As the clock struck noon on Feb. 3, the student body of Ashland High School began to mob around the half moon in eager anticipation. The reason for the excitement was a 20-pound piglet being carried in a cat carrier full of hay, brought on campus for the sole purpose of giving English teacher Rick Cornelius a big, sloppy kiss. “Can I at least get to know it first?” he inquired upon seeing it for the first time.
The Kiss the Pig fundraiser, as it is so bluntly called, was an effort by the AHS Symphonic Band to raise money for their trip to Los Angeles in the spring. For the past two weeks, buckets bearing pictures of each teacher participating in the fundraiser were set on the quad for anyone passing by to drop any spare change in. At the end of the two weeks, the teacher out of the five included – Cecily Verloop, Mark Miller, Tammy Anderson, Rick Cornelius and Bill Gabriel – with the most money in his or her bucket would win the honor of kissing a pig.
“After a lot of planning and setbacks, it finally worked out just the way we wanted it to,” said senior band member Willie Michiels, who originally came up with the idea for the fundraiser. In the end, the total money raised amounted to about $350. The funds will be distributed among band members to help lessen individual costs for the trip.
And so it was that today on the quad, Mr. Cornelius hoisted the tiny female piglet into his arms with the help of sophomore band member Chandler Carne and puckered up to give the three-week-old pig a kiss to the snout. With iPods and cameras flashing nonstop throughout the event, it can be safely said that Kiss the Pig was a success.