Chad Henningsgard, of Valley City, walked up to the plank and jumped. The water wasn’t cold. Neither was his heart or dedication to families in need.
Before he jumped in his first Polar Pig “Walk the Plank” in 2014, Chad collected more than $1,500 in donations from businesses and individuals in the Valley City area. This year he is back. Already, he’s collected more than $3,000 in donations and auction items. All proceeds benefit Home Health & Hospice at Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
The Polar Pig “Walk the Plank” is set for Saturday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Stutsman Harley-Davidson. In their 13 years, Polar Pig Founders Don and Marla Wegner have raised more than $200,000 for JRMC Home Health & Hospice.
Months before the event, Chad spends hours and days raising money for the cause. He likes the work, but declines the attention.
“This isn’t about me, it’s about Hospice and raising money for those who need it,” he said. “I feel guilty that I’ve gotten second chances in my life. Helping hospice is a way to give back.”
Chad has seen the work of JRMC Hospice firsthand. “A friend asked me to help,” he said about being a caregiver to someone he barely knew. “I lived with him for six months and the nurses who came to support us were wonderful.”
Each year, Wegner and other members of the Jamestown Harley Owners Group (HOG) Chapter set up a giant wooden pirate ship in front of the Stutsman-Harley Davidson store.
Instead of riding for a good cause, these bikers walk the plank into a large pool of water. It would not be a big deal, other than the event always the fifth Saturday of the New Year. The group challenges the community to participate to raise funds for need hospice services in the community.
Proceeds provide chaplaincy, bereavement support, medical supplies and equipment, telecare and comfort items.
The event starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and includes a live and silent auction and chili feed. Jumpers walk the plank at noon.
For questions, contact Don Wegner at (701) 269-7047 or Stutsman-Harley Davidson at (701) 252-5271.