WILMINGTON — For the fourth year, staff of the Clinton County Juvenile and Probate Courts held an Iditarod adventure and contest, and most importantly a community service project.
The way it works is like this. All of Judge Chad Carey’s staff along with some other Courthouse workers participate — a total of 31 participants from the Courthouse joined in this year’s Iditarod for cheering and charity.
They start by drawing the names of dog sled drivers, known as mushers, to cheer on during the actual race upon the snow. And the chosen charity this year is the Clinton County chapter of “Sleep in Heavenly Peace”. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization builds beds for children who have no bed. The beds come fully fitted with a mattress and all the bedding. Its motto is “No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town.”
Over 70 items were collected for the charity, including pillows, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, comforters and weighted blankets.
“We are so happy to help the children in our community to ensure that they have the items needed to get a restful night’s sleep,” said a courthouse Iditarod spokeswoman.
In fact, during the four-year run of the local Iditarod project, the “mushers” at the Clinton County Courthouse have collected over 700 articles of clothing, school supplies, gift certificates and bedding.
On March 7, 2021 for the actual Iditarod, 46 mushers left on their 848-mile journey. Meanwhile, back in southwest Ohio, the 31 musher “participants” had a little fun along the trail, and kept up with how the sporting event was progressing. Every morning, a board depicting the mushers was changed to reflect who was winning and who had improved from the day before.
The weather on the actual trail reached −52 at times, but the courthouse office temps were not changed to reflect those particular thermometer developments.
Along the courthouse trail, several fun awards were passed out.
At the finish line, Judge Carey won with his musher Dallas Seavey. Courthouse employee Adam Green placed second with his musher.
This year’s local Red Lantern Award — which goes to the last-place finisher — is courthouse worker Rachel Young whose musher was Victoria Hardwick. Young reportedly will proudly display her award until next year for all to see.
In truth, the red lantern is indeed a symbol of perseverance awarded to the final musher who completes the race. Five mushers who started the race this year did not finish.
“This is a fun way to help others in our community and a privilege. We are already looking forward to next year,” said a courthouse musher.
It’s apropos that the Iditarod is being utilized in a charitable effort. The actual Iditarod race started in 1925 after 20 mushers transported medicine to Nome, Alaska.