By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Dr. Melissa Smith, a Sequim veterinarian, “won” the chance to kiss a pig in the annual “Kiss a Pig” 4-H fundraiser, which raises money to fund college scholarships for 4-H members by having her “fans” donate money in her name.
Smith’s supporters donated $364.89 to help her win the contest, which was more prominent than usual because of the fair’s 2012 theme, “Kiss a Pig, Dance a Jig.”
“I love pigs,” Smith said.
Smith’s smile was almost as big as that of Evan Gallacci, 14, of Port Angeles, the 4-H member who raised Annie from the time she was a 15-pound “weaner” and watched the veterinarian both catch his pig — which had been turned loose in the pig show arena, then kiss her.
Annie, a 6-month-old, 249-pound Yorkshire pig, was selected as this year’s kiss recipient, and she was feeling her oats.
For no apparent reason, Annie kicked up her heels and ran across the arena several times, even before Smith’s win was announced.
Instead of a long chase after the energetic young swine, Smith used sneakiness, drawing the hand-raised pig in with dog cookies.
“Otherwise, I never would have caught her because she’s a fast one,” Smith said.
To the cheers of onlookers, Smith planted a big kiss on Annie’s snout, and Annie nosed Smith for more cookies.
It was the first win for Smith, who has entered the contest 11 of the past 12 years.
Annie was a blue-ribbon winner during the pig show, which Gallacci said meant that she was a top quality animal but didn’t win grand champion or reserve.
The “Kiss a Pig” contest raised $1,421.02, with 18 Clallam County veterinarians participating, according to 4-H organizers.
Each contestant kept a pink piggy bank on his or her counter during the weeks leading up to the fair. And during the fair, there were donation points in several 4-H barns, where additional donations could be made.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.