Chair-ity event: Proceeds from annual chair auction to benefit second Honor Flight
WORTHINGTON -- On a whim, Denise Erwin painted up a couple of Adirondack-style chairs to decorate the Daily Globe tent. The year was 2003, and Erwin, the Daily Globe circulation manager, admits she went a bit overboard in creating a Hawaiian them...
WORTHINGTON -- On a whim, Denise Erwin painted up a couple of Adirondack-style chairs to decorate the Daily Globe tent. The year was 2003, and Erwin, the Daily Globe circulation manager, admits she went a bit overboard in creating a Hawaiian theme. But her artistic inspiration resulted in a charitable event that has, to date, raised more than $18,000 for local causes.
Those first two chairs were bid upon in a silent auction and ultimately presented to Regatta cofounders Jeff Hegwer and Bill Keitel.
"It was just so popular that we decided to expand it," Erwin recalled about the event's origins.
Ten businesses now sponsor chairs that are uniquely decorated by area artisans and auctioned off to benefit a charity each year.
"This year, the second Southwest Minnesota Honor Flight will be the charity," said Erwin, referring to the effort that sends local veterans to see the World War II memorial and other sights in Washington, D.C.
"Except for a couple of years, it seems like there's always some big push going on, something local that money is being raised for," she added, including such causes as the hospice cottage, local veterans memorial, YMCA, United Way, Sailboard Beach improvements and the Lake Okabena Improvement Association. "Obviously, the charity has a big effect on how much the chairs go for, too."
The auction will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Sailboard Beach stage. Local auctioneer Jack Sliver will solicit the bids.
Prior to the auction, the chairs will be displayed at the Daily Globe tent. Earlier in the week they can be viewed at the sponsoring businesses.
In addition to the live auction, there is also a People's Choice Award. Festival-goers can vote for their favorite chairs by depositing coins and bills in the containers that are affixed to each entry.
"Whoever has the most money wins a trophy," said Erwin about the People's Choice Award. "You can vote as many times as you want -- pennies, dollars, whatever."
Erwin is always amazed by the artistic and creative talents that go into creating the chairs.
"It's fun, but it's also getting intimidating," said Erwin, who continues to design a chair each year. "The artists just keep getting better and better. It's always interesting to see what we get. We don't know what to expect."
Anyone interested in sponsoring a chair for future years should contact Erwin at the Daily Globe, 376-9711.