Habitat ReStore Repurpose for a Reason fundraiser Saturday

News Photos by Darby Hinkley Jenny Nestell, left, community outreach coordinater, and Ted Fines, right, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Northeast Michigan, pose with a repainted and repurposed piece designed by Elizabeth Molinaro and Erin Bailey, one of the many items in the silent auction on Saturday at the ReStore.

ALPENA ­– Local DIY artists have transformed old furniture and household items into beautiful treasures you can bid on Saturday.

Habitat for Northeast Michigan is hosting Repurpose for a Reason from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the ReStore, 2630 U.S.-23 South in Alpena. Final bids in the silent auction will be at 5 p.m.

The fundraiser will feature unique, hand-painted and repurposed items for guests to bid on, as well as a chance raffle featuring about 15 themed gift baskets donated by area businesses and organizations.

All proceeds from the auction will be used to help fund local veterans, families and senior programs including Critical Home Repair and Aging in Place, according to Jenny Nestell, community outreach coordinator for Habitat Northeast Michigan. This will be the first in-person fundraiser the nonprofit has hosted since the pandemic began a little over two years ago.

Nestell is amazed with the creativity and talent people have put into these repurposed pieces.

Alpena Community College design student Alexis Lask holds up a round mirror she decorated with round objects and painted them black, teal and silver. It’s an upcycled piece for the Habitat for Humanity Repurpose for a Reason. Students in Brian Schorn’s design classes were each allotted $40 to use to pick out whichever items they wanted from the ReStore to turn into upcycled art pieces for Saturday’s auction at the ReStore.

“I wasn’t sure what we were going to get,” Nestell said. “People are so artistic, and it’s really cool.”

A group of Alpena Community College design students came in recently to pick out pieces to upcycle for the silent auction.

“All sorts of different things went out of here with those students,” Nestell said. “I am very anxious to see what they come up with.”

She said one of them is repurposing a microwave in an artistic way.

ACC student Alexis Lask upcycled a large round mirror with a wooden frame, adding black and teal accents and turning it into a gorgeous statement piece.

This stained-glass chandelier featuring a variety of colorful backyard birds was made by Kathy Maynard of Hubbard Lake.

Other unique and beautiful items include a hand-painted end table and book/magazine rack by Amy Stepaniak of Presque Isle, a hand-painted bench with storage by Susan Skibbe of Alpena, a framed Lake Huron beach glass piece by Diane Mitchell of Ossineke, a stained glass chandelier by Kathy Maynard of Hubbard Lake, barn board home decor by Connie Johnson of Alpena, a reupholstered mission rocking sewing chair and white sitting chair by Yvonne Meden of Alpena, a brightly painted chair by Ellen LaCross of Alpena, a picture frame, lamp and stool by Tara Boliek of Alpena, hand-painted light switch covers and glass by Christine Brennan of Ossineke, an adorable Murphy dog bed by Kathy Phillips of Alpena, and a hand-painted multipurpose hutch by Elizabeth Molinaro and Erin Bailey.

“I’m just amazed,” Nestell said. “I didn’t know what to expect. This has exceeded it.”

“She has spent a tremendous amount of time,” on this event, Habitat Executive Director Ted Fines said. “I’m very proud of what she’s done here.”

This hand-painted storage bench was made by Susan Skibbe.

The brightly painted chair was hand-painted by Ellen LaCross, and the Murphy dog bed was made by Kathy Phillips.


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