Marla and Don Wegner, long-time Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) members, have organized the annual Polar Pig Walk the Plank & Chili Cook-off for the last 18 years. Cumulatively, their efforts have raised nearly $300,000 for JRMC Hospice.

This year, the 18th Annual Polar Pig event occurred at Stutsman Harley Davidson on Feb. 3. Brave participants dove, jumped and cannon-balled into the (not so) icy waters, all in the name of JRMC Hospice.

“It is with deep gratitude that we reflect on Polar Pig’s humble beginnings 18 years ago,” said Marla Wegner. “What started as an idea from my husband has now raised thousands of dollars for our local hospice.”

Spectators cheered as several hospice team members and their families, along with countless community members, all plunged to make a splash for JRMC Hospice. The collaboration of the jumpers, chili enthusiasts, quilt raffle entries and Giving Hearts Day matches all led to a successful event.

Marla Wegner with a fellow H.O.G. member celebrating during a recent Polar Pig event.
Marla Wegner with a fellow H.O.G. member celebrating during a recent Polar Pig event.

The H.O.G.s., in partnership with Stutsman Harley-Davidson, presented JRMC with a check for over $20,000 from this year’s event, exemplifying the community’s generosity. Hospice provides comfort and care to patients and their families during at a time in their life when cure or recovery are no longer the goal. The H.O.G.’s gift supports that critical work.

“This event means so much to our team. Hospice is a topic many people don’t want to talk about and events like this allow us to raise awareness,” explained Shar Trevithick, Director of JRMC Home Health & Hospice. “We are so thankful that we can be present at this celebration and so fortunate to be the recipients of the funds raised during the annual community event.”

“As a retired nurse from JRMC, I am thankful for the compassionate care this organization provides to our community,” said Marla Wegner. “Their services offer comfort to those in need—a blessing we cannot be without. So much appreciation to all who support Polar Pig and hospice care for our neighbors.”

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