Middlebury

Decorated Adirondack chairs to be auctioned off for charity on Feb. 1

January 26, 2009

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Local artists are accustomed to painting on canvas or paper, but a new fund-raiser for the Addison County Parent/Child Center has them embellishing a different medium-Adirondack chairs.

Eighteen artists including painter Woody Jackson '70 and woodcarver Gary Starr have donated their talents to the "Chairity for Children" live benefit auction that will take place Sunday, Feb. 1, at 4 p.m. in the McCullough Social Space at Middlebury College.

Jackson is well known for his Holstein cows that adorn Ben & Jerry's products, while Starr's bird ornaments have been displayed in the White House. Now they, along with other local artists, have put their marks on one-of-a-kind pieces of outdoor furniture to benefit their community.

All 18 Adirondack chairs will be auctioned off to support the Parent/Child Center, a non-profit organization based in Middlebury that provides preventative health care, parenting classes, counseling, support groups, advocacy, and other services to Addison County families.

Detail from a chair by Gary Starr

To see photos of the chairs or learn more about the auction, visit the Chairity for Children Web site.

While no one is certain how much money the 20 Adirondack chairs will raise, Sue Harding, the co-director of the Addison County Parent/Child Center, says, "Many, many families with small children in our region are struggling right now, so this is an ideal time to receive this type of support. We are very grateful to the many artists who have donated their talents and to Middlebury College for selecting the Parent/Child Center to be the beneficiary of this support, as we work together as a community to help young children grow up healthy, happy, and productive."

The auction will be preceded at 3 p.m. by a chair preview paired with a wine-and-cheese tasting to whet everyone's appetite for the bidding. The entire event is free and open to the public, and attendees are under no obligation to bid or buy anything. DigitalBridges 2.0 at Middlebury College originated the idea for "Chairity for Children" as part of its mission to spawn entrepreneurial thinking, creating, and innovating within today's connected world.

Local artists who created chairs for the event are: Alex Benepe '09, Mark Benton, Tal Birdsey '87, Karen Bunch, Jean Cherouny, Sam Dakota Miller '09, Kit Donnelly, Nancie Dunne, Kat Gammon, Kate Gridley, Chuck Herrmann, Patty LeBon-Herb, Mary Lower, Jill Madden '87, Brenda Myrick, and Karla Van Vliet. Also, the College's paint shop painted a chair in Middlebury colors, which was then signed by members of the men's and women's ice hockey teams.

Products for the wine-and-cheese tasting, all from the Middlebury area, will be provided by Shelburne Vineyard, Lincoln Peak Vineyard, Blue Ledge Farm, Dancing Cow Farm, Orb Weaver Farm, and Champlain Valley Creamery.

For further information about the "Chairity for Children" event, visit the Web site or contact MariAnn Osborne, program director for DigitalBridges 2.0, at 802.443.5435.