The Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.s) understand the impact a quality hospice program has on a community. Jamestown Regional Medical Center’s Hospice program has made such an impact on the members of their group. That’s why they host the Polar Pig “Walk the Plank” fundraiser each year.

Proceeds provide important areas of hospice care, including chaplaincy, grief support, medical supplies and equipment, telecare and comfort items. This year’s event also benefits the JRMC Cancer Center. 

“Hospice is so important and makes a difference for patients and their families,” said Marla Wegner. Wegner and her husband, Don, started the event with the motorcycle group in 2007. In 15 years, they’ve raised more than $230,000.

“I just didn’t know if we’d be able to do anything this year,” Marla said.

After a few planning meetings, the H.O.G.s decided they couldn’t cancel this year’s event, especially when patients and staff needed care the most. However, to accommodate pandemic precautions, an online auction is sponsored by Orr Auctioneers and “walk the plank” is now an ice bucket challenge.

JRMC Hospice care never quit during the pandemic.

The number of people needing care increased along with the need for additional precautions.

“We’ve supported patients, family and long-term care facilities during visitor restrictions. It is hard when family and friends can’t be close,” said Shar Trevithick, JRMC Home Health & Hospice manager. “However, as always, when a patient needs us, we can be by their side in 30 minutes.”

For 25 years, JRMC Hospice has been an essential component of compassionate end-of-life care. It encourages individuals with a terminal diagnosis to enroll when they become eligible.

“Hospice best serves individuals when we are involved soon after stopping curative treatment. If you are in this situation, we can answer questions about the changes occurring for the individual and the family,” Trevithick said.

The JRMC team focuses on comfort by controlling pain and other systems so the patient can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice also has a social work team which helps the patient and family understand and cope. The chaplain provides additional spiritual support and grief counseling.

Care is available in the patient’s home, whether that is a home address, nursing home, assisted living community, independent living community or other location. A referral is not required; patients and families can choose JRMC Hospice.

The Polar Pig “Ice Bucket Challenge” is set for noon Sat., Jan. 30, with a chili feed beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Stutsman Harley-Davidson. The online auction starts Mon., Jan. 25 and ends at 2 p.m. on the event day. Support the cause by bidding or donating auction items, making donations, or sharing a photo on Facebook for the challenge.

Special gifts include:

  • Fraternal Order of Eagles Midway 2923, New Rockford
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles, Valley City
  • Stutsman Harley Davidson, Jamestown
  • District 8 ABATE, Jamestown
  • Sanford Health, Jamestown
  • J & L Bar and Grill, Sanborn
  • Page Fire Department
  • Thundering Saints, Valley City
  • Wilhelm Chevrolet Buick GMC, Jamestown

For questions, contact Don Wegner at (701) 269-7047 or Stutsman-Harley Davidson at (701) 252-5271.