It was something they’ll “chair-ish” forever, these local creative designers who recently gathered at a fundraiser to showcase their clever-and-sometimes-offbeat talents and raise funds for a local cause.
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Michigan Chapter, recently hosted its “Chair-ity” fundraiser at Leon & Lulu in Clawson for its annual community service project.
The ASID organization partnered with Turning Point, a domestic violence shelter in Mount Clemens, to raise funds for a long-term renovation project in which Michigan designers assist in creating functional living spaces for temporary occupants seeking refuge from violence or assault. It’s one of only four shelters in Mero Detroit and houses an average of 40 people on a daily basis.
To raise funds and awareness for both organizations, designers created what they refer to as “chair-acters,” which are more like original works of art resembling movie characters, whimsical creatures and humorous transformations out of what were once abandoned chairs.
The chair-ity auction featured refreshments, a silent auction and secret vote ballot, an awards presentation and the final culmination of a live auction.
Guests entered to win door prizes, while 10 percent of all retail sales at Leon & Lulu during the event were donated to Turning Point.
“It was an amazing event,” recalled Rebecca Luckhardt, ASID industry partner and professional development director of Sherwin-Williams. “It kind of went by in a whirlwind, but was seven months in the making.”
The group raised about $2,200, of which funds will be used to purchase everything from, say, flooring to dressers for the Turning Point construction project.
“I’m grateful to those who helped pull it all together,” Luckhardt said, “and amazed and impressed with the designers’ talents.”
Luckhardt, a Ferndale resident, estimates about 50 guests attended the event. “Every year, ASID does a community service project to help a nonprofit," she said. "This year’s was excellent.”
Attendees included everyone from Shelby Township’s Bonnie Barden (Michigan chapter president) of the Comprehensive Design Group to Debra Christy (board member at large) of Wake Up Your Space in Farmington Hills.
This year’s charity campaign began rather comically as the group found inspiration from one of its member’s creation of a “chair person,” which she had designed and auctioned for children’s arts programs in the Troy area. The group has since gathered more than 20 “chair-acters” including a Harry Potter chair, fantastical fairy and imposing dragon.