Purple Armchair in Downtown Raleigh Steps Up To Host 2008 “CHAIRity” Fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County (NC)


August 4, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) —    Patrick Lawton, owner of the new marketplace Purple Armchair in downtown Raleigh, has agreed to host the fall fundraiser “CHAIRity” gala and auction for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, which was left in limbo after its previous host, Porto in North Hills, closed its doors recently.

After the success of their first Habitat/Wake fundraiser, Porto owners Michael Perry and Emily Barrett announced their intentions to host a second in-store auction and gala this year on Saturday, October 11.  Dubbed the 2008 “CHAIRity,” Porto invited Triangle area artists to “recycle” a specific selection of old wooden chairs — in stock at Habitat/Wake’s ReStore Center in Raleigh — into one-of-a-kind works of art. Fifty-four artists signed up.

But when Perry and Barrett announced last month that the currently economic climate was forcing them to close, the “CHAIRity” was in danger of being cancelled – until Lawton stepped up. He offered his support and the use of Purple Armchair’s 9000-square-foot showroom  on West Street, just off Glenwood South, for the October 11 Habitat/Wake auction and gala. The fit seemed perfect.

“The Habitat CHAIRity event is a perfect example of how Purple Armchair wishes to help artists reach out to the community,” Lawton said. “’Community’ is very important to us. It is in community that Purple Armchair exists, with our open marketplace concept. Our inventory is driven by the community. So we are proud to do our part to support artists, Habitat/Wake, and other members of the community in any way we can.”

Porto’s Michael Perry expressed his appreciation for Lawton’s participation. “Purple Armchair perfectly applies to the heart of the Habitat fundraiser,” he said. “Emily and I are very grateful and delighted that Purple Armchair will continue this worthwhile event. It’s great for Purple Armchair and, most importantly, it’s great for Habitat/Wake.”

The chairs-turned-art will be completed by August 30 and delivered to Purple Armchair. They will then go to public spaces around Raleigh to be on display for a month leading up to the October 11 event, when gala attendees will bid on these unusual works of original art (some in a silent auction, others “live” via an auctioneer). How the artists approach their chairs is completely up to them. Functional or not, construction or deconstruction – whatever they want to do with their chairs is limited only by their imaginations.

The Raleigh Downtowner and Raleigh Chronicle are serving as the CHAIRity’s Media Partners. Margaux’s Restaurant on Creedmore Road has already signed on as a co-sponsor to provide some of the food for the gala. Dave Killian of Killer Creative in Raleigh is donating his design services for all promotional materials.

For more information on the 2008 CHAIRity for Habitat/Wake, including ways to help and co-sponsor, visit http://www.purplearmchair.com and click on “The News.”

About Purple Armchair:

Purple Armchair is a membership-driven marketplace and association of artists, craftspeople and an assortment of other vendors of unique merchandise. Members pay fees on a month-by-month basis to have the store sell their wares. Mid-century modern furniture, pristine vintage and other handmade clothing, antiques, handmade jewelry, pottery, tableware and fine art are just a portion of the current inventory. But the inventory changes often as membership expands and changes.

Purple Armchair is a member of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, DowntownRaleigh.com, and First Friday Art Walk. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, the store’s business hours are Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. To learn more about membership opportunities, visit http://www.purplearmchair.com.

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