GREEN BAY (NBC26) — It’s not your average teddy bear toy drive. The local artist organization S.A.G.E. has geared up to start bidding for its annual fundraiser.
“When we hand these stuffed animals off, we emphasize that the artist can do whatever they want.” Says S.A.G.E president Stacey Burkhart when referring to her unique stuffed animal. This toy drive fundraiser is a creative reset for many of the artists.
“Often you get stuck in the ways of just doing what you have to to make money,” said Burkhart. “Projects like this are great for some of the artist's mental health. Just to be able to sit down and do what your heart says to do.”
This is the 3rd annual fundraiser for S.A.G.E where 30 local artists are given the unique task of completely transforming a stuffed animal and auctioning them off.
Last year the highest bid for one animal was $1,000 and this year they are hoping to keep up the momentum.
“People from all over the country can purchase these animals and they do,” she said. “One year we had a little girl whose aunt bought her stuffed animal and we had to ship it to her.”
This is the S.A.G.E’s biggest fundraiser of the year. S.A.G.E is a local artist origination that focuses on letting artist find their talent and strive in a supportive environment.
“We are a non-profit so we are operating on a shoestring budget as is,” says Burkhart. “So honestly anything we received is a success in my eyes.”
Artists from all over Green Bay, different backgrounds and ages, this year a featured 11-year-old artist created this All Eyes On You rhino.
“It lets me be creative,” says Octavia Burkhart. “I had a lot of fun drawing the eyes.
The display of the animals are located in the Neville Museum and it open to the public. Bids start on November 26th at this link.