West Mercer Elementary school held a "Kiss the Pig" event on Friday, May 25 and raised nearly $35,000 for the as part of their "Bridge the Gap" campaign.
School parents and students have been "buying" votes with pledges to the Mercer Island Schools Foundation to ultimately raise $1.2 million, preserving current staff levels of 20 teachers above what state funding provides.
Each vote goes toward nominating their favorite teacher or staff member to do the kissing. Second-grade teacher Rob Darling received the most votes, followed closely by West Mercer Principal Rich Mellish. On Friday, students cheered for each of the educators on the ballot to pucker up for a kiss with "Doty", a piglet on loan from Debbie Doolittle's Mobile Petting Zoo. Other teachers who kissed the piglet include teachers Sabrina Hetland, Ellis Reyes and David Baxter.
The "Bridge the Gap" campaign began with the Breakfast of Champions event on April 24. Mercer Island's two other elementary schools have already held their own fundraisers, with West Mercer's event coming last. Over $814,000 has been raised, all pledged toward the community's $1 million goal and awarding the Challenge Grant of $200,000 to complete the fundraising goal of $1.2 million.
The Bridge the Gap fundraising deadline is set for June 12th at noon.
For more information, contact the Mercer Island Schools Foundation.