Patti D’Arbanville shows off the Sleepy Hollow rocking horse created by Mike Carruth. The horse auctioned for $100 during the gala. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

Gala takes Morris fundraising over $12k

Published 6:14pm Monday, July 30, 2012

The Save Morris project committee surpassed its initial goal of $12,000 toward the restoration of Tryon’s town mascot Morris the Horse during a gala and auction held Saturday, July 28 at the Tryon Fine Arts Center.
“We are just so excited. Can you believe this? Just six weeks of hard work and we’ve reached our initial goal,” said committee chair Patti D’Arbanville. “It’s been great to see people really get behind such an important project.”
Prior to the gala event, the committee had raised about $7,300 toward the rehabilitation of Morris. Saturday evening an additional $5,320 was raised through the auction of items such as Joe Cooper’s copper and bronze replica of the Morris weather vane that sits atop Tryon’s clock tower, a Rich Nelson painting of the Tryon tomato fields, Save Morris posters signed by artist Betty Burdue and the Sleepy Hollow Morris rocking horse made by Mike Carruth.
Catering for the event was donated by Chef Gayle and the Cheffettes of Asheville.
Mayor Alan Peoples said he was more than pleased with response to the campaign.
“I almost don’t even know the words to describe this… the people who put this together have worked so hard to make this happen,” Peoples said. “Two things are key – our horse is gone and that’s our brand. Now we’ll have Morris restored to his rightful place looking over the town just as he has been since the 1920s. I think that gives us a comfortable feeling and makes us feel at home in Tryon.”
City councilman Doug Arbogast, who served as auctioneer July 28, said he was happy with the turnout and hoped people would continue to support the effort.

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