No matter how much support one person wants to offer to the Langley Christmas Bureau, there’s only so many chairs they have room for in their home and/or office.
With that logic in mind, organizers of tonight’s Chairs For Charity annual fundraiser have diversified this year’s event even further.
But founder Carrie Thachuk she’ll keep true to her original goal: to maintain interest and participation while raising money and attention for a worthy cause.
Thachuk, owner of The Passionate Home, started this fundraiser five years ago after searching for a different ways that she and her company could give back to the community that has supported her for more than a decade.
“Because I’m all about the reclaiming, restyling, and redecorating, the Chairs for Charity came to be… It’s something people can easily be part of… and everyone can use at least one nice chair in their life.”
Year one, she and her team painted and refinished 13 chairs that were then auctioned off at a social event.
That inaugural event raise close to $1,300 for the bureau. Since then, other businesses, customers, and individuals in the community have taken to donating refurbished chairs for auction, excited to be part of what is described as a “unique” charity event.
The fundraiser has grown and morphed a little each year since, with last year’s Chairs + More for Charity at Frosting attracting 65 people and garnering $4,000 for the cause.
This year, Thachuk hopes to raise even more cash for the charity by adding a $10 admission fee (which includes the provision of wine and food), plus she’s added a few more and different types of items to the live and silent auction list.
For instance, this year there is a refurbished dresser up for grabs, plus there’s a pair of kids rocking chairs (originally found at a garage sale) that was reupholstered and donated by her in-house upholstery instructor Reid Armstrong.
“Ever since I opened I’ve looked for ways to give back to the community,” Thachuk said. “And I’m always trying to think of the next thing… but I wanted to stay with what is true to us.”
Naturally, the shop owner herself always revamps at least one chair for the auction.
Last year, she so liked the chair she repurposed, that she fell in love and threatened to bid on it herself.
However, when the price went over what she was willing to pay, she shrugged it off and subconsciously bid adieu to the chair.
The next day, it walked back into her shop. Neighbouring store owner Sonya Perkins, of Forever Yours Lingerie, had bought it for Thachuk as a way of saying thanks for hosting the event.
That chair now has a prominent position in Thachuk’s top-floor office, and she’s introduced some of the same upholstery fabric from that chair to other pieces in her haven.
This year, she took a level 2 upholstery class, and transformed a vintage, solid wood arm chair with pink velvet upholstery into a more contemporary piece – like nothing she’s done before.
“In the past, it’s always been white and French inspired. But this year, it’s black, herring bone, and masculine,” she said.
The metamorphisis took six hours in total, but Thachuk said she was so pleased with the results, that instead of selling the chair in her store she opted to donate it to the fundraiser, instead.
“It was an old chair that was pink and ugly. I stripped it down and redid it, and I still have a bruise to prove it,” she said, hoping it will fetch a few hundred at auction.
“This event allows anyone who is creative to give back in whatever they’re good at,” she said, delighted to see the selection and style of items expanding.
There are 11 silent and live auction items, including chairs and other pieces of furniture, as well as eight “loaded” gift baskets – each representative of the Langley City business that donated it.
“It’s win-win-win for the person who donates, the person who is bidding and winning the item, and then in the end the family that benefits directly from the money raised,” Thachuk said.
Tickets are $10 and still available online through the event’s Facebook page, at her McBurney Plaza store, or at the door tonight.
Chairs + More for Charity is being held this evening (Thursday, Nov. 5), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Passionate Home is located at 20528 Fraser Hwy.
“Last year, people wanted to stay and make more of an event out of it,” Thachuk said.
Realizing this, she decided to host it back in her own store, and add beverages, food, and live music for more of a festive feel.
The biggest bonus, Thachuk said, is that she now has a store large enough to hold the growing event, and she and her team just spent two days decorating the space for Christmas – now aptly themed for a charity event benefitting the Langley Christmas Bureau.
“it will be a real nice atmosphere for people to start off the holiday season,” she concluded.
Carrie Thachuk remade a solid wood pink chair into a masculine style chair that will be auctioned off Thursday at the fifth annual Chairs + More For Charity fundraiser.