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Chairs for Charity to benefit the Tools for School program

The popular Lacombe fundraising campaign Chairs for Charity is back for another go, all set to benefit the Tools for School program.

It's the brainchild of Deanna Nowochin, who owns the Lacombe-based Nowco Home Hardware along with her husband Tyler.

"I think another Home Hardware somewhere in Canada had done something similar, but they did it more like a silent auction," she said.

The first Chairs for Charity, held in 2018, featured kid-sized chairs, and then Deanna switched it over to adult-sized chairs around year three.

As to how the campaign works, Deanna said she contacts local business owners to see if they’d like to participate by purchasing a chair (at the Nowochins’ cost - they don’t profit from this).

Staff at participating businesses then paint their chairs and commit to selling raffle tickets to benefit the charity.

The past few campaigns have seen between 35 and 40 chairs donated to the cause.

"The fact that we have that many people willing to give of their time to paint one of these chairs, and sell the raffle tickets, is so great," she said, adding they have also been partnering with Lacombe FCSS for a few years now.

"So far, for over the past five years, we are at $30,870 raised," she said.

Other causes supported during that time include the lunch programs at J.S. McCormick School and Terrace Ridge, Lacombe Minor Football, and the FCSS Fill-a-Fridge program.

"Each year, I kind of panic thinking that no one is going to show up with their chairs for the group photo, and then people start rolling in," she said with a laugh.

"Then it's like, oh, they're here! It's looking great! I love it, and I think it's so cool."

This past Monday, to help kick off the campaign, representatives from local businesses brought their chairs to the parking lot of the Lacombe Memorial Centre for a group shot, pick up some raffle tickets, and hear a few encouraging words from Deanna.

Another interesting thing is that each year, a theme seems to surface even though Deanna doesn't suggest one.

"Last year, there was some that followed a nautical theme, And this year, I've seen a lot of stained chairs," she said, adding that some folks decorate along the lines of what their businesses are about, or they may feature their brand colours.

When the campaign wraps up, Deanna collects all the tickets from the businesses.

She sorts them by the individual chairs, and then a winner is selected from each set of tickets.

Wendy Griffin, community projects coordinator with Lacombe & District FCSS, said that the support shown for Tools for School is fantastic.

"We are kicking off the campaign right now, and applications are open," she said.

"We are also always looking for sponsors and donations for the program - last year, we helped 187 kids get back-to-school supplies and we also provided them with some back-to-school snacks for the first month when they go back to school.

"It's a pretty valuable program," she said, adding there are donation drop-boxes set up at local drug stores and grocery stores, too.

"Chairs for Charity is an amazing program that Deanna and Tyler have put together, and we are always so grateful. It's fun, because the community really gets onboard, too. The support from this community is always amazing."

Griffin pointed out that the Tools for School program is also for families across the county, including the communities of Alix, Clive, Mirror, and Bentley.

Meanwhile, tickets to support Chairs for Charity (five dollars each) can be purchased at any of the participating businesses through July 19 with the draw set for July 26.

“A list of participating businesses, along with photos of their chairs, can be seen at or on the Facebook page - 'Chairs for Charity Lacombe.'






















Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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