By Erin Miller | email@example.com
Graphic contributed by DOW Advantage
DOW Advantage partnered with Learn to Read to help promote and raise awareness of the annual Kiss the Pig event.
On Saturday, the KTP contest will take place during the Rhythm and Ribs Festival at Francis Field from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. LTR of St. Johns County, Inc. tutors fast track reading, math, English for Speaking for Other Languages (ESOL) classes and helps with preparation with GED and Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) testing. LTR tutored over 300 students last year.
In the beginning of October, LTR found local business leaders and volunteer members to participate in this contest.
“Most business leaders do this gladly because it gives them a chance to get their name and their business in the paper doing great things for local nonprofits,” said Tiffany Langello, member of DOW Advantage and LTR.
During the contest, people vote on one person out of ten contestants of who they want to see kiss the pig. J.B.COOMBS donates the pig every year. After the contest LTR auctions the pig off for an additional fundraiser.
The event brings in approximately 12,000 dollars of LTR’s fiscal earnings. Most of the donations for LTR come from the government.
They depend on this annual fundraiser to run their facility and to pay for the cost of the reading materials, Langello said.
“When Charlie Crist took the office some educational budgets were cut and some of the money that use to be directed to non profits like Learn to Read was eradicated,” Langello said.
Executive Director for LTR, Janet Hutson, was once a contestant winner for the KTP event.
“This contest is extremely important to us, it brings in a big part of the funds that we need to continue to operate and serve the community,” Hutson said. “LTR believes literacy can determine a person’s life path. It affects a person’s ability to earn an adequate income, to feed his/her family and to provide shelter.”