It’s official! Thirteen community leaders have qualified and publicly announced their candidacy for election year 2016. No, they are not running for Senate or for a seat on their local city councils. The thirteen candidates are running for HAMerica’s Vote and the opportunity to pucker up and kiss a pig in support of programs and services for men and women with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other forms of developmental disabilities.
From now until InHOGuration Day, July 21, the thirteen community leaders, representing a diverse mix of businesses, community organizations and professions, will serve as candidates of Annandale Village’s annual fundraising and disabilities awareness program, Kiss-A-Pig: People Invested in Giving. Through this whimsical, and sure to be zany campaign, the candidates will vie for “votes” by seeking to raise money to support the comprehensive programs and services of Annandale Village. Each dollar donated equals one vote. The candidate that receives the most number of votes or raises the most amount of money will be named the winner of the Kiss-A-Pig campaign and have the honor to kiss a pig…a real one. The funds raised will support a comprehensive range of programs and services to allow individuals with developmental disabilities to lead lives that reflect quality, value, self-worth, and achievement.
Officials at Kiss-A-Pig Headquarters (Annandale Village) believe it will, once again, be a tight race to the finish line to see who will come out on top of this special election. Keith Fenton, Annandale’s Chief Development Officer explains, “For the fourth year in a row, we have an outstanding slate of individuals that represent the best of the very best of our community. We could not be more thrilled with their involvement with Annandale Village and their extraordinary passion for making a difference in the lives of people with developmental disabilities.” Whether through their respective professional careers, community service activities, or family responsibilities, organizers say each candidate has demonstrated personal character, work ethic, and a commitment to our community that truly epitomizes the true meaning of our Kiss-A-Pig program, People Invested in Giving.
Accent Creative Group’s Paula Hastings says, “through the years I have happily supported many Kiss-A-Pig candidates and revelled in their friendly competition for such an important cause. Honestly, I have been a tad, piggy wiggy envious of those “Pig Kissers” and am excited to join in with so many other worthy Kiss-A-Pig candidates and promise to run a spirited, clean “roll in the mud” campaign for the collective success of raising awareness and support for Annandale Village”.
As the only nonprofit organization in the state of Georgia that provides individuals with development disabilities and acquired brain injuries a lifetime continuum of service and care, organizers say the demand for quality programs and services found only at Annandale Village makes the fundraising results of this year’s Kiss-A-Pig campaign more vital than ever.
Keith Fenton, Chief Development Officer of Annandale Village said, “Today, Annandale is serving more people than ever before in our 47-year history. Yet, in order to do more for those we currently serve and to meet the needs of the ever-expanding disability population, fundraising results from this year’s Kiss-A-Pig campaign will support efforts to increase our capacity to serve the region’s developmentally disabled community with the utmost care and compassionate support”.
Since its inception in 2012, forty individuals have served as candidates of Annandale’s Kiss-A-Pig program having cumulatively raised more than $200,000. In 2012, Ed Szczesniak of Georgian Landscape Design was the inaugural winner of the Kiss-A-Pig Campaign, while Rocket IT founder and CEO, Matt Hyatt, and Braselton resident, Mike Dominy, had the distinct honor of puckering up as the winners of the 2014 and 2015 campaigns.
To learn more or to cast your vote today, visit www.kiss-a-pig.com or call 770-932-4885.
2016 KISS-A-PIG CANDIDATES INCLUDE:
Marlon Allen – Victorious Living Church /Rotary Club of Gwinnett
Lisa Anders – Explore Gwinnett
Bryan Cohen – Quantum National Bank
Pastors Mark & Linda Dabney – Disciples’ Cross International/PV31 Ministries
Paula Hastings – Accent Creative Group
Bucky Johnson – Mayor, City of Norcross
North Johnson – Gwinnett Braves
Kelly Kelkenberg – Councilman, City of Duluth
Linnea Miller – Mayor Pro Tem, City of Suwanee
Andy Morgan – Morgan Law Group
Veronica Pomeranz – Atlanta Counseling and Wellness, LLC
Karen Fine Saltiel – Primerica
Richard Steele – Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner