The Chair Affair Event

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Tacoma Glass Museum will be the 2012 Chair Affair. The evening will include: friends, fine wine, good food, and a lively auction to support the work of the NW Furniture Bank. Unique one of a kind chairs created by local artists, will be available for purchase during the silent auction. There will also be a live auction, in which ten select packages are sold to the highest bidder. Tickets to the event are $60 per person. Bill Lemke, founder of the NW Furniture Bank, located at: 2650 East Bay Street Tacoma, WA 98421, explained the purpose of the chair affair event, “The Chair Affair is the primary fundraiser for the NW Furniture Bank. All proceeds help move families “from the floor and into furniture.”

The NW Furniture Bank helps restore hope, dignity, and stability in the community by recycling donated furniture to people in need. In Tacoma and the greater Pierce County, dozens of agencies work with the homeless and low-income population providing temporary housing and substance abuse recovery programs. When their clients complete the programs and leave, they may have new housing and a new focus for their life, but they often have no furniture to sleep, sit, or eat on. In addition to these clients, furniture is available for foster children who age-out of the program, and for people who lose all of their possessions in natural disasters such as fire or flood.

According to Bill, the first Chair Affair was in 2010 at the Tacoma Art Museum. Bill discussed the best thing about the Chair Affair, “The Chair Affair is more of a unique community gathering than a fundraiser. People enjoy the venue, the food, and the ability to mingle while looking at the artists’ creations. No one is asked to fill out a donation envelope while sitting around a table.” Aside from the chairs that will be auctioned off at the silent auction, Bill also shared that there will be decorator pillows and seats around town, which are VIP seats for area events including: a sky dive and gourmet cooking class at Cordon Bleu. The live auction will auction off trips to Walla Walla for a wine tasting, dinner cruises on a boat, a unique stone garden bench, and the Museum of Glass’ one-of-a-kind glass chair.


Angela Mills, a volunteer for the NW Furniture Bank shared what she thought of the organization, “NW Furniture Bank is nearly 100% volunteer run. I first came to the NW Furniture Bank for a service project two years ago. We built bed frames, shelves, chairs, and book cases, and all those things I mentioned were donated. There were kids and parents present and we all laughed and joked as we hammered and bolted items together. I met my friend Dick for the first time that day, he mentioned that he built doors for a living and I remember thinking, “this is a man I need to know better.” The next time I came back, my husband joined me and we built a wardrobe. It was a challenge following directions and working together but in the end we had a fun time. When I volunteer now, I get to shop with clients. We walk through the items they need and discuss colors and décor. They describe where to furniture will go and share their stories, many of which are very sad. I’ve met families who lost their home in a fire and people who fled abusive situations. I am blessed every time I visit. I might be tired when I leave, but my heart is overflowing with gratitude and cheer for being part of the NW Furniture Bank.”

Bill shared what many people may not know about the NW Furniture Bank, “Last year the NW Furniture Bank served almost 800 families. That means over 1600 children aren’t sleeping on the floor. Funds from the Chair Affair make that possible. Currently, about 80 families per month are being served.”

Bill mentioned how the Chair Affair is unique compared to other events, “The Chair affair is a fundraiser that invites the art community to be part of. Every item is a one of a kind. This makes it so different from the sit down dinner with speeches and pleas or the silent auction with the usual trips or packages. The Chair Affair is different, and a fun way to donate to a very relevant

Tacoma non-profit!” When asked who he recommended attend the event, Bill replied, “Come if you want a fun, unique night out. Last year, almost 400 people attended and it turned into an evening of friends meeting people they had not seen in a long time. It seemed everyone knew someone. Come if you want to help families move from the floor to furniture.”

For more information about the Chair Affair event, please visit: Bill said, “The NW Furniture Bank is an important part of families achieving hope, dignity, and stability. It serves an important role for Pierce County agencies who are helping people move from homelessness to a home. A home is not a not a home, until families have a bed to sleep in and a table to gather around.” For more information about the NW Furniture Bank, please visit:
“We could use more business or individual sponsors,” Bill concluded.


By: Carly Calabrese, staff for

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