Restoring chairs of historical significance and donating to a charitable cause, Weber State University interior design students are preparing to host the fourth annual Charitable Chair event.
On April 24 at the Copper Nickel, located at 2450 Grant Ave. in Ogden, students’ chairs will be sold at auction. A silent auction will be held starting at 6 p.m., and a live auction will take place later at 7 p.m.
All proceeds from the auction will benefit the local Boys & Girls Club and the WSU Interior Design Scholarship fund.
“The goal is to combine curriculum with service,” said WSU interior design program coordinator Kristen Arnold. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
Interior design students were given the task of finding a historic chair and refurbishing it to reflect its original style. Students were encouraged to solicit sponsors and work with professionals during their restoration process.
“As interior designers, a lot of times you’ll run into a client who has a particular piece that they want to keep and maybe restore,” Arnold said. “This is for students to learn the process and to network with professionals.”
In past years, the event has raised proceeds ranging from $12,000 to $30,000, according to Arnold.
“I had been looking for my chair for a while before I found it,” said interior design student Nanette Hill. “When I saw it, I knew that it was something quite spectacular.”
Hill’s chair, a wood rocking chair she named Geneva, was cracked and beat up when she got it. With some sanding, staining and more, Hill says the chair has been restored to its original beauty.
“I named my chair after my grandmother,” Hill said. “She used to rock in a rocking chair and read stories and this chair reminded me of her.”
Despite the labor that goes into the chairs, Hill says the finished product is worth it.
“You kind of fall in love with it when you get done with it,” Hill said. “You can look at the beauty in these chairs and look at what you’ve done to bring back some of that.”
When the time comes to auction off the chairs, some students say it is hard to let them go.
“You spend so many hours and you kind of get attached to the chairs,” said interior design student Aarika Rasekhi. “But it makes you feel good that the money is going to a good cause and you can make someone else happy by giving them something you’ve designed.”
Arnold says the event is a good opportunity for the community to see what WSU students are doing and capable of creating.
“This is a little different than just a normal project, and I think people just really enjoy that,” Arnold said. “It gives them an opportunity to kind of participate with the university and support the university and a community partner at the same time.”