The glass top range, the stylish tile black splash and stainless fridge; it’s a hip modern kitchen for sure, with the small exception that it was originally a book shelf.
“I just thought it would be something neat and unique and a conversation piece. It’s turned into exactly that,” said Dana Saunders, executive director of Carroll Health Group, and, it turns out, occasional furniture designer.
Saunders took a weekend to convert a two shelf bookcase into a fancy child’s play kitchen as part of The Carroll Hospital Auxiliary’s A Chair and Beyond silent auction fundraiser, which launched Monday, Sept. 24 and runs through the afternoon of Oct. 5. She is one of 24 local artists who have crafted unique pieces of furniture for the fundraiser, including Maryland-themed wooden chair, a bar, a birdhouse decorated with a brightly painted rising sun and desk and chair painted by local author Shelley Steinle in the theme of her book, Birds of Paradise,” among others.
All the items will be displayed in the Carroll Hospital main Lobby until Oct. 5, and those interesting in bidding on an item can do so on the silent auction form, according to Saunders.
“They also have buy it now, so if you want to make sure you get the piece you have your eye on, buy it now is the way to go,” she said.
Also up for auction will be a number of items displayed in the window of The Candy Striper Gift Shop, from gift packages, trip packages, jewelry and sports items, according to Mary Richards, director of volunteer services at Carroll Hospital.
“We have 45 including our auction in the window,” she said. “We are coordinating our auction we traditionally do later October with this event, so they are running concurrently.”
All of the funds raised will go toward the hospital auxiliary, Saunders said.
“Every year they have a cause and this year it will be the revamping of the family birthplace, which kind of holds a special place in my heart because my son was born here 17 years ago,” she said. “I’m not only an associate of Carroll Hospital, this is also my hospital, so I am happy to be able to make something and give back.”
The family birthplace is undergoing a $13.5 million renovation that will offer, among other amenities and features, more comfortable private rooms for families and infants born prematurely.
This particular fundraiser is three years old, and was originally more tightly focused in terms of the items auctioned, according to Richards.
“We always try and do events leading up to the annual ball in November, so we were trying to think of something new that hadn’t been done in the county before,” she said. “We came up with the idea of people embellishing chairs or some kind of seating implement and we started with that. We had, I think, over 30 participants that first year.”
After successful follow up auctioning more unique chairs in 2017, Richards said, it was decided to freshen things up by including other furniture an auction items this time around.
“Every year we try to do something a little different, so who knows what we’ll come up with for next year,” she said. “This year our theme is ‘All Aboard,’ it has kind of a train vibe and each year we try to do something different with the theme.”
In 2017, for instance, the theme was Monte Carlo.
“We had a casino at the event and we used the Monte Carlo idea in all the decorating and some of the auction items,” Richards said.
And for those that might be interested in contributing a decorated piece of furniture for the event next year, Richards suggests checking the hospital website around May of 2019.
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“The ball committee gets together starting in April and usually by May we have a theme and know what we’re going to do,” she said.