Life as a prospective pig kisser
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
5:40 a.m. The alarm rings, and it’s time to prepare for another day of YouthZone’s Kiss-n-Squeal competition. Exercise, shower, grab the standard pig uniform: black pants, pink T-shirt, pink tutu, pig nose, pig ears, pink flips. Don’t forget the piggy bank, the pig on a stick name plaque, and the pig rap lyric sheet.
Off to the radio station for an interview and recording. Next, two stops at local businesses for pig rap performances and more donation gathering, not to mention lots of laughs and smiles. Then it’s time for the video taping of the now famous pig rap and infomercial … YouTube … watch out, here I come.
OK, finally, off to my other job. Oh yes, I do have a “real” job during this busy time. First, better stand out on Grand Avenue in full pig regalia (no time yet to change to street clothes) for 15 minutes to wave at the mid-day traffic and passersby to grab some attention for YouthZone. Then it’s into a strategic “pig planning” session, brainstorming ideas and action plans, followed by an hour of power filled with requests for donations for Kiss-n-Squeal, follow-up calls, thank-you notes, and tallying the previous day’s income.
At last, a little time to work, real work … ahhhhh.
Then the call comes. The pig mascot has been spotted. It’s a mad dash off to steal/rescue the pig (it’s worth 50 bonus points) and deliver him to a safe haven for the time being. Oops, need to send a clue to YouthZone as to the pig’s whereabouts. OK, back to work.
Whoa, 5:00 already. Where did the day go? Time to pack up. Balloons are stuffed in my car, the piggy bank is in hand, and it’s time to head out to a local restaurant for another YouthZone dinner fundraiser. A little meeting and greeting with supporters about YouthZone produces spare change and checks. Raffle tickets get sold and a little nourishment gets consumed. It’s time to thank the restaurant and diners for their support, gather up pig paraphernalia and head home.
8 p.m. As I arrive home, I kiss my husband, thank him again for his support, and realize my head is spinning from the day’s dizzying array of activities. I stop and ask myself: What am I doing?
I (we, yes, there is an entire team effort taking place here) am a candidate in YouthZone’s 20th annual Kiss-n-Squeal fundraising campaign, and I’m doing this because I believe in children. I believe that every child deserves the opportunity to be surrounded by love, support and encouragement.
That’s why for the past four years I have been a mentor in the PALS program, just one of the many programs that YouthZone offers to achieve its goal of helping every child reach their full potential and grow into capable, responsible young adults and to become contributing members of their community. A mentor’s role is not that of a parent or counselor; a mentor is a good listener, a mentor is someone who genuinely cares and provides gentle guidance, a mentor provides friendship and above all, sets a positive example for a young person to see and follow. I don’t know if I have changed the life of my PAL friends, but I do hope that I have provided opportunities that they may not have otherwise had, shared experiences that have opened their eyes to the world around them, and have given them a safe and nourishing environment in which to blossom. I believe that our lives are enriched by what we give, not by what we gather and that there is no greater joy than spending time with children and watching them mature into capable young people.
9:45 a.m. Time to prepare for another day of work and Kiss-n-Squeal fundraising.
Time: It’s all about the choices we make. We all have the same number of hours in our day. Me, I’ve got plenty of time.
Marci Patillo is a member of the Property Shop Kiss-n-Squeal team and YouthZone Pals mentor.
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The Glenwood Springs Fire Department is battling a small blaze on a ridgeline west of Yampah Mountain High School.