SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Nick Heald’s friends honored him in the best way possible Saturday.
Heald, who died in July of cancer at age 24, danced in the South High Marathon Dance as a student, supported it as an alumnus and made Adirondack chairs to raise money for it.
After his death, his family suggested those who wanted to remember him donate to the dance in his memory.
His friends went one better, making nearly 30 chairs themselves and auctioning them off at the South Glens Falls Fire Company, raising $16,395 for the 2018 dance.
“It’s a great way to start off this year’s marathon,” said Brittany Creel, who, along with Sandy Mahoney, organized the event, which drew more than 200 people and saw four chairs go for $1,000 or more. “We are totally ecstatic about this.”
Heald graduated from South Glens Falls High School in 2011, and many local businesses were quick to sponsor the chairs, which can cost more than $100 in wood alone. There were 56 auctions, several for two chairs each, and auctioneer Gordon Woodworth was successful at coaxing higher and higher bids out of the crowd.
An Adirondack Balloon Festival-themed chair went to Rose Carayiannis for $675. “We’re very involved in the balloon festival, and it’s a beautiful chair,” she said.
A double-sized chair that was made by Pat Boire from cedar that blew down in the Adirondacks a decade ago went for $1,000, as did a Dr. Seuss-themed chair that featured one of Heald’s favorite quotes: “Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
Another chair went for $1,100. A pair of South High Bulldog chairs went for $1,350. Every chair had a plaque on the back honoring Heald’s memory.
This year’s dance is scheduled for March 2 and 3, 2018. Last year, the marathon dance raised $823,614.