This year’s third annual Chair Affair in benefit of Furniture Bank was the most successful yet, raising close to $100,000 for the Etobicoke-based charity.
The Nov. 1 event, hosted at the Palais Royale by Global TV’s Susan Hay, drew more than 300 guests out to bid on one-of-a-kind refurbished and redesigned Furniture Bank chairs, with some celebrity designers fetching up to $1,500 for their creations.
“We are thrilled and honoured with the overwhelming support we received for the event from the design community, our sponsors and long-term supporters of Furniture Bank,” said Susanna Kislenko, Furniture Bank’s executive director in a statement. “Combined with the support and the commitment of our incredible volunteers, this has been the most successful Chair Affair yet.”
Using the theme of ‘Vibrant Toronto’ as their guide, this year’s 18 participating designers – a veritable who’s who list of Toronto’s top designers including CBC’s Steven and Chris, Heidi Richter and Paul Lafrance of HGTV’s Decked Out, Alex Chapman, Kelly Cray and Neil Jonsohn of UNION31, and Jessica Helps and Jeff Schnitter of Seven Haus Design – took on the challenge of interpreting Vibrant Toronto in refurbishing chairs they’d selected from Furniture Bank’s warehouse. Twenty of their uniquely crafted chairs were on display at the event, with 10 of the chairs up for bid in a live auction led by seasoned auctioneer Stephen Ranger from Waddingtons.
In the end, $93,000 was raised for Furniture Bank, an organization that has been helping families create homes since 1998 by collecting and distributing donated furniture and household items to women and children escaping violence, newcomers to Canada and the formerly homeless.
The funds raised at this year’s Chair Affair – Furniture Bank’s signature fundraising event – will go toward continuing furbishing homes and bringing a sense of empowerment and dignity to clients’ lives.
Last year, Furniture Bank served more than 5,000 people, including nearly 1,600 children.
– Cynthia Reason