Pete McKee's Bear of Sheffield sold for £30,000 as auction raises over £500K
Popular Sheffield artist Pete McKee has expressed his gratitude to the bidders who have raised a record-breaking £30,000 for a Bear of Sheffield he created.
The light blue bear, called 'Thank You Sheffield Children's Hospital' and which carries a message from the artist, pictures of faces and hearts and was sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University, was auctioned off at The Crucible last night.
The winning bid is said to be the biggest ever, and this is not the first time the renowned artist’s work has generated record bids.
In 2016, Sheffield Children's Hospital held a hugely successful Herd of Sheffield elephant trail auction that raised over £400,000 for new scanner equipment.
And Pete McKee' s elephant 'Marjorie' was sold for £22,000 – believed to be the highest bid at the auction.
The cartoonist, who is currently being treated at the Northern General Hospital after discovering he had severe heart failure, said he was 'going to have a lovely kip tonight in my hospital bed'.
He tweeted: “Thinking of the little uns in Sheff children’s hospital tonight tucked up in bed too.
“Thank you to the incredibly wonderful people who bid on bears this evening and the amazing winning bid for my bear. I love you.”
The 55-year-old earlier thanked the NHS for saving his life for a third time in four years after receiving a heart valve replacement.
In total, last night's auction raised £525,200, marking the completion of Sheffield Hospital Charity's fundraising journey for the Cancer and Leukaemia Ward at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the ‘City of Trees’ bear created by artist Sue Guthrie and sponsored by The Star newspaper was sold for an amazing £9,000.
Other notable Bears of Sheffield that saw high bids were ‘Steampunk Bear’ that was sponsored by City Taxis and created by V J Patton, which raised £22,000 and ‘Nebula’, which was designed by Grace Invader and sponsored by Sheffield Property Association, which went for £20,000.
Said to be one of Sheffield’s favourites, the ‘Bearing the Colours' bear, which was sponsored by Sheffield United Football Club and created by Chris Ashmore, was sold for a massive £15,000.
The new unit the Bears of Sheffield and Herd of Sheffield auctions have helped fund will open to patients and families later this year.