MATEWAN – Governor Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice traveled to Matewan Elementary School in Mingo County on Friday to present students and staff with a check for US $ 100,000 as the winner of Round 3 of the Do it for Babydog vaccination competition.
The governor and first lady brought their pet, English bulldog and sweepstakes mascot, Babydog, and threw an entire school party to celebrate them.
“We’re so proud to be here today, it’s amazing,” said Justice. “We had one school across the state – one school out of every school – that was selected and won a grand prize of $ 100,000. And do you know who won? You won.”
The governor, first lady, and babydog presented the school administration with the check for $ 100,000.
“Mr. Governor, First Lady, we are honored to have you here,” said Dr. Johnny Branch, superintendent of Mingo County Schools. “This is a great school, a great community. Our administration, our teachers, and all Staff do such a great job and we have great children. “
During the ceremony, several students presented gifts to the West Virginia First Family, including a basket full of Mingo County treasures and a baby dog bone.
During the ceremony, First Lady Justice took time to speak with students about Communities in Schools, the First Lady’s nonprofit education initiative that operates in dozen of counties across the state, including Mingo County, which partnerships and brings in resources in Schools to remove barriers to student learning with the aim of keeping all students in school and eventually graduation.
“You have the option to do anything you want to do in your life,” said First Lady Justice. “If you think I can’t because I’m from Matewan, West Virginia, then you are not. You have to believe in yourself because I believe in you. You have so many people in your corner. “
The event also included remarks from the director of the Mingo County Health Department to discuss the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Earlier in the day, the health department hosted a vaccination clinic at the school.
As a token of confidence in the vaccine, Matewan Mayor Matt Moore received his booster from MCHD staff in front of the crowd at the event.
This is the fourth and final school visit as part of Do it for Babydog: Round 3.
Earlier this week, 126 young West Virginians were also announced as individual winners in the final week of Round 3.
Emma Brumfield of Paden City won a $ 100,000 Education Savings Fund, while another 25 young West Virginians each won a $ 10,000 Education Savings Fund award.
All Education Savings Fund prices are issued in the form of a 529 plan administered by the State Treasurer, which is invested and grows over time. The fund can be used for all education-related expenses, not just higher education.