Library takes a stand on chair fundraiser

By By Judy E. Hamilton
Staff writer
CHRIS DORST | Gazette photos
South Charleston Library Director Patricia Brown stands with three chairs painted by local artists James Childers (the Marshall and Steelers chairs) and Cathy Moss (the wildlife chair) for an unusual fundraiser she has created for the summer reading program. The CHAIR-ity event will be a silent auction on April 15 featuring at least 14 refurbished chairs by local artists.
South Charleston Public Library is hosting a CHAIR-ity fundraiser for its summer reading program. The event will be a silent auction on April 15 featuring refurbished chairs by local artists.
Chairs — with special themes such as the Pittsburgh Steelers (top) and Marshall University’s Thundering Herd (above) —will be auctioned for the fundraiser.

Area artists have an unusual new outlet for their creativity thanks to Patricia Brown, South Charleston Public Library’s director, who has organized a CHAIR-ity, which offers uniquely decorated chairs for a silent auction to benefit the summer reading program.

Numerous chairs, decorated by local artists, will be sold to the highest bidders in a silent auction taking place at the library on April 15 beginning at 7 p.m.

Brown — who celebrated her one-year anniversary in the position on April 1 — decided to expand the summer reading program this year to include teens and adults as well as children.

The result is the library’s first-ever “CHAIR-ity” event.

At least 14 chairs will be available for bid including an adult-size rocking chair and a child-size rocking chair. There will also be additional items for bid, including tickets for The Greenbrier Resort’s summer Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, Brown said, indicating there would be several surprise items for the silent auction.

“We wanted to showcase our local artists and craftspersons and let them have a wider reach. The proceeds will allow us to expand the summer reading program for school age children, teenagers and adults — ages 0 to 100,” Brown said.

Artists can provide their own chairs if they wish. They just need to inform the South Charleston Public Library and bring the renewed chairs to the library by Friday, April 11. Artists will suggest a starting price for the chair’s beginning bid. The chairs will be on display prior to the silent auction.

Chairs may be decorated in any way with any theme. The library director said that artists choose their medium for the project.

So far, she said, the returned art chairs have been painted and airbrushed but she expects to see stencil, decoupage — which appears to be a painted design but is actually paper glued in place — and pyrography, also known as woodburning, as well.

While the library will continue to do many children’s programs, Brown has increased the number of events for older members of the community.

“We’ve created a regular program of adult programs at the library. This month’s theme is community awareness. On April 10th, we are having a ‘Girl Night Out’ and on April 24th, a ‘Guy’s Night Out,’” Brown said.

Each event will be from 6-8 p.m. and will feature local businesses and organizations centered on first women and then men. The programs will give people a chance to learn, make friends and maybe even win a prize or two. Vendors interested in participating must contact the library and register, Brown said.

At 6 p.m. April 16, the library will host a Murder Mystery where participants will have a chance to solve the mystery. Registration is required.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 19, the library hosts an arts and crafts fair. “It’s very important that we are the heart of the city. We are proud to be part of South Charleston. The mayor and city council have been very supportive of our efforts,” Brown said.

The South Charleston Public Library is a municipal library and is not part of the Kanawha County Public Library system. It is a non-profit organization.

The South Charleston Public Library, 312 Fourth Ave., South Charleston, is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For additional information about the library’s events, call 304-744-8808, visit, or the library’s Facebook page.

Reach Judy E. Hamilton at or 304-348-1230.

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