The creativity and generosity of people in this community never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think you’ve seen every fundraiser imaginable to help us raise money for Grace and INAD research, you see a person kiss a screaming five week old baby piglet named Ringo.
|Grace got the chance to meet Ringo just before the big event.|
That was the situation Monday afternoon, May 11, as Mary, Grace and I journeyed to Litchfield High School, where the LHS student council and their sponsor, our good friend Jo Brummet, hosted the event. Students and teachers were given the opportunity to put their money where their mouth was and select who they wanted to kiss the pig by filling jars with donations for Grace. For the two lucky individuals who finished with the most money in their jar, one teacher and one student, their mouth would land on Ringo.
I was actually included amongst those with jars, but Jo said that the students were hesitant to pick me for the honor, saying “We don’t want Grace’s dad to have to do it.” It’s pretty amazing the love that people have for Grace, who received a pink feather boa, a piggy bank and a pink “G” hand painted by Brakston Brummet to remember the occasion.
|Litchfield senior Jenna Henske was a little hesitant at first.|
|She got a little braver . . .|
As it turned out, I bit the bacon bullet anyway, but more on that in a second. After we walked out to the middle of the gym floor, Student Council President Hannah Nail invited the lucky winners – senior Jenna Henske and LHS Principal Dee Heck – down to meet Ringo.
The piglet was less than thrilled at the prospects of a new suitor and let out a blood curdling scream when Trent Boaden and Brakston hoisted him up for Jenna. Understandably, Jenna was a tad hesitant to get up close and personal with 20 pounds of earsplitting pork steak, so Grace and I helped her out a bit.
|Kyle was the first one to give Ringo a kiss!|
With my princess in my arms, I gave Ringo a quick peck on the head. Jenna followed suit, thus ending her harrowing tale with the swine. The highlight of the event came next though, as Principal Heck pulled the old switcheroo, dropping $50 into teacher Mark Elvers’ jar at the last minute to earn herself a reprieve.
|With Grace watching, Jenna gave the pig a quick kiss!|
Mark was the football coach when I started at The Journal-News and I’ve always had a lot of respect for him. After Ringo picked up his third and final kiss of the day, Mark told me that our family was in his prayers. Several other coaches and athletic directors have told me the same and I appreciate that more than I can say.
|LHS teacher Mark Elvers was the final one to give Ringo a kiss.|
So in the end, we received more money for the INAD study, more prayers from friends and more once-in-a-lifetime memories thanks to our friends at LHS and Ringo.