On the Streets of New Pork

April 24, 2007

Swine Week
Winning the coveted ceramic commemorative pig during the auction, volunteer Ralph Harvey (center) shows it off to envious Edmond Memorial High School students. 
From March 10-16, an Oklahoma high school brought a little bit of New York City to the Sooner State. With New York, New York, as their theme for “SWINE WEEK,” Edmond Memorial High School students competed to raise the most money for the CF Foundation. The grand prize for the winners? Not having to kiss a pig in front of the entire school at the end of the week.

Having fun with their theme, students decorated the entire school. The student commons became Central Park. The hallways transformed into the streets of the “Pig Apple.”

Every class then chose a group of representatives—dubbed royalty—which set fund-raising goals for the class.  Adding their own spin to CureFinders, royalty asked for donations, organized dances, dodge ball tournament, choir concerts, and set dares, like shaving their heads, for money.

After a thrilling week of fund-raising, every student gathered in the gym to hear the results. The air buzzed with excitement, as the pig waddled its way out onto the floor. With a total of more than $52,000, the senior class claimed first place and an exemption from puckering up with the pig. The freshmen, sophomores and juniors were not so lucky. Their representatives lined up to plant a big kiss on the unsuspecting pig.

Before the assembly was over, however, there was one last fund-raiser to finish off Swine Week. Pottery teacher Rex Tomlinson had created a ceramic commemorative pig—clad in jeans, an “I (love) NY” T-shirt and baseball hat—for auction. CF grandfather and long-time Foundation supporter, Ralph Harvey, made a winning bid of $2,100 to take home the prize.

In the end, students raised more than $217,000—each dollar vitally important to funding CF research to help people like 19-year-old Kyleigh McCoy, a freshman at Oklahoma State University, who spoke at the final assembly.

“When I was born, my parents never dreamed I would dance, play soccer, be on the swim team, go shopping for a prom dress or receive a diploma,” said McCoy. “Now, I can look ahead to a career, marriage and becoming a wrinkly old woman. I—along with everyone else in the cystic fibrosis family—say, ‘Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.’”

Special thanks to everyone at Edmond Memorial High School; Swine Week organizers Kim Kerrigan, Katie Carter and Will Gattenby; and Sooner Chapter-Oklahoma City Office board member Ralph Harvey, for his continued dedication to the Foundation.