Trying to seal the squeal deal
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Winners of the Indy 500 take a swig of milk, Superbowl victors take a trip to Disneyland, but the winners of YouthZone’s 12th annual Kiss-n-Squeal fund-raiser kiss a pig.Each year, Kiss-n-Squeal nominees hit up friends, relatives, co-workers and family for donations to raise money for the nonprofit YouthZone. The candidate who raises the most money kisses a pig at the end of it all. The pig kiss will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs.Each dollar raised by candidates is worth one vote. Candidates can hold any kind of event they want to raise money.”It’s the only election I know that you can buy,” said candidate Keith Lambert, Rifle’s mayor. “I’m real unabashed when it comes to soliciting votes.”Lambert said he asks anybody who is willing to contribute.”I’m shameless,” he said, noting that the money all goes to good cause. “It’s just a huge benefit for our community,” he said of YouthZone’s services.He even claims to have taken a lifeguard’s last dollar to help raise funds.Kay Vasilakis went as far as painting her ’70s-era Volkswagen Beetle pink to help raise money for the event. Miss Piggy, as the car is named, is going to be in the Burning Mountain Parade on Saturday. She will also be in a booth later on to raise money. “I’m going to take lots of donations from generous people who love Miss Piggy,” said Vasilakis.Other candidates held events to help raise money, in addition to soliciting donations. Bonnie Fitzgerald, who says she got railroaded into being a candidate by her bosses at Alpine Bank, took the money-raising challenge head on once she was nominated. She held a carwash and sold mulligans at a golf tournament.The candidates are: Bonnie Fitzgerald, branch manager of West Glenwood Alpine Bank; Keith Lambert, Rifle mayor and elementary school teacher; Jim Duke, owner Cacaloco Compost; Sonya Hemmen, principal of Glenwood Springs Elementary School; Frank Houpt and Luke Huttenhower, 11-year-olds; Kay Vasilakis, public relations coordinator for Garfield Re-2 Schools; Elizabeth and Isaac Ruiz, broker associate at Mi Casita Real Estate and her son; and Mike Penney, YouthZone junior pal.YouthZone is a youth agency that provides a wide variety of programs for kids from 6-18 years old. It offers programs ranging from mentoring to alcohol classes.”I think it’s a great organization that really helps kids,” said Lambert. “YouthZone helps kids realize their civic responsibilities and give back to the community,” said Vasilakis. Even though they have to kiss a pig if they win, candidates are still giving it their all.”I’m looking forward to puckering up with a porker,” said Lambert. “I want to kiss that pig,” said Vasilakis.In addition to the efforts of the candidates, YouthZone is also selling raffle tickets for $10 each. The raffle winner gets $1,000.There is also a silent online auction being held at http://www.youthzone.com, featuring everything from Palm Pilots to pedicures. Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
Watch for these YouthZone Kiss-N-Squeal fund-raising events: -Friday, July 18, 7:15 p.m., Miss Piggy Day Pig Squealing Contest in New Castle. Fund-raiser for Kay Vasilakis. $1 entry fee. -Saturday, July 19, 4-8 p.m., fund-raiser for Bonnie Fitzgerald. Live music, popcorn, soda. At the Saturday Market, Centennial Park, Glenwood Springs.-Sunday, July 20, 5-9 p.m., Family Fun Night at Johnson’s Miniature Golf Park, Glenwood Springs, fund-raiser for Frank Houpt and Luke Huttenhower. Golfing at reduced rates, hole-in-one contest, live music by local band Louis Lewis from 6-8 p.m., hot dogs, chips, popcorn, pop, candy.-Friday, Aug. 1, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Latino Dance, Oasis Restaurant, Glenwood Springs, fund-raiser for Elizabeth Ruiz. Live music by La Raza, with D.J. Axel Contreras. Lunch give-aways each hour. Teens 16 and older welcome, children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult relative. $15 per person.-Wednesday, Aug. 6, 6-9 p.m., Kiss-n-Squeal Finale, Two Rivers Park, Glenwood Springs. A celebration of volunteers, community and pig kissing. Live music by Little Blue, catering by Bennett’s Bar-B-Que.
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