If you were a chair, what kind of chair would you be? For many, the question will evoke a memory of Barbara Walters’ trademark primetime interview special with the iconic actress Katharine Hepburn, who described herself as feeling strong, “like a tree” as she aged.
Walters, of course, pressed the matter, asking Hepburn “what kind of tree are you?”
A question millions of Americans can readily answer today. It was an oak, which Hepburn replied, ‘would never get Dutch Elm Disease.’
This year, Flint and Genesee county residents will have a chance to answer a similar query with the debut of Catholic Charities ‘Chair-ty’ event.
The effort, its largest fundraiser of the year, will help raise operating capital to support the Charities’ operations of the Center for Hope, one of the area’s largest service centers.
Catholic Charities provides more than 200,000 meals annually at its three soup kitchens, as well as clothing, shelter, showers, and employment support for area residents in need among its many other services offered at the Center for Hope.
Of course, the event will raise critical funds. But it will be so much more than just another fund raiser, according to its CEO Vicky Schultz, who promises the event will be a ‘fun-raiser’ too.
“Our ‘Chair-ity’ event gives participants the opportunity to redefine themselves in a very unique and memorable way,” says Schultz.
“The Center for Hope really is a community effort,” says Schultz. “Without the generosity of our donors there is no way we could offer the range of services we provide. Our goal is to make this fundraiser a community effort as well, because each chair submitted will literally be a work of art that raises money to help those in need.”
Will Blueberry Ambassador program founder Phil Shaltz don a chair in blueberry-clad velvet?
Would a Ferris wheel-inspired seat be too far a stretch for Phil Hagerman, the founder and chief executive officer of Skypoint Ventures, the organization that led the push to launch Flint’s Ferris Wheel?
Many would love to see what some of Flint’s fashion forward crowd – – like Say It Ain’t Krispy Founder Vantrell Irving or designers like Kalm Clothing’s Kiara Tyler and Fannie Lucille’s Kala Wilburn – – would do with a four-legged canvas.
Some are wondering whether a college and university entrant from Kettering University might design an autonomous self-rising chair.
These are all questions that will remain unanswered until the evening of the event, which takes place on Nov. 9 at the Genesys Banquet Center.
There’s still time to ponder which kind of chair you’d like to be, according to the event coordinator Kellie Pardi, who notes that all chairs must be turned in by October 9 to Catholic Charities’ Center for Hope.
You don’t have to be a designer to donate a chair, according to Pardi, who is inviting any and all interested to design and decorate a chair.
“We are calling on talented artists with big hearts who want to give back to the community by creating uniquely designed chairs to be auctioned off the night of the event,” says Pardi. “Transforming a plain chair into an amazing work of art not only will provide someone with a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture, it will also provide those most in need with help, hope and healing.”
The chairs will be judged by the Greater Flint Arts Council, which will determine the top 15 to be showcased at its live auction.
Every chair submission will be auctioned at the event, which includes a silent auction, according to Pardi.
So what kind of chair will you be Flint?
Editor’s Note: ELGA Credit Union is a major sponsor of Catholic Charities’ “Chair-ity” event. Other in-kind sponsors include Metro Community Development and TheHUB Flint.
If you would like to submit a chair to help raise money for the Catholic Charities Center of Hope event, click here to download the entry form and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Forms can also be mailed to 901 Chippewa Street, Flint 48053.
To purchase tickets or sponsor the Nov. 9th event, visit the event page.
Last year, Catholic Charities’ Center of Hope served 193,745 meals in from its three soup kitchens; provided 316,243 clothing, household and personal care items from its CommunityCloset and welcomed 11,467 overnight guests in its Warming Center.