Seven county officials are puckering up for the kiss of a lifetime, but only one of them will be lucky enough to deliver it.
Designed to raise funds to facilitate the expansion of the St. Lucie County Roundtable's Kids at Hope initiative, "Kiss the Pig" allows people to vote for St. Lucie County Fire Chief Ron Parrish, Fort Pierce Police Chief Sean Baldwin , Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Buldoc, Sheriff Ken Mascara , Commissioners Chris Dzadovsky and Tom Perona and Schools Superintendent Michael Lannon to kiss the prize pig at the St. Lucie County Fair on Feb. 24.
The participant with the most votes will deliver the smooch, and Baldwin said although he hates to lose, he's hedging all bets on Parrish.
"My prediction is that I am going to lose, probably to Chief Parrish who is going to end up kissing the pig," he said. "I'd do anything for the kids, but I'd prefer to lose this contest I think."
Fun aside, Baldwin — a Roundtable member for more than 15 years — said the fundraiser supports a cause very dear to his heart.
"As the chief of police, I see children that are struggling to get the opportunity to succeed in life and I want to change that.
"Kids at Hope has already reached over 13,000 children in St. Lucie County, and seen a dramatic reduction in school discipline referrals and an increase in the number of children who can articulate their future goals.
"That's what Kids at Hope is all about," Baldwin said. "It's helping kids realize what their dreams are, what their hope for the future is, and then finding a way to help them get there."
Parrish said the event is all in good fun, and it is for a great cause.
"Everything, from our Kids at Hope programs, the schools that are part of it, the treasure hunting, the initiatives that are going to help, or save kids' lives, and … provide them direction, leadership, guidance and mentoring is what it's all about," Parrish said. "It's just an honor to be part of that."
While Baldwin predicts Parrish will win the contest, the fire chief thinks otherwise.
"I strongly support the police chief of Fort Pierce, Sean Baldwin. I think that he is the prime pig kisser that we have in our group," Parrish said. "It's my understanding that he is willing to kiss the pig twice if he wins."
Voting has already begun for Kiss the Pig and will end on Feb. 24 at 4:45 p.m.
Each dollar donated is counted as a vote, and several votes can be made for each of the seven participants.
YOU CAN VOTE
Votes for Kiss the Pig can be submitted at Fort Pierce City Hall, Fort Pierce Police Department, St. Lucie County Commission, the Sheriff's Office, St. Lucie County Fire District on Milner, St. Lucie County School District Office, Port St. Lucie Police Department, Port St. Lucie City Hall and the Children's Services Council.
Online voting is also available at http://roundtableslc.org .