A pumpkin decorated by Garret Wear, a Special Olympics athlete from Monticello, raised $25 at the Special Olympics Arkansas’ annual fundraiser, Charity Olive Hour, in Little Rock.
Wear, a fifth grade student of Monticello Intermediate School teacher Cristal Hill, decorated his pumpkin as Jerry the Minion, a character in the movie Despicable Me. The pumpkin was one of more than 200 items auctioned at the annual event, according to Karen Caldwell, Area 12 Special Olympics co-director.
The auctioneer was the winning bidder on the pumpkin. “He was determined to take that pumpkin home,” said a state Special Olympics official. “He stood by it all night watching it! He outbid anyone walking near it. He stated that he was leaving with the pumpkin, and he did!”
The event raised $57,300 and featured auction items ranging from wine baskets, spa packages, jewelry and artwork, gift certificates to upscale Little Rock restaurants, tickets to the Arkansas Symphony and professional baseball games, and accommodations at Arkansas and Missouri hotels and resorts.
In addition to the silent auction items, there was a raffle for 12 martini glasses hand painted by Arkansas artists and a live action of items created by Special Olympics athletes across the state. The event also featured an Absolut Martini Bar, wine and beer plus heavy hors d-oeuvres.
All proceeds of Charity Olive Hour event benefit Special Olympics Arkansas. The ultimate goal
is to raise money for all Arkansas athletes to participate free of charge in year-round sports training and Olympics-style competition.
Special Olympics Arkansas is one of the few states in the nation that is able to cover the costs of all expenses for the athletes.