04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
An auction of 40 Snoopy statues has poured $823,000 into the fund to erect a bronze memorial sculpture in honor of the late "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schulz. Fans of the beloved beagle anted up a $200 fee just to enter the bidding, which was held yesterday at Minnesota's Mall of America. The highest bid for a single Snoopy, one called "Jolly Golfer," was $35,000, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "To see the joy on the children's faces running up to Snoopy, there is nobody, and I'm certain of this, who would have had a bigger smile on their face . . . (than) our father," Jill Schulz Transki, a daughter of the cartoonist, told the Associated Press.