Celebration Chair Gala an original success

Published 2:20 pm Saturday, May 15, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The recent Celebration Chair Gala was something new and original for the Niles community and its overwhelming success has created a future for similar events.
On May 2, about 130 people gathered at Riverfront Cafe in downtown Niles for the benefit event.
The gala was sponsored by the Niles Main Street Initiative, the Main Street Promotions Committee and the Niles Art Association. The auction of the chairs raised $6,030 for the sponsoring organizations with 70 percent of the proceeds going to the Main Street Committee and 30 percent going to the art association.
Todd Wakevainen, of the Niles Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Promotions Committee, said he has heard nothing but positive feedback from those in attendance.
The aim of the gala was to celebrate the progress being made thus far in downtown Niles.
Chickie Landgraf, one of the event's chairmen, was excited to spark some interest by bringing something different and original to our community.
Wakevainen agreed that the event's popularity may have had something to do with its originality.
The promotions committee began planning for the event last fall and it was a big undertaking considering that nothing like this has ever been done in Niles.
In addition to bringing the community together for a unique and entertaining event, the auction also served as an outlet for local artists.
With about 50 originally decorated chairs, stools, ladder and step stools, there was a variety of local talent on display.
Because of the success of the event, Wakevainen and Landgraf indicated that the promotions committee will be planning something similar for next year.