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Arlington students collect funds for FFA, food for families

From left, Arlington High School Principal Kurt Criscione drew laughter from AHS Future Farmers of America Chapter Vice President Stephanie Newbre Dec. 19, by kissing the two-week-old pig in her arms as quickly as he could. -
From left, Arlington High School Principal Kurt Criscione drew laughter from AHS Future Farmers of America Chapter Vice President Stephanie Newbre Dec. 19, by kissing the two-week-old pig in her arms as quickly as he could.
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ARLINGTON Arlington High School released its students for their winter break Dec. 19, but not before treating them to a unique spectacle in return for their contributions.
For the previous two weeks, the AHS Future Farmers of America had been collecting votes, for which school staff or faculty member the students most wanted to see kissing a pig. The price was $1 per vote for those wished to cast their ballots, but according to FFA Chapter Vice President Stephanie Newbre, AHS Principal Kurt Criscione remained the overwhelming favorite throughout the polling period earning 70 of the 150 votes cast.
Criscione was announced as the winner of the Kiss a Pig contest at the Dec. 19 AHS assembly, but he refused to go down alone and handed Newbre $70 on the spot so that he could cast a matching number of votes for AHS English and mythology teacher Brooke Dalgaard. Both Dalgaard and Criscione took less than a second to plant their pecks on the snout of the two-week-old pig in Newbres arms, but those public displays of affection helped earn the AHS FFA approximately $220 for its leadership programs.
Newbre, an 18-year-old senior, explained that the AHS FFA hoped to bring students, staff and faculty together for a common cause and a bit of fun, and had initially aimed to raise at least $100 through their efforts. Silvana resident Dana Stoffel, whose daughter Ashley was a member of the AHS FFA six years ago, donated the diaper-wearing pig.
Just as the leadership activities partially funded by the Kiss a Pig contest are intended to promote team-building skills, so too did Newbre see the contest itself encouraging students and teachers to interact, all as one. While she expects that the price per vote might go down to 50 cents, to accommodate students who used their lunch money to cast their ballots this year, she believes that the contest will become an annual tradition at AHS.
This fundraiser followed Haller Middle Schools most recent drive for the Arlington Food Bank, which took in 13,979 pounds of canned food and $1,922.30 in financial donations.
According to Holly Christmas-Harris, Leadership and Associated Student Body Advisor for Haller Middle School, the school average was 22.5 pounds of food collected per student, with one classroom collecting an average of 186.24 pounds of food per student.

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