New scenery provided some spark for the Concerned Kids’ second annual “Chair”-ish the Kids Mix and Mingle Fundraiser on Sept. 22.
The charity organization that uses puppetry to teach students about mental health, disabilities, bullying and abuse held the event at the Rosehill Lounge, and sold 110 tickets. The first fundraiser was held at the Miller Tavern in Hoggs Hollow.
Though over 100 turned out, the numbers were down from the previous year, which saw the Concerned Kids sell 180 tickets.
It’s only a mild disappointment for North Toronto resident and executive director Tinda Holland.
“The people who were there had a great time,” she said. “They loved the venue. They loved the food.”
Jazz musicians, Mysterion the Mind Reader and puppetry kept the audience entertained and the open environment allowed for more flow.
“It wasn’t as congested as last year,” Holland said.
The fundraiser also featured electronic bidding for auction items like a three-night stay at Novotel Port Royale in Quebec City, a VIP dinner for two at the downtown Miller Tavern, a Cannondale bike, Quinny Moodd stroller and a Porter Airlines trip to Montreal. Some of the items that weren’t auctioned off are still available.
The Concerned Kids event grossed $29,000, and Holland said she hopes to net over $22,000 for the charity.
As for the program, puppeteers Douglas Hurst and newcomer Courtney Lemanna have combined their writing talents to create sketches featuring the same loveable foam figures, Eddie Franklin and Claire Sanchez.
This year’s shows target the topics of cyber-bullying and community awareness — graffiti and vandalism.
“We’ve brought a whole bunch of new puppets to life,” Holland said.
As for next year, Holland is looking to raise money ahead of time to ensure a great show. The 69-year-old admitted she’s not sure she’ll be back to helm another fundraiser.
“I’m trying to make a transition myself,” she said. “I’ve been raising funds and creating a reserve, so that when I do step down the charity will succeed and continue.”
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