Bearfootin’ Bears unveiled, hope to top fundraising total of over $100,000

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Bearfootin’ Art Walk, where Bearfootin’ Bears are created and auctioned to raise money for several area nonprofits.

Thursday night in downtown Hendersonville, the 2022 Bearfootin’ Bears were unveiled as the crowd cheered and watched the 20 new sculptures.

“This is the 20th time we’ve done the Bears in Downtown Hendersonville. The Bear Auction does a lot for our local nonprofits and our community,” said the Community Development Manager. , Lew Holloway. “Over the past three years, we’ve raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars for local nonprofits.”

Since 2003, the Bearfootin’ Art Walk has helped raise funds for downtown Hendersonville and many local nonprofits. The bears first arrive as white, blank canvases before local artists transform them.

The 20th annual Bearfootin' Bears were unveiled Thursday night at the Hendersonville Visitor Center.

“These artists do such amazing work,” Holloway said.

After Thursday’s reveal, the bears will reside in downtown Hendersonville until the fall when the auction takes place. Attendees bid at the auction to raise money for local nonprofits and downtown Hendersonville. According to a press release, winning bids up to $3,000 are split equally between the downtown program and the sponsor’s chosen nonprofit, while bid amounts over $3,000 are entirely directed to the non-profit organization.

The Bearfootin’ Bears will be dismantled after the auction and will go to the permanent residences of the winning bidders. In 2020, Friends of Downtown Hendersonville moved to a virtual format for the auction, allowing people to bid over the course of a month until a scheduled bidding deadline. It turned out to be a great success, the city said.

The 20th annual Bearfootin' Bears were unveiled Thursday night at the Hendersonville Visitor Center.

The same auction format was maintained for the 2021 auction, which raised $102,000. For the 2022 auction, the Downtown Events Team and Friends of Downtown Hendersonville are continuing with a virtual auction format, similar to the previous two years. The auction will begin on September 15 and conclude with an in-person event on October 15 at the historic Main Street Courthouse.

The auction website is hendersonvillenc.gov/bearfootin. The bears are listed below and a map of Main Street shows where each bear will be placed.

Bear 2022

1. Heal together

The 20th annual Bearfootin' Bears were unveiled Thursday night at the Hendersonville Visitor Center.  It's Healing Bear, benefiting Safelight.  The sponsor is Meliora Cabinetry and the artist is Andrea Leigh.

Sponsor: Meliora cabinets

Artist: Andrea Leigh

Benefit: A reassuring light

2. ’22 Celebration

Diamond Cash, far right, helps unveil his bear, Celebration '22 to benefit Friends of Downtown Hendersonville at Thursday's Bearfootin' Bears reveal.

Sponsor: Friends of Downtown Hendersonville

Artist: diamond money

Benefit: Friends of Downtown Hendersonville

3. CarlSandBear

Sponsor: Friends of Carl Sandburg in Connemara

Artist: Mike Ayers and the team at Whetstone Woodworks

Benefit: Friends of Carl Sandburg/D Hubbs & M Sollom Fellowship Program

4. Yona and Lily

Bear: Yona and Lily Bear.  Sponsor: H4Y Board of Directors.  Artist: Linda Allen.  Benefit: Youth Homes.

Sponsor: H4Y Board of Directors

Artist: Linda Allen

Benefit: Youth hostels

5. Haven and flowering

Bears: Haven & Bloom Sponsor: Margaret Stallings Arnold & Ed Arnold Artist: Heidi Mayfield Benefiting: Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County

Sponsor: Margaret Stallings Arnold and Ed Arnold

Artist: Heidi Mayfield

Benefit: Henderson County Boys and Girls Club

6. Benny the Benevolent

Bear: Benny the Benevolent.  Sponsor: The Lucy Clark Studio & Gallery.  Artist: Maureen Chapman.  Benefiting: Henderson County Community Foundation.

Sponsor: The Lucy Clark Studio and Gallery

Artist: Maureen Chapman

Benefit: Henderson County Community Foundation

7. There’s no place like home

Bear: There's no place like home.  Sponsors: Aloft Hotel Asheville, Bijoux Grant Laughter, Woof Gang Bakery Asheville.  Artist: Carol Clay.  Benefiting: Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue.

Sponsors: Aloft Hotel Asheville, Grant Laughter Jewelry, Woof Gang Bakery Asheville

Artist: Carol Clay

Benefit: Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue

8. Unit

Bear: Unity.  Sponsor: Hendersonville Woman's Club.  Artist: Amy Thomas.  Nonprofit recipient: Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Western North Carolina.

Sponsor: Hendersonville Women’s Club

Artist: Amy Thomas

Benefit: Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Western North Carolina

9. Protect and Serve

Sponsor: Hendersonville Church Bridge

Artist: Elizabeth Pooler

Benefit: Ministry of First Responders – Henderson County

10. Take the road less traveled

Sponsor: Burlett Paint, LLC

Artist: Dee Ballenger

Benefit: Hendersonville Family YMCA

11. I pray to your garden

Sponsor: Four friends from downtown Hendersonville – Walt Slagel, Gayle Cinke, Beverly and Jack Maniscalco

Artist: Judy Dempsey

Benefit: Bullington Gardens

12. Charlie

Bear: Charley Sponsor: Kelly Green Artist: Richard Norris Nonprofit Grantee: Council on Aging

Sponsor: Kelly Green

Artist: Richard Norris

Benefit: advice on aging

13. Daisy Dogwood

Bear: Daisy Dogwood Sponsor: Dogwood of Flat Rock Artist: Bethany Joy Benefiting: St. Gerard House, School for Autism
A map showing where the 2022 Bearfootin' Bears will be located on Main Street.

Sponsor: Flat Rock Dogwood

Artist: Bethany Joy

Benefit: Maison Saint-Gérard, school for autistic people

14. Barbara in Bloom

Sponsor: Nancy and Robert Rice

Artist: Nathalie Ray

Benefit: WNC Dignity Project

15. Dr. Shriner Bear

Sponsor: Hendersonville Sanctuary Club

Artist: Kevin Burns

Benefit: Shriners Children’s Hospitals

16. Mad Mountain Mama Bear

Sponsor: ShareWell Coffee Co. & Roastery

Artist: Jazz Rode

Benefit: true crest

17. Irises

Sponsors: Lawyer’s Title, Homestead, Moe’s Original Bar B Que, RE/MAX Results, Sherman’s Sports and Army Store

Artist: Natalie Bennett

Benefit: Henderson County Hunger Coalition

18. Kala

Bear: Kala Sponsor: BMW of Asheville Artist: Miriam Hughes and Laura Bell Benefiting: United Way of Henderson County

Sponsor: BMW of Asheville

Artist: Miriam Hughes and Laura Bell

Benefit: United Way of Henderson County

19. Housing A-“Flora”-ble

Bear: A-“Flora”-ble Housing Sponsor: Hendersonville Board of Realtors Artist: Shayna Landreth Benefit: Housing Assistance Corporation

Sponsor: Hendersonville Realtors Council

Artist: Shayna Landreth

Benefit: Housing Help Society

20. Love bug

Bear: Insect of love.  Sponsors: Troy Drake and Danny Wiley.  Artist: Kay Rose Sloat.  To benefit: PFLAG Hendersonville.

Sponsor: Troy Drake and Danny Wiley

Artist: Kay Rose Sloat

Benefit: PFLAG Hendersonville

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