowls of Caring?

Personally, my favorite part of Bowls of Caring is working so closely with the community. Between all of the different bowl parties and the event night, I am able to connect with hundreds of individuals throughout our community and that’s the fun part of my job!

Are there other ways for individuals to become involved with the YWCA of Sweetwater County?

Of course! YWCA has volunteer opportunities ranging from reading to our students, advocating for victims of all forms of family violence, to helping with building maintenance, as well as volunteering at our events throughout the year.

Thank you for the interview, Kayla! If you’d like to learn more about the YWCA of Sweetwater County and Bowls of Caring click here and here.