The Lacombe business community’s giving spirit is now on display as part of NOWCO Home Hardware’s second annual Chairs for Charity.
From July 19-31, a total of 75 decorated adirondack chairs will be brightening up businesses around the community. Each will be raffled off, with proceeds to be split between the Lacombe Minor Football Association and the breakfast program at J.S. McCormick School.
The excitement and hype for the project was easy to see as participants gathered for a large group photo Thursday at the Lacombe Memorial Centre ahead of the official launch.
“I’ve been on the verge of tears all morning – I can’t believe the effort people put into this,” said Deanna Nowochin, who spearheaded this year’s Chairs for Charity. “Businesses have people knocking on their doors every day looking for donations, ticket purchases of this or that, and you can be numb to it. For people to take the time involved to participate in this – you’re putting in effort, not just sending a product out the door – is so cool.”
Chairs for Charity is organized by NOWCO Home Hardware, and was just one of many ideas they had while brainstorming ways to not only get involved in the community, but bring businesses in the downtown core together. It followed the success of the scarecrow competition during the Lacombe Culture and Harvest Festival, and Nowochin credited Oodles of Chocolates’ Edna Mcleod for her work in getting businesses on board for the competition and paving the way for similar business community initiatives like Charis for Charity.
The idea proved to be a success.
A total of 46 participants from downtown businesses took part in 2018, raising over $3,100 for the lunch program at J.S. McCormick School during Lacombe Days. This year, they decided to expand the initiative, opening it up to any businesses in the community, and extending the time frame for the raffling off of the chairs.
“Some people still hadn’t heard of it,” said Nowochin. “Our event last year was a little short – we only ran it during Lacombe Days so that was only four days. This year we decided to do 10 days just so we can get the word out a little better.”
The goal was to have 60 chairs to raffle off, but they more than surpassed that with 75. Now the goal is to sell 2,000 raffle tickets to raise $10,000.
Tickets are $5 each and available at participating businesses, as well as NOWCO Home Hardware.
Those looking to enter will have a variety of chairs to try and win as well, from those taking inspiration from pop culture, including Harry Potter and The Lion King, while others aimed to make your mouth water, resembling pizza boxes, a caffeinated beverage lined complete with whip cream, as well as a container of fries. Flowers, underwater scenes, positive messages, and symbols of Albertan and Canadian spirit decorated others.
Although some had similar themes, no two were alike.
“I had no idea we had such a creative community,” said Nowochin. “I’m so blown away.”