The Gillett Coon Supper held annually in the town of Gillett is one of the time honored political traditions in the Natural State, and an offshoot of that event is also taking hold.
The 5th annual “Berry Pre-coon Supper Reception” will be held Jan. 14 at the Berry family farm shop in Gillett. The event, which helps raise funds for the Marion and Carolyn Berry Scholarship Fund, will begin at 3:30 p.m., and tickets for the reception are $30 each.
Marion Berry was a longtime Congressman in Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District. He retired in 2011. The congressman has been a staple at the supper for many years.
“While everyone knows that 2016 was anything but ‘politics as usual,’ the Gillett Coon Supper will go on as it has for the past 73 years,” Mitch Berry said “And, with that, the Berry Pre-Coon Supper reception will continue … in the past five years we’ve been able to raise quite a bit of money for scholarships for Arkansas State University students, and we have awarded several to deserving students in 2016.”
Hunter Biram of Floral, Grant Wilson of Mountain View, and Allyson Baugh of Jonesboro are ASU students who were recently awarded the scholarship. The three students interned with U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., and all three major in agriculture business.
The supper is one of the hallmark political traditions in the state. Hosted by the Gillett Farmers and Businessman’s Club, it gained acclaim through the years and became a must for those seeking office in the state. Politicians are offered smoked raccoon at the supper.
Sponsorships for the reception are also available. Interested parties can donate $1,000 (Berry Good Host) or $500 (Berry Good Friends). The supper will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Gillett School gymnasium. For more information about purchasing tickets contact Larry Bauer at (870) 830-4002.
Tickets will also be available at the door. For sponsorship information contact Ben Noble at (501) 772-9473 or Gabe Holmstrom (479) 409-3329.