Putting the Chair in Charity

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The Ocala Marion County Association of Realtors, or OCMAR for short, and the Realtor Affiliate Committee have been putting on a unique and charitable event for six years now. This event is entitled “the Chair-ity Event,” the reason being is that dozens of unique hand crafted chairs are created and donated to the even and auctioned live to raise money for, in this years case, two charities: Interfaith and Veterans Helping Veterans.

“Last year we raised about $18,000 for charity, and this is our second year here at CF,” said Randall Alvord, OCMAR President.

The chairs are donated by a multitude of business, and some are not just chairs. For example there are full picnic tables themed differently, as well as a full vignette of a beach day complete with umbrella, sun chairs, and beach accessories.

Although the event is run by the OCMAR, realtors are not the only people who donate.

“We want to make sure we include all businesses that want to be included,” said R. Susan Smith, with 1st Quality Title and Chairperson of the Realtor Affiliate Committee. “Mortgage brokers, bankers, builders, insurance companies, and anyone who wants to participate.”

Smith is the creator of this event, and has been with the project since it’s beginning.

“The main focus was to show how important it is to us that Ocala knows how important they are to us, and also how important it is to give back,” said Smith.

The chairs are a huge part of what makes the event, but there are multiple tables of silent auctions, and local businesses are welcome to advertise and provide food and entertainment. Such as the Melting Pot, who have been with the event since it’s inception.

Marie Evans, realtor, attended this year’s event on the night of Sept. 12 and noted that this is a fun event for everyone involved but that it is also very helpful.

“All realtors have a title company, and my title company and I put together a beach-themed-chair for the event. We all collaborated and contributed different items,” said Evans.

There were over 300 plus people at the even this year, throughout the room you could hear people admiring the creative chairs, one popular chair this year was the chair themed out of one of Elvis’ most famous stage outfits.

You could also hear people introducing themselves and many stories of memorable chairs that were purchased from previous events.

“We come every year, we love the fact that it’s a charity and all the proceeds go to benefit someone,” said April Rountree.

Although all of the chairs are creative, unique, and fun, Randall Alvord put it best.

“The chairs are fun, but it’s more about giving back,” said Alvord.

But if you missed this year’s event, don’t worry! This event was a huge success, and it’s planned that they continue the event next year.

“They’ve already started planning for next year’s event! But the serious planning doesn’t start until about Jan. 1,” said Alvord.

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