One is decorated with musical notes, another has butterflies, another has an antler and hooves.
These are some of the colourful, one-of-a-kind chairs that will be auctioned off at the inaugural For The Love Of Youth event on Feb. 9.
The event is in support of the launch of Foundry Ridge Meadows, a one-stop-shop where young people between the ages of 12 and 24 can access services for mental health, primary care, substance use, peer support or employment support.
And For The Love Of Youth promises to be “a dress-to-impress affair the whole town will be talking about,” said Cheryl Ashlie, with the original fundraising committee for the Youth Wellness Centre.
“It’s more like a cabaret, quite modern set up. It’s not your typical sit-down dinner thing.”
The social gathering will encourage attendees to spend the night mingling with others.”
There will be a Living Red Carpet as people arrive and on which they can take photographs with friends and colleagues.
Flashy LED-lit cocktail tables and benches will be scattered around the room instead of the traditional assigned round-table seating. There will be stilt walkers, LED dancers, a laser light show and a dance floor, where a DJ will be spinning the tunes until the end of the night.
Drinks will be flowing from LED bars with the option to own your own flashy LED glass and canapes “for any refreshments you desire,” Ashlie added.
Dr. Ursula Luitingh, a local doctor who is actively involved in the division of family practice and is one of the clinic doctors that works out of Foundry, is the chair of the event.
She has been an avid supporter of the Youth Wellness Centre from its inception.
“When we first opened its doors and she came to work as a doctor, she wanted to do something more for it,” Ashlie said.
When the Youth Wellness Centre was recognized as the provincial model, Foundry, and received provincial funding, the money would only cover operational expenses and was not enough to cover all the extras for the centre. So Dr. Luitingh decided to organize the fundraiser.
Ashlie organized the chair auction.
“That idea came from a friend of mine who pointed out to me a while ago the Hornby Island chair auction and how cool it was,” said Ashlie.
There will be 13 vintage chairs auctioned at the event, all original pieces by local artists.
One will be a throwback to the Beatles, there is a nautical-themed chair and Ashlie is working on an owl themed one inspired by a photograph taken by former Maple Ridge mayor Ernie Daykin.
Maple Ridge artist-in-residence Kat Wahamaa worked on chairs with three youth in the community.
“We are absolutely blessed that the artist-in-residence led three youths on their journey of exploring their thoughts around what the Foundry is to youth in this community and their end products will be included within the evening’s events and hopefully will remain with the Youth Wellness Centre,” Ashlie said.
All funds raised by this event will be matched by a generous donor and will go towards supporting the Youth Wellness Centre, which will soon be re-branded Foundry Ridge Meadows.
The goal for the event is $100,000 to fund new building costs, and counselling services, including anxiety, addiction and depression, as well as youth, parent and caregiver support groups. Every dollar raised at the event will be matched up to $250,000 by the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.
“If we don’t raise money, the vision that the community had for it and all that it can offer youth won’t be met because the provincial funds give a good framework of support, but never the pieces that we know are missing in our community that we know would enhance the services to youth,” explained Ashlie.