The 14 Chair Project was started in 2010 by Suzanne Ball in hopes to raise money for the scholarship fund that had been created in honor of her daughter, Morgan. The first year that the scholarship fund was in existence, the Ball family spent time doing Spaghetti dinners and carwashes. After that first year it had become quite apparent that the traditional ways of fundraising would not yield the profit that the family was hoping for. Their goal was to be able to give a few exceptional female athletes at Manalapan Highschool at least a $1,000 award. The first year they were only able to give out one scholarship so they went out in search of some new fundraising ideas.
The Ball Family has taken numerous vacations to the beautiful mountains of Maine each year and continued to do so after the loss of Morgan. On one of their trips to their favorite ski location, the Ball family came across a local project called “Artirondack”. Started by the Mahoosuc Arts Council in Bethel, ME, this project raises funds each year by auctioning off hand painted adirondack chairs. Each of these chairs is painted by a local artist and showcase a wide variety of themes. Some artists have even opted to paint a child’s sized chair rather then an adult chair which really opens up the possibilities of themes. This idea was brilliant and the perfect thing to raise more money for the Morgan Ball Memorial Scholarship fund. The family decided that the perfect name for this project would be “The 14 chair project” , since Morgan’s jersey number was fourteen. They also hoped that they could find fourteen artists to paint fourteen different chairs for the auction .
When Sue got this idea home, her first step was to find a way to reach out in to the community and find some local artists willing to donate their time and talent.Sending out a “Call to local artists” through Craigslist, she got a response greater than she ever imagined. Within a few weeks she had 14 artists on board and was on her way to Maine to purchase the unfinished Adirondack chairs made of beautiful Maine pine wood. The project has now been running for 9 years straight and hopes to continue for many more.