May 24, 2024

Charity Chair Auction at The Highlands Raises $72,500

The Highlands recently completed a successful auction selling chairs from its Interconnect lift resulting in $72,500 in donations to four northern Michigan charities.

The auction called Chairs for Chair-ity was held online and attracted bidders from all over Michigan eager to own a piece of ski resort history.  The chairs were sold to make room for a new state-of-the-art Doppelmayr fixed-grip triple lift opening for the 2024/25 winter season.

This is The Highlands’ second chair auction as the resort continues upgrading lift infrastructure.  In 2023, the resort sold chairs from three former lifts replaced by the Midwest’s first six-person, high-speed bubble lift.

This year’s charity auction included donations of $30,000 each to the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation and Little Traverse Bay Humane Society; $10,000 to the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society; and $2,500 to the Snow Angel Foundation.

“We are thrilled with the success of the auction, which combined with last year’s chair sale, has raised over $187,000 for local charities,” said Mike Chumbler, president and general manager of The Highlands.  “The support shown by our guests, team members, and local community will make a meaningful impact and we are grateful for the opportunity to give back to our region.”

Jessica Mendezona, Little Traverse Bay Humane Society’s director of development, said the substantial contribution allows the organization to continue its mission of serving pets and the people who love them.

“We are honored to have been chosen as a partner for the Chairs for Chair-ity auction with The Highlands. Seeing our community's participation in this event has reaffirmed our commitment to providing shelter, care, and love to the animals who need us most,” she said.

For the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, the donation is being earmarked for the Fund for Youth, supporting initiatives that benefit local young people.

Executive Director, David Jones, said, “This gift will provide additional funding that our Youth Advisory Committee will be able to grant in support of programs and organizations lifting up youth and their families in our community.  We are grateful for this generous support.”

Construction is currently underway for the new Interconnect triple chairlift, which will enhance the guest experience by providing improved accessibility to the North Peak region, known for its largely intermediate and family-friendly terrain.  With a faster lift and expanded capacity, riders will spend a third less time on the lift, maximizing time on the slopes.  The new lift also offers RFID gates providing hands-free, direct-to-lift access, and an array of features including a height-adjustable loading carpet, safety bars, and foot rests.

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Media Contact: Erin Ernst, director of communications