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Kiss a pig contest to benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania

| Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
Frank Polito is hoping to win a contest that will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania. The grand prize is the opportunity to kiss this pig named Nola.
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Frank Polito is hoping to win a contest that will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania. The grand prize is the opportunity to kiss this pig named Nola.

Frank Polito has never kissed a pig before, but now he's one of 19 people raising money to do just that.

“I haven't had a lot of experience with pigs in my life, but I am actually sort of excited,” said Polito, regional director of government affairs with Comcast.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania is holding a fundraiser to raise money for their community programs. Community leaders and friends of the clubs were nominated to raise money for the club, said chief development officer Susan Kalich.

The top three fund raisers “whose piggy banks are the fullest” will be announced at the gala on the Gateway Clipper and have the opportunity to kiss Nola, a miniature Juliana pig, Kalich said.

Nola lives in Cranberry with owners Chris and Lauren Miladinovich. The 45-pound white and black pig is a house pet and she loves to take naps on the couch and hates the cold, according to her Facebook fan page.

“She's like a dog,” Kalich said. “She's trained to scratch at the door when she needs to go out. She plays with toys. She's their baby.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, which has a site in Millvale, serves more than 7,000 children through eight regional branches.

Kalich said the club got the kiss a pig idea from a Boys & Girls Club near Reading. That group raised $300,000 after a few years of holding the event, she said.

The goal for this year's Great Future Gala is to raise $150,000 through ticket sales, sponsorships, auction items and the Kiss a Pig competition, Kalich said. The Clubs' Youth of the Year also will be announced at the Great Futures Gala.

Polito said he's been soliciting donations from family and friends. He met Nola about a month ago, and said he was surprised to find how hairy she was.

“I never kissed a pig before. That was the first time I even hugged a pig,” he said. “But I'm going to make it a fun night if I'm lucky enough to be a winner.”

Other contestants include Rusted Root's Liz Berlin, county public defender Kelli Kleeb and Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania President Mike Hepler. All contestants can be viewed and donations can be made at: crowdrise.com/kissapigandhelpourkids.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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