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Team Liberty raises $11K for Kiss-A-Pig
JME Pig Group
Staff at Joseph Martin Elementary adopted farm attire for one of the fundraisers. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Team Liberty didn’t claim the top prize of a smooch with a cute little swine, but the squad did help the greater cause.
The Liberty County School System raised around $11,500 for the 2014 Kiss-A-Pig campaign that benefits the American Diabetes Association. The funds were raised primarily through student and faculty events at Lyman Hall, Frank Long, Liberty Elementary, Joseph Martin Elementary, Snelson Golden Middle and Liberty County High schools.
The campaign pits communities in a friendly competition against each other to see who can raise the most money towards research and cure of diabetes. Southeast Georgia/Coastal South Carolina ADA Director Maria Center said funds still are trickling in. In all, the campaign has brought in $263,712.67.
All participating schools held various activities from March until the Kiss-A-Pig gala held May 10 in Savannah. The final week of activities were at Joseph Martin Elementary. During one event May 6, JME Principal Rebecca Mock was suspended from the wall solely by duct tape.
“I wasn’t nervous so much about being taped to the wall but the part where they slide the table out from under my feet … that was the part I was concerned about, but I stuck to the wall,” she said with a smile. “I have family members on both sides that have diabetes, so this is a very worthy cause for us to participate in and help raise money for the research.”
Assistant Principal Brittney Mobley dressed like an infant and allowed the entire student body to feed her baby food.
“It really is all in good fun to help raise money for a good cause,” she said after nearly hundreds of spoonfuls of baby food and still waiting for more students. The kids enjoy it … My father has diabetes and my grandmother, when she was alive, had diabetes, so it is something that runs in my family and I take heavily after my father, so it is something near and dear to my heart. Not only were the events fun for the students, but we ensured that they were aware of the meaning behind them. We emphasized the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and helping raise awareness about this disease.”
Mock became principal at Joseph Martin in January and was well aware of the campaign. Formerly the assistant principal at Liberty County Elementary, Mock helped LES Principal Chris Anderson raise $4,000-$6,000 during the 5-6 year span the school competed in the event.
Last year was the first time Team Liberty didn’t participate in the campaign. But when Center approached the school system this year, LCSS Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee and the participating schools jumped at the opportunity.
“When we got the invitation, I decided we were going to go ahead and do it,” Mock said. “Throughout the week and during the events, as well as the announcements, students were reminded of the significance of the Kiss-A-Pig Campaign and how this disease can affect anyone.”
JME teacher Felecia Thomas said the children learned they are not immune to the disease.
“The main thing that I think the children learned is that some people, to include children, are sick and that our small donations make a huge difference for doctors who are trying to help those people,” she said. “They understand that our eating habits can affect our health.”  
The festivities continued last Thursday when the staff held a pig pageant, dressing up in the finest swine attire and letting the students pick their favorite.
“Maria Center and the folks at the American Diabetes Association should be commended for all of their hard work, and we would like to personally thank our employees and our students for donating their time and money to fight this disease,” LCSS Assistant Superintendent Jason Rogers said. “The students and employees did an outstanding job, and the district is proud of all of their hard work and efforts. Everyone had fun, but most importantly, the campaign raised money for a worthy cause and at the same time provided learning opportunities and experiences for our staff and students to become more familiar with diabetes and its impact on our society.”

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