It wouldn’t be cornball national story about Arkansas politics without a visit to the Coon Supper in Gillett. But the true movers and shakers need to pre-game before they dig in on smoked raccoon. Mitch Berry, son of former Congressman Marion Berry, is again hosting a Pre-Coon-Supper reception to raise money for scholarships to Arkansas State University.

The pre-supper reception, the eighth hosted by Berry, will start at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 12. The seventy-sixth Gillett Coon Supper follows at the Gillett School Gymnasium at 6:30 p.m

Here’s the press release, including details on tickets to both the reception and the supper:

Berry Pre-Coon Supper Reception Scheduled for January 12

GILLETTE – The 8th annual “Berry Pre-Coon Supper Reception” will be held on January 12th at the Berry Farm Shop in Gillett.

“The Coon Supper has been a long-standing tradition in Gillett for 75 years,” said Mitch Berry. “Now in our 8th year, we are proud for the Berry Pre-Coon Supper Reception to be associated with such a legacy.”

“In the past 7 years we have been able to raise thousands of dollars for scholarships for Arkansas State University students, and we value the opportunity to invest in a group of such deserving students,” said Berry.

The Marion and Carolyn Berry Scholarship is awarded to a qualifying Arkansas State University student who shows an interest in public policy and public service. This year, Kylie Meredith of Jonesboro was awarded a scholarship during her internship in fall 2018 for Sen. Boozman in his Jonesboro office, and will receive another scholarship in the spring when she will intern in Congressman Rick Crawford’s office in DC.

The Gillett Coon Supper is hosted by the Gillett Farmers and Businessman’s Club and has long been a required stop on the Arkansas political circuit. Politicians are tested on their political acumen by if they will eat the smoked raccoon.

The pre-supper reception starts at 3:30 Saturday afternoon at the Berry farm shop. Tickets are $30 each. Sponsorships are available to be a Berry Good Host for $1000 and Berry Good Friends for $500. The 76th Gillett Coon Supper follows at the Gillett School Gymnasium at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the Coon Supper may be purchased by contacting Larry Bauer at 870-830-4002.

The founding hosts of the event are Campbell Ward, JPJ Consulting, Mitch Berry, and Wright Lindsey & Jennings.

All tickets will be available for purchase at the door. For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Becky Campbell at 501-912-7560 or Gabe Holmstrom at 479-409-3329. The event page can be found here.