Kiss the Pig contest raises money for cancer research

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

the Selma Times Journal

For most newborns, being awakened in the morning by people who want to cuddle and kiss them can be tiring – this apparently can be especially true if they are a newborn piglet.

“The Kiss the Pig program was just a fundraiser for the summer – something fun to do to raise more funds to fight cancer,” said Brenda Tuck, Community Representative for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

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The contest, which began earlier this month, was open to all area banks. Tuck said that the presidents of those banks that did not raise at least $5,000 were required to kiss Mr. Piggy, a two-week old pot-bellied pig.

However, Ed McCurdy, the president of AmSouth Bank, took the contest one step further.

“He’s such a good sport he told his tellers that if they raised the most money, he would kiss the pig,” Tuck said.

Despite entering the contest two weeks late and having fewer employees than the other banks, AmSouth managed to raise $5,555.05 – and win.

“Ed came on board and just did an awesome job with it,” Tuck said.

Thursday morning, before a group of his employees, McCurdy puckered up and made good his promise. The drowsy piglet didn’t object to the kiss – but he did mildly protest the removal of his blanket.

“Thank goodness it was a two-week old instead of a 250 pounder,” McCurdy said with a laugh.

Although this was the first time that the ACS has done Kiss the Pig in Dallas County, it, like other fundraising efforts, was successful.

“We have Relay for Life in the spring, but this was just something new and fun that we decided to do,” Tuck said. “This year, both Relay for Life and Kiss the Pig have raised over $9,000.”

The money will be used to provide additional support for the ACS’s patient services and research, education and awareness programs.

“All along we knew we were dealing with raising money for a very worthy cause,” McCurdy said. “Our employees here did an outstanding job. When you raise $5,500 just from people walking in (the bank) – a few dollars here and there – a lot of work and a lot of effort went into it from their standpoint.”

Both McCurdy and Tuck said that they also wanted to thank the AmSouth customers for their support.

“The tellers did the asking, but the customers came through and wanted to support it and support what they were doing,” Tuck said.

“Our customers are the ones who donated the money,” McCurdy said. “A big thank you goes out to them for their contributions for a worthy cause.”

Other participating banks were SouthTrust/Wachovia, Regions and People’s Bank & Trust. SouthTrust/Wachovia raised a total of $1,124.71, Regions raised $683.70 and People’s Bank & Trust raised $1,805.00.

By the end of the day, Mr. Piggy had received additional kisses from John Chisolm of People’s Bank & Trust, Steve Rogers and Reid Cain of SouthTrust/Wachovia and Catesby Jones, Wayne Middlebrooks and Liz Rutledge from Regions Bank.