A family of bears will soon appear along the Baw Beese walking trail as part of a month-long fundraiser for the Heritage Association.
Hillsdale Chair Affair, a silent auction, is looking to raise money for the Heritage Association’s newest project to place the statue of the bear family along the trail. The auction will last from May 9 to June 9.
“There will be statues of a mama bear and her two cubs on the Baw Beese walking trail for kids to give bear hugs to and take pictures with,” said Connie Sexton, a member of the Hillsdale Heritage Association.
Heather Tritchka, a local artists and 1998 Hillsdale College alumna, is sculpting the bear statues. According the the Heritage Association Facebook page, $92,440 is needed to complete this project, and the association is more than halfway to reaching its goal.
With about 40 businesses verbally committed to designing and donating chairs to auction, there will be many to choose from. These specially designed and painted chairs will be placed either outside or inside local business. Their pictures will be placed on the Heritage Association Facebook page, which is where people can make their bids. On June 9, the bid sheets will be taken to businesses for people to make final bids there.
“We are designing a chair for the auction. We are looking forward to making something fun and creative,” Danielle Brock, owner of Small Town Sweet Boutique said. “We have not settled on a design yet, but it will definitely be something bright and cheerful like our store.”
Darci Gaff has begun designing a chair for her store, Modern Revival, as well.
“This year I think I’m going to do a flying chair with big tin wings so when the wind blows the wings it will look like it’s flying,” Gaff said.
There will also be a large chair made on behalf of the Heritage Association.
“We contracted a craftsman to build a 9‑foot by 8‑foot adirondack chair to display for a month. It’ll be somewhere downtown,” Sexton said. “I’m really excited about it and I hope it will go well.”
Not only will the Hillsdale Chair Affair benefit the Heritage Association’s bear project, but it will help people advertise their businesses and bring people out to visit the local shops, along with promoting Art Around Town.
As the silent auction ends on June 9, the second annual Art Around Town fundraiser will begin. Art Around Town is a day long event that encourages the community to visit downtown and support local artists. Money made at this event also is donated towards the Heritage Association.
“Art Around Town was scheduled, but I wanted to do something more,” Sexton said. So she sat down to brainstorm with friend, Darci Gaff, who gave her the idea for “Chair Affair.”
“I did this about 10 years ago in Steuben County, Indiana. We did it for our literary coalition. It was pretty successful,” Gaff said. “I thought maybe it’s time to revive the Chair Affair.”