Befitting this year’s theme, “Sowvivor Lowcountry,” teams participating in the American Diabetes Association’s 20th annual Kiss-A-Pig campaign braved tornadoes and thunderstorms Saturday to make it to the official campaign launch in Savannah.
The theme is a spoof of the reality TV series “Survivor.”
Team Liberty officially introduced Derek Sills, first vice president of The Heritage Group, as its candidate.
The campaign pits local communities and teams in a contest to see who can raise the most money for the American Diabetes Association.
Liberty County once again is competing in the “big-pig” category against Team Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools. The two powerhouses have raised the most money for the ADA in the past several campaigns.
In keeping with the “sowvivor” spirit, Team Liberty, normally called Team Swinesville, will be known as the Blue Crab Tribe.
Twelve other “tribes” representing Savannah and Coastal South Carolina will compete in the “small-pig” category.
Sills and his campaign manager, Claude Dryden of Dryden Enterprises, hope to win the right to kiss this year’s mascot, Remi, a black mini pot-bellied pig. But the Blue Crabs have a tough opponent in Savannah’s 20-year veteran team, the Canoe Tribe.
Team Liberty won the right to kiss the pig twice. In 2008, Danny Creasy of The Heritage Bank kissed the pig after raising $160,000, which still stands as the record for the largest amount raised in one campaign. Last year, candidate Joel Osteen won top honors.
Sills said his goal is to try and beat Creasy’s amount.
“I want to do it right and kiss that pig,” he said.
Team Liberty will host a series of small events throughout the campaign, and two major events are planned for the weekend of April 27-28.
On April 27, Sills and the team will host the second annual “Wild Taste of Dorchester,” a wild game supper and silent auction. The cost is $50 per person and includes wild-game delicacies, drinks, live music and shopping for one-of-kind items.
The next day, the team will host the ninth annual Friends for Diabetes Dorchester Fun Clay Shoot. According to Maria Center, director of the Southeast Georgia/Coastal South Carolina American Diabetes Association, this event has been the single-largest fundraiser for the ADA in the past eight years. The cost is $500 for a four-person team. The fee includes lunch and a gift bag.
For more information on the Wild Taste of Dorchester or the clay shoot, call Sheryl Rozier at 369-7634.