Artists hope to give back through mugs project

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Staff | July 21, 2014

A former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater art instructor is hoping handcrafted mugs will help both raise awareness of a rare medical condition and give back to the community.

Jimmy Eddings, who recently taught ceramics at UW-Whitewater, and his wife, Kenda Bulgrin, have created Everett's Mugs, an project that has ceramics artists donate cups and mugs for families at the Ronald McDonald House.

The couple spent some time there after their 3-year-old son, Everett, had open heart surgery three days after his first birthday. Everett was also diagnosed with autism and a rare chromosome deletion.

They said the support they got while they stayed at the Ronald McDonald House made their trying times a little easier.

Since then Eddings and his wife, who now live in Algoma, have spoken at schools and other organizations throughout the state about autism, congenital heart disease and chromosome deletion.

Both artists, they thought the mugs would be a way to connect with the artistic community and help other parents facing similar difficult situations.

The handmade, microwave and dishwasher-safe cups and mugs are decorated by children and community members and will be part of care packages given to parents staying at Ronald McDonald houses.  Eddings is hoping to develop enough of an inventory to eventually sell the mugs to raise funds for the organization.

Eddings and his wife are working to raise $6,000 by the end of July to cover the cost of materials such as glazes and brushes, and travel costs for the couple going to schools and organizations to explain the project.

For more information, visit

To view photos of upcoming events and finished mugs, see

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