“It’s been a success and we’ve had a lot of fun with it.”
These were the opening words from Jody Cooley, president of the Friends of Scidmore Park Petting Zoo (FSPPZ), during a late afternoon gathering in Scidmore Park that marked the culmination of the recently-formed organization’s first fundraiser in support of the Petting Zoo and added a new twist to this year’s Three Rivers Water Festival.
Cooley reported the top finishers in one-dollar-donation voting that utilized pig-shaped ‘ballot boxes’ at a variety of locations around the community and thanked the following sponsors for their support of the project:
- Lowry’s Books & More
- UniQ Jewelry
- Pin Up Salon
- Centsible Treasures
- Riviera Theatre
- Sauganash Country Club
- Ridgeway Floral
- Armstrong International
- RBC Home Improvement
- Unibrow Art
- John Barnes
- Preferred Insurance
- Love Your Mother
- The Home Depot.
In the running to kiss Bacon the pig, a resident of the Petting Zoo, were Dan Tomlinson (Fire Chief), Joe Bippus (City Manager), Tom Lowry (Mayor), Thomas Bringman (Chief of Police), Danielle Moreland (Riviera Theatre), Doug Mitchell (UniQ Jewelry), Elena Hines (Three Rivers Commercial-News) and John Barnes (Barnes Law Office).
Cooley reported the following results of the voting that took place in recent weeks:
- First-place with 588 votes – Doug Mitchell
- Second-place with 536 votes – Danielle Moreland
- Third-place with 323 votes – Tom Lowry.
Both Mitchell and Moreland exercised the “buyout” option with contributions matching their vote totals, thus shifting the pig kissing task to Lowry who accepted the honor and said, “I’ll pucker up.” The focus of the activity then shifted to the fenced-in area that serves as home for Bacon and the grand moment with the kiss – and a brief moment it was – followed. (Thanks to Amanda Sadler of Studio City Photography for capturing the special moment!)
Cooley announced that the grand total raised through the ‘Kiss the Pig’ contest – including the ‘buyout’ contributions from Mitchell and Moreland – was $4,141, money that will be used to support the zoo and its animals. In her opening remarks, Cooley noted that the Petting Zoo barn had been painted with donations from Sherwin-Williams and labor by Castle Coatings “and a bunch of volunteers from downtown.”
During a post-kiss interview with the River Country Journal, Cooley said the project was “a complete success, across the board.” (Jody Cooley audio clip – :08)
Cooley said she expects the contest to become an annual event.
To hear the interview with Jody Cooley – conducted by Bruce Snook of the River Country Journal – click on the following link: Jody Cooley interview (1:11).
To hear Jody Cooley’s opening remarks and the sequence of events that led to Mayor Tom Lowry’s pig-kissing role, click here (4:36 – 4.22 MB).