Kiss the Pig!

We interrupt our regular scheduled blogging about how every damn thing about Pinktober sucks to bring you this…

Yes, our little piggie has been hard at work.

My kids’ elementary school has a fundraiser every year, like most schools. Instead of selling wrapping paper or cookie dough, our school puts on a Walk-a-Thon. It’s a big event that raises anywhere from $40K to $50K-plus. Yes, you read that right: many thousands of dollars. Money comes in via pledges gathered by the kids for walking laps inside the school (it’s much more festive than it sounds); a live auction with prizes such as Principal for the Day, in which a kid gets to be the boss of the school for one day, and a silly string war with the counselor; a silent auction with items ranging from a homemade meal delivered to your doorstep to a pair of handmade earrings; food; carnival games; and novelty sales.

Last year our amazing Walk-a-Thon chairlady Amy came up with a brilliant idea for another element for fundraising: Kiss the Pig. At that point, we didn’t yet own our little piggie, so Amy rented a piglet from a petting zoo. That may have turned out be the longest 24 hours of her life: that poor piglet had not yet been weaned from its mama and bawled like the baby it was.

This year, Amy enlisted the help of our sweet Piper, and she rocked the house. One day last week Piper headed up to school to hang out on the stage during each lunch period and get the kids all lathered up about the Walk-a-Thon. The idea was simple: each teacher and office staff member would have a collection jar (with a custom-designed label, of course) and for the week before the fundraiser, kids would drop pocket change into the jar of the teacher they wanted to see kiss Piper at the Walk-a-Thon.

Piper was a good little piggie during the lunch periods (we were there from 10:45 until 1:00). She milled around onstage, stood on a table for better viewing, ate her snacks, and visited with teachers. Some teachers loved, loved, loved her, and others kept a safe distance. Kids being kids, they picked up on which teachers were leery of Piper and promptly filled those jars.

piggie snacks– mmm mmm good

The day of the Walk-a-Thon found me at school to count the money in the jars. I expected to be there for a couple of hours, knowing the task would be made easier by the digital coin counter our thoughtful PTA treasurer provided. Silly, silly me. There was SO much money to count, I was there from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., without a break! One teacher alone brought in more than $60–all in change.

The big winners were announced live, at the fundraiser, and the crowd was whipped into a frenzy. The kids were chanting, “Kiss the pig!” and screaming, parents were straining to catch a glimpse of the pig on the stage, and cameras were flashing. We have a big school — nearly 800 students and close to 70 teachers & staff — so the crowd was Texas-sized. Piper took her rock-star experience in stride, calmly munching on cucumber slices and wasabi peas as the crowd adored her. In keeping with the luau theme of the fundraiser, she sported a hibiscus leash and a lei around her neck.

Piper on stage with her manager and publicist

When it came time for the kissing, the teachers came on stage one at a time and got up close and personal with Piper. Sadly, it went by so fast I didn’t get a picture of each teacher. By the time I got my camera ready, we’d blasted through the kindergarten, first and second grade teachers puckering up with Piper. Here’s the third grade winner giving Piper a big smooch. 

The fifth grade teacher was the most freaked out, by far — which is why the kids filled her jar with every coin they could shake from their piggie banks and gather from the couch cushions.

Come on down, Mrs D! You’re the next contestant on Kiss the Pig!

She’s working up the nerve to move in for the kiss…

Getting closer…And finally, getting her kiss (after being pushed a little, or maybe shoved)…

Next came the assistant principal

and the principal

and Piper’s work was done.

Our little piggie helped raise $928.56 for the school, and the grand total earned was $55,000. Here’s the school marquee lit up in the wee hours of the night, after all the money had been counted.

Nice work, Piper.

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17 Comments on “Kiss the Pig!”

  1. I hope someone bought that little piggie dinner ;)

  2. Amy P says:

    Piper and Macy and Nancy were awesome!! I am so glad I did not have to tame a wild baby this time!!!!

  3. Eddie says:

    Piper more than pulled her weight. Literally. I bet the coins weighed more than she. Good thing my dogs and I weren’t there to make her grumpy. She might get ISS is she bit a teacher!

  4. Barb Fernald says:

    Great story! Congratulations on such successful fund raising and what looks like a really fun time!

  5. David Benbow says:

    Excellent! I’m going to send notes to our principals and volunteer Milo. MMMMMWAH!

  6. CJ says:

    Greatly enjoyed reading this! $55,000 is incredible! If you ever want to do a fundraiser to benefit metastatic breast cancer, METAvivor would be thrilled! $50,000 is the cost of a single METAvivor MBC research grant for us … thus with a $50,000 donation we could name one of our grants the METAvivor/Pink Underbelly Research Grant!

  7. Christy says:

    Way to go, Piper!! And to think, I get to kiss her for free :)

  8. Ah, that’s incredibly cute! What a fun diversion from pink-tober! Congrats to Piper on raising so much money for the school. xo

  9. elizabeth connolly says:

    What a pig is right!!! I can’t wait to see her and maybe give her a kiss. Love to all

  10. elizabeth connolly says:

    Oh alright. I will give her a kiss !!!!!!I

  11. Nice work indeed Piper!

  12. I LOVE this! What a fantastic idea for fundraising – and once again, it seems that Piper steals the show! ~Catherine


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