Kiss-a-Pig is a unique and light-hearted fundraising effort that pits local community leaders against each other in a contest to raise the most "votes" for the honor of kissing a pig at a celebratory gala at the end of the campaign. Each "vote" is equal to $1. All proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association and aid in the fight to find a cure for the disease.
Until 1921 there was no treatment for diabetes. A diagnosis of diabetes was a death sentence. The discovery of insulin, which was originally derived from the pancreas of pigs, sustains life for diabetics who are insulin-dependent. The American Diabetes Association honors the pig for saving countless lives.
Several Liberty County residents were honored Thursday night for contributions they’ve made to benefit the American Diabetes Association during the Southeast Georgia and Coastal South Carolina annual meeting and awards ceremony at the Hyatt in Savannah.
The ADA Savannah chapter Director Maria Center expressed appreciation for the fundraising efforts of Team Liberty, which has competed in the annual Kiss-A-Pig campaign for the past 13 years. Campaigning against the team from Savannah Chatham County Public Schools, the dueling counties have propelled the competition to new heights and last year raised nearly $200,000.
Among those recognized was Liberty Elementary School Principal Chris Anderson. Center said Anderson was instrumental in encouraging students from Liberty County to raise funds for the cause. The principal and his students raised $6,000 last year.
Liberty County Board of Education Assistant Superintendant for Administrative Services Jason Rogers was honored for raising $78,700 as the Team Liberty Kiss-A-Pig candidate last year.
Center introduced Barney and Elaine Maley, owners of the Sunbury Crab Company, and gave them a gift for their efforts. Center said the couple helped Team Liberty raise $23,000 in the past two years by hosting celebrity bartending events.
Mary Dryden Creasy and Teresa Dryden received a gift on behalf of their father, Claude Dryden. Center said Dryden Enterprises, which hosts the annual Dorchester Sporting Clay Tournament for the Kiss-A-Pig Campaign, has raised $301,800 since 2004.
Finally, Center honored and recognized Danny Creasy of The Heritage Bank.
Creasy was Team Liberty’s candidate in 2008. The group defeated the Savannah team by raising $160,000.
Creasy also was recognized as a new incoming ADA board member.
"He is the ‘bus driver’ for the Liberty Team," Center said. "This guy can make things happen."
2010 Kiss-A-Pig campaign kick-off events are in the planning stages. This year’s theme is "Harry Porker," after the well-known Harry Potter series.