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Grundy County residents experienced a shock when they jumped into the cold lakes, streams and pools to raise money for Madi Rogers recently. But, that was nothing compared to the elation many are feeling upon receiving the news of donations rolling in from other counties, states, and countries.
The Madi Rogers 24HR Coldwater Challenge began as a countywide fundraising event to help the Rogers’ family earn money for Madi’s diabetic alert dog. The goal was to add to an ongoing fund in hopes of someday reaching $18,000.
Fundraising efforts peaked when Monica Reed Weiner of Athens, Alabama donated $10,000 in memory of her husband, Sgt. Kevin Weiner. Sgt. Weiner was an Iraqi war veteran and member of the Louisiana National Guard. He was killed while protecting the citizens of Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac.
Wendy Snow Tipton, organizer of the challenge, is ecstatic at the kindness of the community and so many others. She says that Courtney and Madi Rogers are overwhelmed.
A down payment has been placed on the dog, named, Abby K. The “K” was added to the original name to honor Sgt. Weiner. Samples of Madi’s clothing and blood are being sent to Texas where the dog is training to aid in familiarization.
Tipton recognizes that all donations are a blessing to the Rogers’ family. She says there are outstanding medical bills that need to be paid, the dog will require insurance and veterinary care, and Madi will require ongoing treatment.
People continue to participate in the challenge. Videos have recently been posted on the challenge Facebook page from Turkey and other far-off destinations as well as right here in Grundy County.