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Governor Jim Justice, Babydog Hand Out Prizes at West Liberty University

Homer Pierce of Weirton shares a moment with West Virginia’s canine mascot Babydog after learning he had won $40,000 in the second round of the state’s “Do It For Babydog” vaccination lottery Wednesday. (Photos by Joselyn King)

WEST LIBERTY — A teenage soccer player at West Liberty University has a brand new luxury sports car to drive — if her parents let her keep it.

Kassidy Wolfe, 19, a Morgantown native, was presented with the white Audi automobile Wednesday by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and the state’s canine mascot Babydog at the soccer field as her teammates cheered. She was a winner in the second round of West Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination incentive program, “Do It For Babydog.”

Two others also were invited to the WLU campus to receive prizes.

Homer Pierce of Weirton was given his choice of $40,000 or free gasoline for 10 years. He said he would take the $40,000. Travis Bayes of Wheeling, meanwhile, won a Yamaha Grizzly ATV he said would be enjoyed by him and his two teenage sons.

West Liberty University student Kassidy Wolfe stands by a new luxury Audi sports car she was awarded Wednesday through the sweepstakes.

Wolfe had no idea she was about to get a new car when she accompanied her teammates to the soccer field.

They had been asked to come to the field to greet the governor, she said.

“Yes, I’m super surprised,” she said. “I had no idea what was going on.

“I knew I was getting $100 for my vaccination, but not a car.”

Wolfe said her current car is a 2011 Honda Pilot. She was asked if she was going to keep the new sports car.

“Probably, if my parents let me,” Wolfe said.

If she does keep it, she plans to give her current car to her 15-year-old sister, Kaylie.

“It was worth it,” Wolfe said of getting a COVID vaccination. “I thought I should do it for my family.”

Travis Bayes of Wheeling celebrates after winning an all-terrain vehicle in the second round of West Virginia’s “Do It For Babydog” contest.

Both Pierce and Bayes were called by the West Virginia State Police on Wednesday and told they were winners, but they weren’t informed what they won.

Pierce’s family was skeptical of the call.

“My daughter thought it was a scam,” he said. The officer calling was able to convince them the prize was genuine.

Pierce didn’t hesitate in saying he would take the $40,000 prize instead of free gasoline for 10 years. He explained he needed something in which to put the gasoline.

“I need a car,” he said. “Mine is a piece of junk.”

Bayes said he was told he was a winner, and told to come to the West Liberty soccer field at 4 p.m. Thursday.

“My boys will get a kick out of this,” he said after learning he had won the ATV. His sons are Azariah, 16, and Japeth, 15.

Justice began the prize presentations by addressing the crowd on the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations, and how equally important it is to not harshly judge those who choose not to be vaccinated.

“We all want to be super-respectful, and never look down in any way on anybody who decides, ‘I don’t want to do it,'” Justice said.

“This great country is founded on something called freedom, and truly it should be your choice. “But without any question, the more who are vaccinated the less who are going to die,” he said.


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