Chair-ity Plus raises money for Hospice

More than 100 people came to the Veterans Hall in Burney Saturday evening October 13 for the 8th Annual Chair-ity Plus auction to raise funds for Mayers Memorial Intermountain Hospice.

Scout Steven Welch displaying chair painted by Burney Elementary Students

Evalee Nelson began the event in 2011.

“It was just a crazy idea,” she said, “but a lot of people liked it. Many of my artist friends have pitched in and done some wonderful things.”

The original idea was for talented artists to paint old chairs that were then auctioned off with the proceeds going to benefit the Hospice program. In 2014, the auction was expanded to include other items that might be enjoyed while sitting in a chair. For instance, a person might enjoy wearing jewelry while sitting in a chair. Or a person can sit in a chair and enjoy a painting or other work of art. Other items auctioned have included lamps, tables, yard art, pillows, etc.

Ms. Nelson has continued to organize the event every year since its inception. This year the event included a bidding auction, a silent auction, a raffle, and the “infinity chair” auction.

The doors opened at 6 p.m. for people to view the items. Attendees paid $10 cover charge to attend and enjoyed scrumptious appetizers and desserts. The auction began at 7 p.m. Burney High S-Club assisted during the meal and the auction.

Silent auction items

Keith Earnest, Mayers Memorial Chief Clinical Officer, acted as Emcee. Craig Harrington was the live actioneer. Scout Leader George Chapman and Scout Stephen Welch carried each item around the room for bidders to view.

The items included a wide variety of restored and decorated vintage furniture, art work, clothing, and awards such as golf for four plus carts, and a trip to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

Annie Johnson and her husband Don helped to liven up the bidding and increase the conviviality as they bid against each other for a chair hanging shelf created by the Community Day Class.

Afterwards Annie described a beautiful taupe vest and top she had donated for the auction.

Annie describing a taupe vest and top

After 20 items were auctioned off, there was a break followed by announcement of the raffle winners and then the winners of the silent auction.

Scoutmaster George Chapman and S-Club announcing raffle winners

The climax of the auction came as Fred Gideon and his wife Nancy bid $375 for an oak desk donated by Jim Friday. The Gideons plan to give the desk to their granddaughter who lives in Redding.

Fred Gideon with his new desk donated by Jim Friday

After all thirty items has been auctioned, the event closed with the “infinity chair auction.” This gives those who wish to donate a chance to buy the chair and then donate it back to be auctioned again until someone finally keeps the chair. Mysteriously, the chair continues to be returned to be auctioned off again at subsequent Chair-ity Affairs.

The Infinity Chair Auction

At the end of the event, Earnest asked Evalee Nelson to come forward and thanked her for her eight years of service organizing Chair-ity Plus. Each year the event has raised thousands of dollars to support the hospice program.

Keith Earnest thanks Evalee Nelson for years of service

Mayers Memorial Intermountain Hospice provides compassionate care for people and their families who are facing life-limiting illnesses. Medical professionals, social workers, local pastors, and other volunteers work together to serve patients and their families.  As well as caring for patients in their homes, they also provide in-patient care in cases when pain and symptom control cannot be managed at home.  In addition, they provide respite for the family or primary caregiver and bereavement support for family and loved ones for 13 months after the death of the patient.

Funds raised from the Chair-ity auction and other community fundraisers such as the NorCal Gypsies Car Show and the annual Hospice dinner pay for patients’ medication, oxygen, staff education, bed rentals, and other needs so that patients don’t have any out-of-pocket expenses.

Hospice Manager Mary Ranquist said, “This is one of the funnest events of the year. We appreciate the hard work of Evalee and others who help put on the event as well as all of our attendees.”

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