Across the state last week, members of Tri Kappa celebrated Tri Kappa week (February 21 through 27). Members of Culver’s Tri Kappa organization are busy making plans for their spring and summer events, the two largest of which are Tour De Max on May 21, and Chairs for Charity, June 12.
Heading up Tri Kappa’s organization in Culver is Colleen Denham who says, “We’ve been doing the Tour De Max for several years now, but this is only the second time we’ve done Chairs for Charity. It was a huge hit the first time around, so we are excited to do it again. We hope the community will support both events as they always have in past years, as these are our two largest events.”
Chairs for Charity event organizer Judy Sawhook adds, “We have a new venue for Chairs for Charity this year, and we are excited to work with Lee Willhite who will help us create a magical evening that includes great food, a glass of wine or beer, and of course, all of the beautiful chairs.”
This year’s Chairs for Charity event will be held at the Ward Lay Dining Hall on Culver Academies campus. Organizers will announce the time of the June 12 event at a later date.
People attending the Chairs for Charity event will be able to bid on a number of chairs which members of the community and Tri Kappa will create.
One member of the event committee, Chris Sheppard, says, “We find chairs from all over the community and are always willing to take chairs from those who might find one but don’t know what to do with it.”
Adds committee member Kathy Rich, “Last time we did this event, artists in the community participated, some organizations like the Boys and Girls Club gave us a chair, and all of the Tri Kappa members put chairs up for bid. There will be something for everyone.”
Rhonda Anderson rounds out the three-person committee supporting Sawhook. She explains that those who want to contribute a chair can paint one, reupholster one, or come up with another creative way to present a chair.
“Those who aren’t feeling as creative but who might have a chair they want to donate can contact one of us and we’ll happily take the chair,” she says. “One of our members can transform the chair into something creative or functional.”
Adds Rich, “Last year, we had members create one-of-a-kind chairs that might have a specific theme in mind or might be targeted toward a specific user, such as kids. Each chair was its own work of art.”
Members of the community wishing to create and contribute, or donate, a chair can write to email@example.com  or they can call Rhonda Anderson at 574-842-2169.
“The Tour De Max and Chairs for Charity will provide funds for the majority of our budget,” says Denham. “Each year, we give college scholarships to local students and we give to numerous organizations, such as the Culver Boys and Girls Club, hospice care, a women’s shelter, Riley Children’s Hospital, and many more organizations. These two fundraisers and some of our other fundraising activities support many worthy causes that we are proud to give to.”
Karen Heim, who has organized the Tour De Max for several years now says, “Every year, we try to raise the bar and put on a better event. We are always amazed by how many in this community come out to support our events and the many other events that take place throughout the year. Many organizations in town put on fundraising events, and we think it’s pretty incredible to see this community support all of them. Without that support, we wouldn’t have been able to put on Tour De Max all these years.”
Adds Denham, “We are grateful that we are one of the organizations to receive so much support from the community, as like many others, we believe in our mission to serve others in the community.”
Tickets to this year's Tri Kappa events will be available soon. Says Kathy Rich, “With the change in weather comes a lot of social activity in Culver. Be on the lookout for our Tri Kappa events! We’ll take care of the energy and work that goes into one of these events, and you can take care of the fun.”
Concludes Sawhook, “And you might come out of one of our events having taken a beautiful ride around the lake and into the country side or with a really cool chair!”