The Second Annual Kiss-a-Pig Kick-Off begins Thursday, September 20, at the Shops at Boca Center, when would-be pig-bussers from across South Florida begin a fast-paced fundraising campaign to gain the honor of puckering up to a porker. But perhaps we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Wherefore all this piggery?
It's all about diabetes. Before 1921 no medication existed for the disease. People often died within six weeks of being diagnosed. But today we have insulin. While insulin is no cure, many who suffer from diabetes must inject it daily to survive. And pigs were the original source of injectable insulin; for this reason the American Diabetes Association began this fundraising event.
The kickoff this Thursday introduces the contest, competitors, and sponsors to the public. Each candidate and his or her team must arrive with placards, costumes, various themes, noisemakers, and all the other accouterments that go into a successful rally. Among the contestants and teams are Bob Gittlin of JKG Printing, diabetes specialist Dr. Frank Lavernia, J.C. Perrin of Wachovia, Chief Randy Sheppard of Palm Beach County Fire and Rescue, Bill Watkins of Bristol-Meyers Squibb, community leader Joan Weidenfeld, and members of the West Boca Medical Center.
During the next four weeks, these candidates and their sponsors will raise funds for diabetes research, education, children's camps, programs, and advocacy. Whichever team raises the most money at the end of the allotted time earns the esteemed honor of oinker osculation. So get ready to meet these folks and maybe break out your checkbook for a good cause; you'll thank yourself later, when the aspirant you back sidles up to his or her sow.