People who 'CARE' take Plunge in Jasonville

Saturday, February 24, 2018
By Kristen Inman, Staff Writer

Participants--and spectators--got wet at CAnine REscue, Inc.'s (CARE) first annual Polar Plunge. In spite of the rainy weather, a large crowd gathered outside the Jasonville Fire Department at 1 p.m. this Saturday to watch a banana, a Dalmatian, the President of the United States and a man in a bikini bra jump into a large pool full of chilly water. Among the guests of honor were a brindle Mastiff named April and her pup, who was named Rex by the end of the event. The Clark family from Morgantown traveled to the event to adopt April, and also fell in love with her puppy and decided to take him home. April has six other seven-week-old puppies, who are also vetted, spayed and neutered and waiting for their forever homes at CARE. Andrea Duncan, President of the Jasonville Chamber of Commerce, welcomed everyone to the Polar Plunge and introduced Charla Byers, Director of CARE. She explained that six years ago, the euthanasia rate at the Greene County Humane Society was considerably higher, and in response, two women went on to create SAFE Animal Rescue, Inc. The City Council offered funds for the group to handle animal control in Jasonville, and that's when CARE, based in Jasonville, was created. "Last year, due to the help of everyone in Jasonville, CARE has homed more than 120 animals," said Byers. "Since that time, the Humane Society has changed hands and has become a low-kill shelter, and we're working together and doing great things." City Councilman Brad Duncan won for best costume and also for raising the highest amount. He jumped once, then jumped again to ensure that spectators got wet. Next, "POTUS" City Councilman Kent May found himself on the podium. "This is a fabulous project, and I hope it continues to grow," said May. "One other thing--I am the biggest dog lover to every jump into this pool--spay and neuter your animals!" May jumped and arose without his wig, which was retrieved from the water in preparation for jumper Wayne Pine, dressed as a banana. "I'm going to get in here, then I'm going to peel out," said Pine. Last but not least, CARE Polar Plunge organizer Margie Hudson, dressed as a Dalmatian, climbed up to the stand and watched as participants prepped the water with bags of especially for her. Hudson thanked everyone for coming and then took the plunge, herself. Personnel at the Fire Department handled clean-up as the pool was drained. Jasonville Fire Chief Matt Duckworth said that when he was approached about holding the event at the fire station, he said he was "all in." After the plunge, divers and spectators went inside for warmth, treats and hot beverages. Hudson confirmed that the event raised around $1,000 for CARE, which Byers said will go toward veterinary care for the animals currently at CARE, as well as food, cleaning supplies, additional Igloo dog houses and preventatives. Byers said that for people who couldn't make it out to the plunge, donations can be made at Royer Veterinary Services in Worthington to CAnine REscue, Inc. Byers also asked that everyone marked their calendars for next year's CARE Polar Plunge, on the second Saturday of February in 2019.