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Westside Digest

Venice : 'Chair-ity' to Benefit Clinic

September 21, 1989

There will be 12 empty chairs at an auction Saturday night to benefit the Venice Family Clinic building fund.

But don't try to sit on them. The chairs, one of which is adorned with neon tubes, twigs and Christmas lights, are works of art that will be auctioned off to raise money to expand the clinic.

A group of 200 physicians who organized the unusual fund-raiser and dinner dubbed it "Sweet Chair-ity." The event will be held at the Holmby Hills home of Diane and Stephen Reissman at 7 p.m. Marlene and Dr. Edward Riceberg co-chair the fund-raiser with former Dodger Ron Cey and his wife, Fran.

Twelve chairs, ranging from Early American to high-tech, were donated by a chair company, said Ellen Robinson, a spokeswoman for the clinic, which serves the uninsured working poor and homeless in West Los Angeles.

Contemporary artists then turned the chairs into works of art. The artists include Rod Baer, Jackie Draeger, Gregg Fleishman, Candice Gawne, Gronk, Tom Jenkins, Connie Mississippi, Greg Petty, Frank Romero and Peter Shire.

Opening bids on the chairs range from $500 to $2,500. The chairs are on display at Art Options, 2507 Main St., Venice, through Friday. For information, call (213) 392-8630.

Combining art and medicine is a tradition at the Venice Family Clinic. The clinic's major yearly fund-raiser is the Venice Art Walk.

Proceeds will be added to the nearly $2 million raised as part of a drive to triple the size of the Venice Family Clinic, which turned away 6,000 people this year because of lack of space, Robinson said. The building fund goal is $2.5 million.

The clinic treated 30,000 patients in 1988, most of them without charge, Robinson said.

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