Click here to watch a video of the school's celebration.
Ever since Chris Anderson took over as principal at Liberty Elementary School, students actively have raised funds for the American Diabetes Association’s Kiss-A-Pig campaign. This year was no different as the school raised $5,000 —all thanks to the staff, students, parents and Anderson’s ability to be a good sport.
The principal has endured plenty of gags and high jinks for the cause, including being duct-taped to a school wall and dunked into a pool of mud, and Thursday morning he kissed Reba the pig to celebrate the school reaching its goal, which students hit after sponsoring seven days of activities.
In the past four campaigns, Anderson and Liberty Elementary School have donated $18,000 to the ADA. Anderson and the school were recognized for their accomplishments with a plaque at last Saturday’s campaign gala finale.
“What motivates me is seeing the students have fun and educating them about the American Diabetes Association and about people who have diabetes,” Anderson said. “The students, community and the staff do a wonderful job. We want our students to be great citizens and learn about the importance of supporting such fundraisers for their community.”
“You guys have the best school and the best principal in Liberty County and you should be very proud of the work that you have done,” Team Liberty candidate and this year’s Kiss-A-Pig winner, Joel Osteen, said shortly before Anderson kissed the pig at an assembly in the school’s gym.
But the kiss was just the icing on the cake.
Anderson also had his hair spray painted pink by two students and Assistant Principal Rebecca Mock. Just before school let out, they held their final celebration event where Anderson was covered in maple syrup then doused with feathers and pillow stuffing by the students.
“It’s been wonderful and the kids have been great,” the principal said. “It’s important for the kids to learn how to donate time … to charities and see that it’s a wonderful thing for them and for the community.”
Anderson started assisting Team Liberty in 2008 when then-candidate Danny Creasy raised a whopping $160,000 to win first place. Since then, the school has added new activities. But some activities seem to be a hit with the kids who once again taped Anderson to the wall this year using seven rolls of duct tape.
“I was just hanging around,” he joked about being suspended in mid air.
In addition to putting their principal through the wringer, the kids also had a fiesta day where students took turns trying to bust a piñata full of candy, a hat day and a dress-down day. They watched Anderson roll in the mud, participated in a no-talent talent show and played a basketball game.
The money raised by the school was added to the final tally for Joel Osteen and Team Liberty, who took first place by bringing in $83,000.
Anderson said they look forward to reaching their goal again next year and will have a “swine” time doing so.