Liberty County’s Kiss-A-Pig team mixed a little luxury with a bit of swine as Liberty Elementary School students mingled with Remy the pig during a fundraising event Tuesday morning.
After a one-year hiatus from the annual Kiss-A-Pig Campaign, which benefits the American Diabetes Association, Liberty’s team once again is competing for a chance to smooch a pig.
This year, Team Swinesville is led by Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee and the staff, administration and students of Frank Long, Liberty, Lyman Hall and Joseph Martin elementary schools, Snelson-Golden Middle School and Liberty County High School.
Kiss-A-Pig presenting sponsor New River Auto Mall Luxury Group and local sponsor Infinity placed Remy the pig in the driver’s seat for Tuesday’s event.
“Today’s event was awesome,” said Maria Center, director for the Southeast Georgia/Coastal South Carolina ADA. “They had an area set up with a painted backdrop with pigs. The children came one by one and sat in a chair, petted the pig and fed the pig. They had their photo taken with Remy. Then they all went outside where New River Auto Mall had Infiniti cars parked next to a roped-off area. The kids streamed out and danced with teachers. It was wonderful. They were playing ‘Gangnam Style,’ and the kids were doing the horse dance.”
For the past several years, Liberty Elementary consistently has raised $4,000-$6,000 for the annual campaign. LES Principal Chris Anderson said it’s important to educate children about diabetes and ways to prevent it.
“We wanted to incorporate fun and fitness to reinforce being active to prevent diabetes,” he said. “I think the teachers had more fun dancing than the kids.”
LES third-grade teacher Tiffany Leon said it was the first time Remy the pig got a chance to meet and mingle with the students because the school has been so busy raising money for the cause.
“We had a couple of dress-down days, a coin drive, sold ADA bracelets, and a “root-beer float at recess” sale is happening tomorrow,” she said. “We also had a ‘Cookies and Canvas’ night where parents and students came to school after hours to enjoy cookies and punch while receiving instruction on painting a watercolor landscape scene from our art teacher, Miss Melissa Grant.”
And LES and the rest of the participating school are ramping up their event calendars during a final push starting May 5.
“We have a charity week scheduled for May 5-9,” Leon said about LES. “The kids have several themes to dress up with for each day. We will end the fundraising season with a dance (pajama jam) that will put the season to rest coinciding with our pajama-day theme.”
Liberty County participated in Kiss-A-Pig for 16 straight years, until 2013, and has raised more than $817,000 for the ADA. Last year, Liberty was unable to compete.
The Kiss-A-Pig campaign pits community leaders against each other in a friendly three-month contest to raise funds for the ADA. The leader from the regional team that raises the most money will kiss a live pig. The pig is honored in the campaign due to its contributions to insulin research during the early 1900s.
The winning team will be announced at the annual Kiss-A-Pig gala May 10 in Savannah.