Take a Seat

Donated wooden chairs, some paint and the dedication of children are producing Chairs of Hope in the fight against cancer.  

An art-based community outreach project at Vandora Springs Elementary School in Garner, the project involves fifth-grade students who spend their afterschool hours painting the chairs in preparation for a silent auction.

Proceeds of the annual auction benefit Relay for Life of Garner and the American Cancer Society.

This year’s Chairs of Hope auction will be held on Thursday, April 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the school, located at 1300 Vandora Springs Road in Garner.

Art teacher Jim Hunt began the Chairs of Hope project 13 years ago while teaching at Lincoln Heights Magnet Elementary in Fuquay-Varina; it was an elective class, with proceeds going to various charities.

In the 2006-07 school year, Hunt moved to Vandora Springs Elementary, and noting the Garner community’s commitment to Relay for Life, made the Chairs of Hope connection.

Garner hosts one of the state’s largest Relay for Life events.

“The mission of the Chairs of Hope project is two-fold,” Hunt said. “One, it allows both our Art Club students and staff members to work together creativity, and two, it allows each artist to understand that they are helping someone in need through their gifts.”

Each year, more than 30 hand-painted chairs — there’s a different artistic theme each year — find new homes via the auction. To date, Chairs of Hope has raised more than $16,000 for the cause.

This year’s design inspiration comes from the Oaxacan (Mexico) wood carvings, full of vivid colors and patterns.

For more information, visit chairsofhope.wordpress.com.

To donate funds to help purchase painting materials, or to donate wooden chairs for the next auction, call Hunt at the school, at (919) 662-2486 or email jhunt@wcpss.net

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