By ALLEN RAU
This weekend promises to be a busy one for folks helping with the Paws in Blue fundraising drive. While the Persimmon Ridge Park event on Saturday, Sept. 8 will headline the effort, a Celebrity Bagging event at Jonesborough’s Food City on Friday, Sept. 7 will aid the drive for an additional K-9 team.
“We’ve got the Board of Mayor and Alderman going to participate, and the senior officers of the police force and Fire Chief (Phil) Fritts is going to participate,” Chairman of the Paws in Blue Fundraising Committee Ruth Verhegge said.
“It’s a way to get additional attention and try to get donations.”
The bagging event, scheduled for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Jackson Highway Food City, will feature additional local celebrities, Verhegge said.
“Joe Grandy, the new mayor of Washington County, will be there. Mark Reynolds, from WJHL, will be there. Hopefully, Loki (currently Jonesborough’s only K-9 pup) will be there.”
According to Verhegge, about five of the celebs will be in the store working the bagging stations, while tables at both entrances will offer information and take donations.
She added that K-9 dogs and the training required for the dogs and their handlers routinely cost between $13,000 and $15,000 and she’s hoping this weekend raises a large chunk of that number, if not all.
In addition to the Paws in the event, Civitan Club members will also be present.
Civitan president Jimmy Rhein said, “I know there’s (going to be) two of us there, and there may be a couple more that show up on Friday. We’re looking forward to the opportunity. We’re going to have a table there.
“We’re excited about it and we’ve been a strong supporter of this project. We’ve put some money into it to help them start the program at Persimmon Ridge Park and been following it all along. I think it’s a great thing.”
Rhein added that he would be attending the event alongside former Civitan President Diego Iglesias.
While the local celebrity firepower will certainly help with the fundraising effort for the new K-9 team, only time will tell about their ability to not place heavy items on top of the bread and eggs.