Pony Bird

Pony Bird raised a respectable $67,000 at its recent online auction, which replaced its annual Great Taste fundraising event.

“We were down about $15,000 from last year,” said said Pony Bird President and CEO Sara Sucharski. “It’s really not bad under the circumstances.”

Pony Bird’s annual Great Taste fundraiser, which offers people the chance to sample food and beverages from local restaurants and wineries, was supposed to be held March 21, but was called off when large gatherings were banned because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since it was unclear when large gatherings could be held again, Pony Bird changed the annual fundraiser to an online auction, which was held May 11-15.

Sucharski said two custom fire pits drew some intense bidding. One fire pit featured the St. Louis Blues logo and the other the Kansas City Chiefs logo

“Both did very well,” she said. “The Blues fire pit went for $500 and the Chiefs fire pit went for $400.”

Pony Bird, a residential care facility with homes in Mapaville and De Soto for with profound disabilities, also auctioned artwork created by some of its residents, and those, too, were popular, Sucharski said.

“We had some bidding wars on some items,” she said. “Hillsboro Title, a longtime supporter, and one of our Pony Bird employees were having a bidding war with each other on different items. They both ended up winning separate artwork. Hillsboro Title actually won several pieces of artwork, which are now featured in their offices. It’s great advocacy for the individuals we support.”

Sucharski said what also helped make the fundraiser a success were the people who paid for event sponsorships and who bought tickets for the Great Taste fundraiser and declined refunds.

“We offered refunds,” Sucharski said. “We had sold tickets and sponsorships. I would say 98 percent of our supporters just donated the ticket price or sponsorship fee to us.”

The virtual event also offered a variety of raffles.

Sucharski said while the 2020 fundraiser was successful, she hopes the 2021 Great Taste event will go on as usual, allowing for people to gather together again.

“We plan to return to our in-person event next year,” she said. “It’s a wonderful event, with the restaurants and wineries getting together.”

For more information about the organization or to donate, go to its website at ponybird.org, or call the organization at 636-931-5818.