Locals raise $20,000 during Eugene Sargent benefit

Event poster


Those of us who live here know it, and folks from all over the community were reminded of this fact over the weekend; here in Fayetteville, we take care of each other.

Hundreds of locals in attendance at “A Night for Eugenius,” the fundraiser for artist Eugene Sargent held at Greenhouse Grille Sunday night, exhibited that unique community spirit, and at the end of the evening, organizers announced that a whole lot of money had been raised to help defray medical costs associated with Sargent’s recent Lymphoma diagnosis.

“Thanks to your love and attendance, we raised $20,000 for Eugene Sargent and his family tonight,” wrote organizer Melissa Terry on the event’s Facebook page. “A huge shout out to the Fayetteville home crowd and friends from afar.”

Sargent, who is the sculptor behind the 45-foot worm and the unique benches near the castle at Wilson Park, the giant locomotive at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, among countless other interesting works around town, has touched the lives of Fayetteville residents for years with his artwork.

When friends heard that the expensive treatments associated with his diagnosis would not be covered by his insurance, they mobilized to try and help out. In addition to locals turning out in droves for the fundraiser, several restaurants donated food, businesses donated items from their stores, artists donated their work, and individuals donated unique items from their personal art collections to be raffled and auctioned at the event.

“He has done so much for this community, and inspired so many people through so many great projects. We just feel like it’s the least we could do,” Terry told us earlier this month.

Eugene and his wife Anna Thomas could not be reached for comment Monday, but Thomas’ one-word post last night indicated that they were blown away by the support. “Speechless,” she wrote.

Those who missed the event who would still like to donate to the cause can do so at any Bank of Fayetteville location using an account entitled “Donation Account for Eugene Sargent.” Donations are also still being accepted online.

Thanks to those of you who organized the event, donated time and money to the cause, and offered moral support for this and any other fundraisers for folks in the community during their time of need.

You make us proud, Fayetteville.