Kissing a pig for fun

Friday, November 22, 2013
Democrat photo/Kerry Hays Pucker up, Peek-a-Boo! John Sparkman, physical therapist at Red Rose Health and Rehab Center in Cassville, prepared to kiss Peek-a-Boo the pig during a fundraising event held on Friday, Nov. 15.

Residents and staff at the Red Rose Health and Rehabilitation Center in Cassville had the unique opportunity last Friday afternoon to watch as selected individuals kissed Peek-a-Boo the pig. Peek-a-Boo's appearance at the facility was used to help raise funds for needed services and events.

"We're raising funds for activities," said Russ Newby, administrator at the center who also owned and transported the pig.

Prior to Friday's event, each staff member was given a jar with their name and donations were made on that person's behalf. The person with the most amount of donations, and the person with the least were each required to pucker up. Additional donations of $5 were also solicited for anyone named by the benefactor.

"We added a little twist to the game to raise more money," said Newby. "People could pay $5 to have somebody else kiss the pig."

Tiffina Spears was the lucky "winner", while Carl Eschbach and Sharon Brineger tied for receiving the fewest donations. Each person bravely approached the makeshift pen and took their turn, in spite of Peek-a-Boo's reluctance. A handful of other individuals named then took their turn of chasing her down and waiting for the right moment.

When it seemed that the event had ended, one lone person stood up with a fistful of $5 bills and proceeded to name off nearly every person who thought they were safe. When the pig kissing was done, $449.28 was raised for the activities programs at the facility.

"Some of this will go toward buying gifts during the holidays for residents who don't have family members," said Terri Desrochers, activities director at the center. "We'll also use it for special outings we do in the spring and the summer time."

Peek-a-Boo is a registered Landrace pig that is mother to Baby and Bella the 2012 and 2013 Missouri State Grand Champions. Upon completing her appointed duties on Friday, she returned to her home -- all tuckered out from the attention.

Red Rose Health and Rehabilitation Center is located at 812 Old Exeter Road in Cassville. Donations are always accepted for any of their programs, you just won't get to kiss a pig until the next time.

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