YouthZone backers put their mouths where the money is |

YouthZone backers put their mouths where the money is

Contrary to the cliche, paying lip service to a cause represented no small commitment in the case of YouthZone’s Kiss-n-Squeal fund-raiser.

Kent Wilson, vice president of Alpine Bank in Glenwood Springs, ultimately earned the right to kiss Fred the piglet by raising $26,576 for YouthZone. But Wilson’s kissing the piglet not once but twice represents only part of the commitment the Roaring Fork Valley demonstrated to helping YouthZone through Kiss-n-Squeal.

Two other facts might’ve been far more telling: Eight candidates ” Wilson, Mike Bennett, Neal Pollack, Susie Meraz, Pam Arsenault, Billie Jo Arp, Steve Hansen and Able Liston ” were willing to put their mouths where the money was, and the community chipped in $80,199 to see them do just that.

But that’s likely not the only reason that explains the community’s willingness to give. We certainly understand the desire to see a candidate ” particularly the Post Independent’s publisher ” pucker for the porker, but that can account for only part of the money each candidate raised. In chipping in more than $80,000, the community shows it understands the value of YouthZone’s programs.

Without casting a pall on the festivities, YouthZone presented a more serious reminder of how its programs help, introducing a mother and daughter in counseling who talked about how far the group has helped them come.

They should serve as notice that even though Kiss-n-Squeal is over for the year, fund-raising for YouthZone isn’t, and neither is the group’s mission. The desire to see community members kiss a pig helped propel Youth Zone close to three-quarters of its $125,000 fund-raising goal for the event, but that’s only part of why people give to the group.

The group still needs $40,000 to meet the goal, so remember: It’s not about the pigs, it’s about the future.

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