Chair Affair auction helps furnish hope

The NW Furniture Bank’s annual fundraiser is Friday, and proceeds go to providing furniture to those in need

Staff writerApril 23, 2014 

This one-of-a-kind glass chair created by Tacoma’s Museum of Glass will be up for auction at the Chair Affair on April 25.

NORTHWEST FURNITURE BANK/COURTESY PHOTO

The NW Furniture Bank is having its fifth annual Chair Affair on Friday.

The event brings much-needed revenue to the nonprofit organization that furnishes more than apartments, executive director Bill Lemke said.

The mission statement of the NW Furniture Bank, which is situated in Tacoma, is to “restore hope, dignity, and stability in our community by recycling donated furniture to people in need.”

The Gig Harbor area has been supportive of the NW Furniture Bank, Lemke said. Many of the bank’s volunteers are Gig Harbor residents. Donations come from across the bridge each week, too.

“We get a lot of donations from Gig Harbor,” Lemke said. The furniture bank sends a donation truck once a week to the area, and it always comes back with furniture.

The Chair Affair aids the furniture bank by having a live and a silent auction for chairs handcrafted by local artists. Beer and wine will be served along with food from caterers that include Dirty Oscar’s Annex, Pacific Grill and Snuffin’s Catering.

The stars of the event are the distinctive chairs.

“There’s about 40 or 50 different local artists that take chairs, mirrors, trunks, table and turn them into pieces of art,” Lemke said. “The local artists are really important to us.”

The Museum of Glass will create a one-of-a-kind glass chair for the auction.

There are also “seats around town” packages that include packages for sports tickets and hotel stays.

Tickets are available at chairaffair.org. The gala runs from 6 to 9 p.m. April 25 at the NW Furniture Bank warehouse, 117 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma.

The warehouse will be cleared out and transformed into an event space, Lemke said.

“It’s casual, it’s short, it’s not stuffy, it’s really becoming a community event where a bunch of friends get together and have a good time,” he said.

It’s also a big financial gain for the nonprofit, raising $325,000 in the past four years. The NW Furniture Bank puts those donations to use by helping those in need of furniture. Over the years, more than 11,000 people have received furniture.

Lemke says he’s often explaining “why furniture” as a nonprofit organization. Lemke spent years selling furniture, but didn’t realize its importance until he started the furniture bank.

A notebook is kept at the furniture bank for those receiving furniture to sign. Lemke paraphrased an entry that made his day:

“You provided a place for my family to have dinner together and you provided security.”

For more information, go to nwfurniturebank.org or check them out on Facebook.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155 karen.miller@gateline.com Twitter: @gateway_karen

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