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First-ever Chair-ity Auction raises funds

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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Local residents Anne Emerson and Patty LaRoche talk in the background during the "Chair-ity Auction" Friday evening at the Gordon Parks Museum on the Fort Scott Community College campus. LaRoche's husband, former professional baseball player Dave LaRoche, and sons Adam and Andy, both professional baseball players from Fort Scott, signed the canvas on the director's chair that was part of the event's live auction. The chair, donated by Belynda Davenport and the Gordon Parks Museum, included a signed baseball mitt donated by J&W Sport Shop, and a signed Washington Nationals hat and photos. Patty LaRoche was the auctioneer. The event was held to mark Gordon Parks' 100th birthday. A Fort Scott native, Parks was a noted photographer, filmmaker, author, composer and director.(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
The first-ever Chair-ity Auction, benefiting the Gordon Parks Museum on the Fort Scott Community College campus, raised $3,100.

Forty-four chairs, painted and/or decorated in specific themes, were auctioned off. Museum Director Jill Warford said proceeds will be used to expand children's programming, such as workshops year-round, and create an interactive kid-oriented display.

About 110 people attended the gathering, which also marked the 100th birthday of Fort Scott native and noted filmmaker, author, director, photographer and composer Gordon Parks.

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Cody Toll and Michelle Buntain play holiday music for guests at the "Chair-ity Auction."(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
Chair themes ranged from breast cancer awareness to tea-time and a director's chair signed by Adam, Andy and Dave LaRoche, all of Fort Scott and all of whom play -- or played -- professional baseball. It was the LaRoche chair, which came with autographed baseball mitt, cap and photos of the three, that went for the most money -- $500.

Steve Buerge made the purchase. Over the years, Buerge said, his wife, Elaine has been close to Patty LaRoche, Dave's wife and mother of Adam and Andy. At Patty's request, Buerge gave Adam his first job one summer putting up a fence on his ranch six miles north of Fort Scott in the Hammond area.

The fence was located by the West Liberty Church, near Fulton. Buerge thought about keeping the chair for himself for old time's sake, but decided to present it as a Christmas gift to his grandson, Liam of Baxter Springs. Liam's mom and dad are Nathan and Pam Buerge. Nathan is the Buerge's son.

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Guests of the "Chair-ity Auction" could sample cupcakes featuring "100" on top in icing as part of a celebration of Parks' 100th birthday.(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
"When the auctioneer started, he started with a $500 bid. I raised my hand and nobody else agreed to go any higher," Buerge said. At first he thought he'd keep the chair as a memento, but considered it a while and decided to give it to his grandson instead.

"Our grandson's been playing Little League baseball and I thought it would be an appropriate place for it," Buerge said.

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Daryl and Nancy Swanwick read about a chair titled "Good Friends and Good Wine" during the "Chair-ity Auction" Friday evening at the Gordon Parks Museum on the Fort Scott Community College campus. Forty-four uniquely designed chairs were part of the live and silent auction. All proceeds will benefit children's programming at the museum. The event was held in conjunction with the observance of Parks' 100th birthday. It also included live music, food and door prizes.The "Good Friends and Good Wine" chair came with two wine glasses and was donated by Janice Fewins. Artists were Darlene Doherty, Susan Messer and Betty Boyko.(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
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Another of the chairs at the auction was decorated in a Fort Scott Tigers theme.
(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
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One of the chairs at the auction was done up in a University of Kansas Jayhawks theme.
(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)



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