Tyson, the fiberglass ox currently placed on Hopewell Elementary School’s (HES) front lawn at the corner of Princeton Avenue and East Prospect, is the subject of a bidding war.

This spring, HES students, under the guidance of art teacher Ms. Gay Hong Hua, designed and painted the life-sized ox, as part of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council “Stampede” project.

Sadly, Tyson’s time at HES may be temporary. The oxen, which are all placed in locations throughout Hopewell Valley, will be removed soon and are being auctioned off to support the Arts Council in an online auction closing on October 19th.

An HES fourth grader expressed his sadness about Tyson’s departure to HES principal, David Friedrich. In speaking with other students and staff members, Principal Friedrich discovered how many others share this sentiment.

As a result, the school began a collection called “Save Tyson” and has raised over $1000 so far.

Unfortunately, HES is not the current top bidder. The school will continue to accept funds in hopes to make HES Tyson’s “forever home.” And, if HES is not the high bidder when the auction ends, all money collected will be donated to the Hopewell Valley Arts Council. Bidding officially ends on October 19th at 3:00 pm.

“The supportive emails and donations from Hopewell Elementary students, parents and staff have been overwhelming! We remain cautiously optimistic that Tyson the Ox will remain at Hopewell Elementary School,” shared Principal Friedrich.

In order to raise awareness and have some fun, HES asked students and parents email “selfies” with Tyson.

Want to contribute or find out more? Check out the Save Tyson website. Online donations resume tomorrow. If the link doesn’t work, please use the old fashioned “cut and paste” of this into your browser –

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.


  1. Oh, I thought the collection was finished! Now I’ll have to send in some to keep “our ox”. Thanks MercerMe!

    PS I read in Fridays District wide email that Bear Tavern is also trying to save “thier ox” too…Best wishes to BT Elementary.


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