By: Lorrie Ward | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2014
Mendy Stone and Kealy work on their chair for the auction.
Once upon a time, a tiny child’s rocking chair hung in Mendy Stone’s shed, collecting dust and holding memories of days gone by when Mendy’s children were small. But one day not long ago, Mendy saw the little chair’s potential. She took it down from its peg, dusted it off, and took it to her weekly meeting with a junior high student named Kealy that she mentors through Rogers County Volunteers for Youth’s PAL program. Since that time, the two ladies have worked hard, sanding and painting the chair to get it ready for the inaugural Chair-ity Auction, sponsored by Volunteers for Youth to raise awareness and funds for its various programs.
Mendy and Kealy are decorating the little chair around the theme from a Mother Goose nursery rhyme: “What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of!” Mendy and her niece are decorating another chair of the same size in honor of the other half of the same nursery rhyme: “What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of!” These chairs will join other hand-decorated chairs and small furnishings at the auction, being held Thursday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Claremore Community Center.
Just as Mendy saw potential in the small chair hanging in her storage shed, she sees potential in the youth of Rogers County, which is why she and others like her give their time to Volunteers for Youth. This willingness to see the good in a situation and to not give up on things that would seem daunting to others is what makes Mendy Stone such a wonderful mentor who lives up to the stated mission of the organization: “to positively impact the lives of our youth with an overall vision that Rogers County youth succeed. These programs build confidence and character in our young people.”
The programs include BLAST, where 6th, 7th and 8th graders meet after school for help with homework and some fun. StepUp offers supervised monitoring and support for first time juvenile offenders and those showing signs of delinquent behavior by giving them an opportunity to “get back on track” and avoid the overcrowded juvenile justice system. Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Project works toward a goal of substance abuse reduction amongst youth, with particular emphases on alcohol and prescription drug misuse. U-Turn Academy strives to live up to its name by targeting Rogers County youth who are on long term suspension from area schools.
The Chair-ity Auction offers a great chance for community members to exercise their creativity and support these worthy causes. Interested parties can participate in one or both of the following ways: they may create an auction entry, using their imaginations to creatively “alter, embellish, reconstruct, reimagine and repurpose something that will start a bidding war,” says Mendy. Or they may buy a ticket for $15 or two for $25 and attend the auction, where they may browse and bid on items and even cast their ballots in the form of dollars for their favorite entry in hopes that it will win the “People’s Choice” award. Half the money in the winning ballot box will be offered to the People’s Choice Winner. Entrants and participants alike will be treated to barbecue and live country music by Claremore High School student Blake Lillard, and will have the chance to learn to line dance.
“These last few months with Kealy have gone by so fast!” Mendy adds. “I hope she will be at the auction to help start a bidding war.”
As for the chair, Mendy couldn’t be more pleased at the outcome. “Sometimes I tend to hang onto things for longer than I should,” she says. “But in this case I think it turned out all right.” Or maybe, as Goldilocks would say, that chair is “just right!”
For more information, contact