BRISTOL - Jay Porrini, owner of Liberty Recycling, is the Kiss a Pig Champion for the second year in a row, earning him the right to smooch Daisy the Pig.
Porrini raised $6,687 for Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center, saying that it felt good to help out Imagine Nation again with the fundraiser.
“It’s a good cause and a good program,” Porrini said. “My kids used to come here; it’s a nice place.”
As in years past, Paul Minor wheeled out his famous pig, Daisy, and his two pugs, Lily Pug and Dixie Cup, on baby strollers. Contestants stood by in anticipation as the children from the museum’s preschool watched, cheered, clapped and snorted like a pig. When the announcement was made, Imagine Nation staff unwound a scroll to reveal that Porrini was the winner and that the nine contestants this year collected a combined $10,045 in community donations. In the past five years, the annual fundraiser has brought in more than $50,000.
The announcement was preceded by a children’s parade and the singing of the Daisy the Pig song (a version of bicycle built for two with modified lyrics) with Miss Connecticut winner Jillian Duffy. Dorothy Poulin then treated the crowd to a yodeling and acoustic guitar performance.
Paul Minor, who used to own Minor’s Farm and has since moved to Florida, said he was glad to come back to Bristol to support Imagine Nation.
“It’s awesome that we are able to raise so much money,” he said. “We’ve been doing this since the mid-90s with the first Daisy the Pig. This one is the second. I think one of the biggest years was when we had the former mayor, Frank Nicastro, kiss Daisy.”
Since April, Minor said that he, Daisy, 11, Lily Pug, 14, and Dixie Cup, 8, had traveled to 18 states to promote literacy as part of his “Pig Out On Reading” program.
Coral Richardson, director of Imagine Nation, thanked Minor for continuing to support the museum and early learning center.
Richardson later danced with Minor during Poulin’s yodeling performance.
Michael Suchopar, president and CEO of the Bristol Boys & Girls Club, thanked all who had participated in the contest.
“This is one of the best early learning centers in New England,” he said. “They do momentous work here. Paul Minor and Daisy have used their Pig Out on Reading program to help kids become involved in reading again. They have had a big impact on literacy in America.”
The other contestants for this year’s contest also included Jeff Caggiano, Board of Education commissioner and chairman of the Bristol Republican Town Committee, Richard Caruso and Mike Preleski, representing Tracy-Driscoll Insurance and Financial Services, Katelyn Dolan, representing Rich Farm Ice Cream, Tyrell Holmes, representing Bristol Eastern High School, Joe Pieksza, office managing partner at Crowe, Christopher Rau, principal at Lewis S. Mills High School, Gary Sassu, golf pro at Chippanee Country Club and Lanita Thomas of Wayback Burgers.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.