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Mud as the great motivator

Kiss-A-Pig is winding down

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POSTED: May 20, 2010 4:11 p.m.
Photo by Patty Leon/

Liberty Elementary School Principal Chris Anderson and Assistant Principal Rebecca Mock wallowed in a pool of mud Tuesday to wrap up a series of school fundraisers for the American Diabetes Association's annual Kiss-A-Pig campaign. The students raised about $3,000 this year and will present a check to Team Liberty candidate Jon Long on Friday morning.

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On Saturday, area residents rode hogs through town. On Tuesday afternoon, two educators took a dip in a mud bath. And it’s all in the name of charity.
The final fundraisers and celebratory events leading to Friday’s Kiss-A-Pig gala in Savannah are winding down and Team Liberty will soon know if its candidate, Jon Long, has won the right to kiss Hamlet the pig.
Long, the hospital authority chairman, said a prayer Saturday morning before sending the riders on their way for the first annual Porker Run.
Ken Porter, one of the event’s organizers, said roughly 50 bikers came out to compete for the best poker hand.
Porter said spreading the word about diabetes is important.
“Our family has had some people affected by diabetes and we are very thankful that it hasn’t been serious, but all too many families have a problem like that,” he said. “It takes lives and limbs and it’s a terrible disease.”
Bikers drew cards and traveled from station to station.
Afterward, riders enjoyed a meal catered by Shane’s Rib Shack.
Porter said it took several months and more than 100 hours to put the run together. He had roughly 20 volunteers helping.
Long said he was grateful to his campaign managers, Rene’ Harwell and Donna Cochrane. He said each fundraiser took many hours to organize and plan, and without their assistance he hasn’t a clue how anything would have been accomplished.
So far, they’ve run a successful golf tournament, the Dorchester sporting clays shoot, a Boston butt sale, the Sunbury Crab Cake Cook-off and now the Porker Run.
This year’s theme was “Harry Porker and the Blood Sugar Prince Battle for Control,” a slightly varied take on a plot from the Harry Potter series. The American Diabetes Association incorporated a children’s theme to bring attention to children born with type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes.
Liberty Elementary School Principal Chris Anderson, who said he tries to educate his students about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, again encouraged the school to help the Kiss-A-Pig cause. For the past two years, Anderson’s students have hosted different in-school events and have donated funds to the ADA. Last year, they raised nearly $5,000. This year, they raised $3,000 and they capped off their campaign when Anderson and assistant principal Rebecca Mock wallowed in a pool of mud.
“I tried to think of something new this year to get the kids excited,” Anderson said. “When the kids are excited, they really get behind it.”
Students chanted “mud, mud, mud, mud,” as Anderson stepped into the pool. He eventually sat down and slathered his shirt with mud. A bit more reluctant, Mock tip-toed in, but was met by Anderson pouring a fistful of mud on her back and shoulder.
“The kids and parents were encouraged to participate and they did a great job,” the principal said.
Before mud day, the students had already duck-taped Anderson to the wall, held a fiesta piñata day, hosted a teacher “no-talent” talent show, a student vs. staff basketball game, a dress down day and a hat day.
The Kiss-A-Pig campaign challenges teams representing different communities to raise funds to find a cure for diabetes. There are nine teams vying for the opportunity to kiss the pig, which is honored for its contributions to insulin research. This is Liberty County’s 14th year in the campaign. In 2008, Team Liberty candidate Danny Creasy kissed Lulu the pig after raising $160,000.
Tickets for Friday’s gala are still available. For more information, call 369-9491.
 

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