Polar Pig Raises $19,000 for Hospice

Origianally published in the Jamestown Sun on February 04, 2014
By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun

A beauty queen, a firefighter, superheroes, clowns, kids and a giant parrot all leaped into water on a snowy day to earn $19,000 for Jamestown Regional Medical Center’s hospice program Saturday in the Polar Pig — Walk the Plank fundraiser.DSC_4697

“That’s the biggest amount of money we’ve ever made for them, and we’ve been doing it for seven years,” said Jan Wiese, treasurer of the Jamestown HOG Chapter that organizes the annual fundraiser. “We were very pleased with that.” Sixteen people jumped into the heated water to benefit hospice, as snowflakes fell and HOG members set off fireworks, simulating cannon fire.

Each jumper then had to brave the 13-degree air to get back into the Stutsman Harley-Davidson building, changing out of soaking-wet costumes to warm back up.

“It was warm in there, but it was cold getting out,” said MacKenzie Johnson of Jamestown.

Johnson, who earned the title of Miss North Dakota Junior High, jumped into the water wearing a teal formal gown and a tiara, after raising $130 for JRMC Hospice.

Dennis Sand, also known as “Fluffy the Parrot,” wore a parrot costume and face paint for his jump.

As soon as Sand cannonballed into the water, the costume filled with water, making it difficult for Sand to stand up again.

“It’s just a good time, and it’s for a good cause,” Sand said. “It was great. It really was a lot of fun.”

He and the Jamestown Clowns raised $1,020 for JRMC Hospice.

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Members of the Kaiser family made the watery hop together — first Cruze Kaiser, 6, followed by his father, Chad Kaiser, who held out his arms to his daughter, Mia, 4, who wore pink goggles, a purple tutu and matching purple shoes for her jump.

Before the event began, Mark Wiese, director of the local HOG group, said he hoped to exceed the previous year’s total of $17,000.

In addition to the plankwalking, the event also included a chili cook-off featuring a wide variety of chilis. Most seemed to have beans, but some had chicken or even olives as ingredients.

Then there was a silent auction, with cocktail sets, purses, gift baskets, salon products, live plants, framed oil paintings, a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix and a set of two cheery lawn gnomes outfitted in Harley Davidson gear.

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