VALORIE EVERSOLE - Daily Union Staff Writer
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Shelby Memorial Hospital Specialty Clinic and Cardiac Rehab manager Penny Jiter soothed the squealing baby pig before planting a kiss on his face.
Jiter was chosen by employees to kiss the pig as part of the hospital’s Relay for Life team fundraising efforts. She and four other employees vied for the chance to pucker up to the porker. Other contestants were hospital Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Sears, Chief Financial Officer Phil Miller, Chief Nursing Executive Regina Calvert, and Human Resource manager Amy Koehler.
Cans and envelopes were placed throughout the building for the nearly 200 employees to cast their “votes”.
“One dollar was one vote. After that the amounts doubled. Five dollars equaled 10 votes; ten dollars equaled 20 votes and so on,” explained Amy Waddington. “The Kiss the Pig contest raised $263 with Penny receiving 211 votes.”
The team broke the Shelby County record for the most money raised for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, topping the $10,000 mark in 10 months.
“Our original goal was $4,000,” said team captain Lorrie Hayden. “We came close to that with our first fundraiser, so we moved our goal up to $6,000. When we met that goal, Penny pushed us to get to the next level. The Kiss the Pig contest got us real close to the $10,000 mark and donations from the administration helped to get us over the top.”
Teams receive special recognition at the $1,000 (Rising Star), $2,500 (Bronze), $3,500 (Silver), $5,000 (Gold), $7,500 (Platinum), $10,000 (Jade), and so on to the $100,000 (Purple) level.
Last year the SMH team raised just over $3,000 and in 2009 raised about $2,000.
“We started fundraising in September with Blue Jean Friday. That gave us a real good start,” Hayden said. Employees donated $1 per week from their paychecks to be able to wear blue jeans on Fridays.
Other fundraisers included two cookouts at Wade’s Quality Meats, Krispy Kreme, letters to Santa, Valentines Day hugs and kisses, and May baskets raffles which also drew some outside bidders.
“Our employees have been extremely generous,” Hayden said.
“They (SMH) are the first $10,000 team ever in Shelby County,” said Eastern Illinois ACS representative Lesa Brandt. “They are going to get a lot of recognition out of this.”
She noted that Shelby Memorial Hospital is also participating in other health related events, not just the Relay for Life.
“They have set a great example in the community as a leader in healthcare. It shows what good people they have at the hospital,” Brandt said.
Even though they have reached their goal of $10,000, the team is not stopping their fundraising. They are planning several things to raise money funds at their “campsite” on the night of the Relay for Life, August 5, in Forest Park.
Donations for the team may be sent to the hospital at 200 South Cedar Street, Shelbyville, Attention: Relay for Life team.
Brandt adds that it is not too late to sign up a team for this year’s event. Register at www.relayforlifeshelby.com. The next team captains’ meeting will be July 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Forest Park