Pigged, Pied and Tied event celebrates fundraising success at Hillcrest

By Judith Roberts

Passing by Hillcrest Elementary last Friday, one would have thought a playoff game was being played in the gymnasium.  

But, nope, there was no game, no competition. Only victory for the American Heart Association – and the students. 

Students, teachers and staff members all gathered in the gym last week to celebrate not only reaching their AHA goal but exceeding it by double and finishing at $5,070 – and this particular celebration involved having teachers pied in the face and having the Hillcrest principal, Lauren Keen, taped to a wall – and having her kiss a pig. 

“I know kids have fun when they see teachers excited, and then they get more involved. They get more excited about it,” said Lynn Edmiston, physical education teacher at Hillcrest. “We always like to do incentives for the kids.  

“Our big goal at first, because this was our first time to do it, was $2,500 – but we hit that pretty fast. So we thought – okay, let’s tape (Keen) to the wall. And then when we hit that $5,000 mark, we wanted her to kiss a pig.” 

Keen said she was excited to participate – though she said the thought of kissing Harold the pig was not all that appealing. 

“I’m usually all-in on these types of events, but I have to admit, the ideas of kissing a pig took me by surprise,” she said. “Nevertheless, it was a fun incentive to raise money for a great cause, so I was willing to set my reservations to the side and pucker up.” 

Students eagerly began chants of “Kiss the pig” and were yelling their support for their teachers and staff during the entire event. 

“The emotion from these students was something I will never forget,” Keen said. “They were the most excited I had seen them all year. The anticipation for this event has been building, and I have no doubt we surpassed their expectations.” 

Students who raised $100 or more dollars were also allowed to pie a teacher volunteer in the face.  

“I like to get teachers involved too, and the students got to choose who they pied in the face out of our volunteers,” Edmiston said.   

Keen added that she believed it wasn’t just the students who were looking forward to the day.  

“The teachers and staff seemed just as excited as the kiddos,” she said. “They were smiling and laughing and loved participating. We all made memories together, and we’ll be talking about this for the weeks to come.”  

And while this was the first AHA fundraiser, Edmiston said she was looking forward to next year.  

“I’m hoping this gets bigger and better every year,” she said. “Keep thinking big every time there is something like this.”