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Car wash raises money for K-9 unit

On Saturday, Riverside Recovery Services hosted a car wash to raise money for the K-9 fund of Sgt. Jamie Pruitt, of the Ironton Police Department, to get the training for another K-9 officer in the Ironton Police Department and in the county.

“We took donations toward training another K-9 unit in Lawrence County. The county didn’t have the funds to support it, but we thought we could do what we could to help out,” Kathy Ross, Riverside Recovery site manager and intake coordinator, said. “We’ve been planning this for about a month now.”

Riverside staff members and clients worked the car wash, as well as local people on probation who were able to use the event toward their community service.

“Recovery is all about service work,” Ross said. “To stay clean and sober, you have to give back to the community that you took from.”

Riverside Recovery counselor Kyle Fetherolf said that the car wash not only benefits Sgt. Pruitt for his K-9 fund, but also benefits the Riverside clients who worked the event and helped wash cars.

“It’s helping build skills and learn how to be productive members of society while in recovery,” he said. “They’re learning they don’t have to be under the influence of any substance to enjoy thoughts and have a good time. It’s OK to have a good time without putting something in your body to alter your state of mind.”

Josh Hutchinson, a client at Riverside Recovery who helped out at the car wash, said he’s been at Riverside for 35 days.

“It’s a great program and it saved my life, literally,” he said. “I just enjoy giving back.”

Riverside Recovery donated an extra $5 from all donations from county or law enforcement vehicles that came through the car wash Saturday. A total of $403 was made during the event, with Riverside Recovery matching, for a total of $806 going toward the K-9 fund.

“I was excited when they contacted me about the fundraiser,” Pruitt said. “I went to school with and am friends with a few of their employees.”

Currently, Pruitt’s K-9 fund contains around $2,300 and Lawrence County prosecutor Brigham Anderson also pledged to match up to $3,000.

“The first goal is $6,000, which we are getting close to with the matching funds,” Pruitt said. “That will get the training started and a few items needed, but we’ll probably need a few more thousand after that for entire training and equipment.”

The car wash took place in the lot next to CVS Pharmacy in Chesapeake.

“We want to thank County Commissioner Freddie Hayes for letting us use his space for the car wash,” Ross said.

Other Riverside Recovery events included an open house on Monday where the public was invited to come in, see the facility, meet the staff and see what goes on at the house, located at 103 Second Ave. in Chesapeake, and a “Take Back the Streets” resource fair Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Chesapeake Community Park.

“We’re here to serve a better purpose and do good things,” Shannon Fetherolf, Riverside Recovery program director, said. “We’re not here to hurt the community, we’re just trying to make it better.”