WILMINGTON — For a fifth time, the staff of Clinton County Juvenile & Probate Judge Chad L. Carey “participated” in the Iditarod race, as a fun way to do a community donation project.
Carey’s courthouse staff along with others drew mushers to root for — altogether there were 31 participants. The recipient charity this year is the Clinton County Humane Society.
Over 75 items were collected including cat litter, chew toys, beds, bleach, laundry detergent, mop refills, paper towels, slip leads, newspapers and first-class stamps.
“We were so happy to help the Humane Society with items that are needed,” said a court spokesperson.
During the five years of the Iditarod donation project, participants have collected over 800 articles of clothing, school supplies, gift certificates, bedding for children and needs for animals.
As the race neared the finish line, the two leading mushers were within two hours of each other on the 975-mile journey. It was a race to the finish, with musher Brent Sass — cheered on by Clinton County Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Deanne Whalen — coming in first to seize his first Iditarod victory.
Sass reportedly had ice in his beard when he stepped off his sled, and a massive grin on his face.
Along the trail, court staffers had a little fun as well. Every morning a board of mushers was changed to reflect who was winning and who had improved from the day before.
Musher Dallas Seavey — rooted on by Juvenile Probation Community Service Coordinator Chad Mason — placed second.
This year’s actual Red Lantern award, which goes to the last-place finisher recognized for finishing the daunting race, went to Apayauq Reitan — who was cheered on by Juvenile Court Bailiff Tim Tyree. There were 49 mushers who started the race and 37 who finished.
Tyree will proudly display his award until next year.
“This is a fun way to help others in our community and a privilege. We are already looking forward to next year,” said the spokesperson.