FAYETTEVILLE — One guest at Sunday’s (July 22) fundraiser for ailing artist Eugene Sargent described the affair as an example of socialized healthcare.
Without health insurance, Sargent lacks the money to pay for treatments for his lymphoma. So the artist community did what any close-knit group of friends and family would do: They had a party to help defray Sargent’s uncovered medical expenses.
They called it A Night for Eugenius.
Guests included Sargent’s sister, Rachel, and friends Kathy and Keda Steinert. The brother and sister lived with the Steinerts in Madison County when they moved to the area in the mid 1970s.
Sargent’s mark is all over Fayetteville, from the 45-foot worm and intricate concrete benches near the castle at Wilson Park to the giant locomotive at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. He’s also responsible for the giant butterfly bench commissioned in memory of former Leverett Elementary School student Olivia Ray, and further south, he painted the mural on the side of Tanglewood Branch Beer Co.
Event co-coordinator Hannah Withers said about $20,000 was raised through donations an extensive silent auction of art and a raffle that included smaller, but creative items. Melissa Terry was the other co-coordinator.
Guest spilled from the doors of Greenhouse Grille and into the parking lot. Music came spilling out with them, first from kid band Farmer and the Markets and then from cajun-seasoned Snake Eyes and the Bug Band.
“You better dance or you’ll get home and wish you had,” said front man and accordion player Jamey Hall. John Olive led a live auction when the music stopped, which was somewhere around dusk.
Friends who missed the party can make a donation at the Bank of Fayetteville, (479) 444-4444, or click here.