Chair auction to benefit Red CrossWORTHINGTON — More than $22,000 has been raised and donated to local charities since 2004, all because people love to have a unique place to sit.
WORTHINGTON — More than $22,000 has been raised and donated to local charities since 2004, all because people love to have a unique place to sit.
Each year during the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival, 5 p.m. Saturday means auction time. Ten Adirondack chairs are taken from their place in front of the Daily Globe hospitality tent and brought up onstage to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Each chair is painted and decorated by a local artist and sponsored by a local business.
Before the auction, the chairs are placed with their own individual collection buckets. People can vote with pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar bills on their favorite chair, which earns the artist and sponsoring business the coveted People’s Choice award.
“All of the artists are so good, so picking a favorite can be tough,” said Denise Erwin, Daily Globe circulation manager. “We always have a nice variety of chairs, and we never know what we’re going to get.”
Erwin, who inadvertently started the charitable event in 2003 when she created two Hawaiian-themed chairs that were bid upon at a silent auction, said she has to work hard each year to come up with a new idea for a chair.
“It’s always on my mind, and I think about it all year long,” Erwin said.
Popular themes are Americana, beach motifs and summer events.
“The auction has gotten really popular over the years,” Erwin stated.
In the past several years, $3,000 was raised for Hospice Cottage, more than $3,000 was raised for the YMCA and $5,000 came in for United Way of Nobles County in 2008. Last year, the auction brought in $4,000 for Honor Flight Southwest Minnesota.
This year, all of the money raised will go toward the American Red Cross SW Minnesota Chapter.
“It’s a really good cause, and they really need the funding,” Erwin said. “All the money goes to the local chapter.”
The auction will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday with auctioneer Jack Sliver soliciting bids.
“Jack is awesome — he does such a fantastic job with it,” Erwin said.
Sliver gets the crowd engaged, keeping things lively and moving the bids along smartly amidst plenty of laughter and joking. With 10 chairs involved, the auction usually lasts about a half hour. This year’s sponsors are Gary’s Painting and Hardwood Lumber, Avera Worthington Specialty Clinics, Erwin’s Painting, Lamperts, Perkins, Turbes Drealan Kvilhaug Hoefker & Co., Lil Wizards, Java Nau, New Dawn Inc. and the Fulda Credit Union.
The chairs will be on display at the sponsoring businesses beginning Tuesday.