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CHAIR-ity Ball adds artsy twist to sitting, fundraising
by Cortney Maddock
Feb 21, 2008 | 1905 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photos - The "Rock On An Abstract World," the Reno High School chair and the "Doggone Chair" are among the art pieces donated for the Crisis Call Center's CHAIR-ity Ball on Saturday.
Courtesy photos - The "Rock On An Abstract World," the Reno High School chair and the "Doggone Chair" are among the art pieces donated for the Crisis Call Center's CHAIR-ity Ball on Saturday.
Come take a load off but watch where you sit. The first ever CHAIR-ity Ball to benefit the Crisis Call Center will showcase about 40 eclectically designed chairs that will be up for auction Saturday at the Siena Hotel Spa Casino.

Allison Edwards, director of fund development and marketing for the Crisis Call Center, said the idea for the CHAIR-ity Ball came from the need for a fun and different event.

“To find an event that people get excited about is important,” Edwards said.

The CHAIR-ity Ball isn’t just an evening of auctioning of chairs and chair related art, the $40 ticket price includes dinner and dancing to music by local band The Hitmen. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Edwards at 784-8085 but they will also be selling tickets at the door Saturday night. The doors at the Siena open at 6 p.m. and the event goes until 11 p.m.

When word began to spread about the CHAIR-ity Ball, local artists sprang up to help donate decorated chairs.

“It’s amazing how creative everyone is getting,” Edwards said with excitement.

The Crisis Call Center’s offices have been turned into an art exhibit of vibrant chairs. Some chairs make statements. Some chairs are functional and some chairs were donated by event sponsors.

Artist Pam Brekad donated two chairs and a bench for the CHAIR-ity Ball. Brekad painted the chairs in a way that makes the warm orange and yellow “Doggone Chair” look inviting to whatever child might one day sit on it in a corner.

Brekad’s amazing paint strokes illuminate the “Rock On An Abstract World” chair.

“I found this great rocking chair at a local thrift store,” Brekad told the Crisis Call Center. “I used acrylic paints, glazes and some glow-in-the dark paint. Since I am an abstract painter, I tried to use my same style on the chair.”

While Brekad’s amazing chairs will hopefully bring in many bidders during the silent and live auctions Saturday night, there are other chairs that are just as flashy.

Local artist Ron Rash, showcased frequently in downtown Reno store La Bussola, painted a small elementary school chair with a punk-art flare.

As for indulgent, radio station 100.9 KRZQ has donated a chair that any music fan would fight for. The station donated a chair signed by bands that have toured through northern Nevada in the past few months. Signatures on the chair include the Foo Fighters, Shiny Toy Guns and Finch, to name a few.

Chairs range in style and useablity but are all a treat for guests at the event. For a preview of the chair to be auctioned, visit

In addition to decorated chairs, the CHAIR-ity Ball will auction themed chairs that will have products and goodies that come along with their functional use. Event sponsor Wal-Mart donated two larger padded rocking chairs as well as pink and blue baby supplies for infants, such as diapers and one-piece jumpers.

Edwards said the CHAIR-ity Ball comes at a time when the Crisis Call Center is unsure of its funding future. The non-profit organization will no doubt be affected by the statewide budget cuts.

“We don’t really know yet but we’re sure it will be a substantial cut,” Edwards said of the possible funding short fall.

The Crisis Call Center may fly under the radar for many northern Nevadans but the service has been in demand and has expanded its services to include 2-1-1, which is a statewide information hotline that took in more than 50,000 calls in its first year. The hotline gives curious callers information on just about any question they have.

“It doesn’t always have to crisis related,” Edwards explained. “2-1-1 gets people in contact with the right person.”

Edwards added that during the Fernely floods, 2-1-1 was busy putting people in contact with places that could help the victims with donations of time or money.

The Crisis Call Center plays a vital role in the community through education, advocacy and outreach in suicide and abuse prevention. The center takes more than 23,000 calls a year on it’s 24-hour crisis call line, which can be reached at 784-8090 or toll free at 800-992-5757.

For more information on the Crisis Call Center, how to purchase tickets or donate online, visit

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