The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 5, 2012

Piggin’ out for a good cause

Michelin employees raise record amount for United Way

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer

Monday, November 5, 2012 — With United Way's 2012-13 campaign well under way, corporate sponsors are stepping up to the charity plate, so to speak.

As of Wednesday, Michelin Tire US 11 in Norwood has raised $57,290.57 for the cause, an amount that is almost $20,000 more than last year.

There were many opportunities for employees to donate funds, including penny wars, raffle ticket sales and an employee incentive contest.

The penny war contest was between the various departments at Michelin.

For every penny placed in the jar, one penny point was awarded; all other cash and coins earns a minus point.

The top two contenders were the Retread Department and the Tire Room, with the Tire Room just barely earning the win with a few hundred extra points.

Through the employee incentive contest, employees who donated $26, $52, $78 and $104 were entered in a drawing to win prizes, some of which included a Ninja blender, a digital picture frame and a charcoal grill.

Raffle ticket sales contributed in excess of $3,000 to the total amount raised and the winner got a $1,500 vacation package.

There was one last contest that employees could participate in: Kiss the Pig.

For a donation of 50 cents per ticket, or three for a dollar, employees wrote a coworker's name on a scrap piece of paper that they would like to see kiss the pig and then cast their vote.

In the end, the contest came down to Preston Gray, site manager, and Reggie Sasser, planning manager.

“It's been a close race,” said Connie Tredway, MPD coordinator at Michelin US 11. “Preston actually won the contest by 16 leading votes, but since Reggie was such a popular contender, it was only fair to allow them both to kiss the pig.”

Donna Skidmore from Heavy Petting, a party and events petting zoo, supplied the pig that puckered up for the ordeal.

Jenny Craig, a two-month-old pot bellied pig, snacked on Cheerios as she waited for the big moment.

Then, as Gray and Sasser leaned in for the kiss, the swine nearly swooned in excitement, squealing loud enough for all to hear.

“I'm proud of what you've done,” Gray said. “When I issued this challenge of $50,000, a lot of you thought it was ridiculous. This just goes to show that with this team and you, when there is a challenge, we all rise to the occasion.

“I want to extend a special thanks to Connie Tredway, Stacey Matthews and Rhonda Earl-Smith for all of their hard work. We'll be shooting for a higher mark in 2013.”

“It's not often that I'm speechless, but I am truly speechless,” said Christy Bogle, executive director of United Way Stanly.

“I mean Michelin could go into the fund raising business. Thank you so much for all the people who live in Stanly County who use these services. You guys connect with need and connect with your community. I cannot thank you enough. I truly am blown away. It’s unbelievable. Thank you so much.”