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Kiss-A-Pig Campaign starts

Team Liberty hopes to raise $175,000

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POSTED: March 11, 2009 10:45 a.m.
Photo by Patty Leon/

Last year's Kiss-A-Pig winner, Danny Creasy, holds up a Team Liberty flag while this year's candidate, Jason Rogers, addresses the crowd at the launch of the 17th annual Kiss-A-Pig Campaign that introduced competitors vying for a chance to kiss Hamlet. Liberty Elementary School Principal Chris Anderson and Creasy are Rogers' campaign managers.

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SAVANNAH — Rusakis Plaza came alive with the OlymPIG athletes parading on stage as this year’s 17th annual Kiss-A-Pig Campaign kicked off Saturday.
Competitors vying for a chance to kiss Hamlet the pig at a gala planned for May 30 talked about their training routines.
The campaign is the largest fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.
Teams of community leaders compete to see who can raise the most funds. This year’s campaign will include competitors from the coast of South Carolina and Georgia, with candidates representing Beaufort and Effingham, Chatham and Liberty counties.
Chatham County Public Schools has competed for 17 years, Liberty County for 13. Together these teams have propelled the competition to a new level, earning them a separate category as marathon runners.
This year, team Liberty County is running Jason Rogers, assistant superintendent for administrative services for the Liberty County Board of Education. Together with trainers Danny Creasy, last year’s Kiss-a-Pig winner, and Liberty Elementary School Principal Chris Anderson, they hope to give $175,000.
Last year Creasy, from The Heritage Bank, dethroned the reigning champs of Chatham County Public Schools, by raising an unprecedented $160,000.
Representing the Savannah-Chatham County Schools this year is its teacher of the year Daniel Snope.
With the pressure of trying to repeat last year’s success and the current state of the economy, Rogers and his team got off to an early start in October when they staged a challenge leading up to the Florida versus Georgia football game on Nov 1.
“The school board central office and Liberty County High School teamed together against Bradwell high and the Liberty Pre-K Center to see who could raise the most money,” Rogers said. “In one month we raised $7,679.”
Dr. Vicki Albritton, Bradwell’s principal, and Dr. Shelby Bush of the Pre-K Center are both big Gator fans, but were both forced to don Bulldog attire and had their offices decorated in Bulldog colors as they came in second in the challenge.
Last year was the first time the Liberty County school children became active in the campaign. Rogers said they plan to do the same this year as well as increase awareness about the disease.
“At the next principal’s meeting, Chris Anderson is going to introduce a couple of elementary school challenges as well as middle school challenges that should take place between now and May and help gather more support system-wide,” Rogers said. “Diabetes is so prevalent across the school system so we are hoping to incorporate more education leading towards prevention of the disease.”
Among the activities planned for this year’s Team Liberty campaign is the fifth annual Friends for Diabetes Dorchester Clay Shoot Tournament on April 11 at the Dorchester Shooting Preserve in Midway. Last year the event raised $80,000.
On Saturday, May 9, The Sunbury Crab Company is hosting its signature sunset event from 4-8 p.m. with live music, dancing and festivities. Last year’s event drew several hundred people from surrounding areas and raised $14,000.
In two weeks the ADA will have a Diabetes ALERT Day. Scheduled for March 24, folks considered at high risk for type 2 are urged to get tested.
Screenings are scheduled in Liberty County at Liberty Regional Medical Center from 7 a.m.-noon and Rite Aid Pharmacy, 108 Hendry Street, from 9 a.m.– 2 p.m.
 

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