SIOUX CITY | It wasn't pretty, but Rex Mueller gamely puckered up and kissed a pig Friday.
The interaction between the police chief and the swine marked the end of a campaign in which city workers raised $50,000 for local charities.
The pig-kissing took place at City Hall on Friday morning, when
Mayor Bob Scott, City Manager Bob Padmore and Mueller were finalists to kiss a pig, with city workers casting their votes with donations to the United Way of Siouxland. During a ceremony on the first floor of City Hall Friday, an exchange of last-minute donations broke the three-way tie, with Mueller left with the dubious honor.
As dozens of city workers and others looked on, the trio made jokes as Mueller readied to purse his lips and carry out the task with Rowdy, the piglet.
"Let's kiss a pig, so I can get out of here," Scott said.
There was a loud commotion when Rowdy was first taken out of a cage, with his squeals reverberating off the walls.
That eventually led to a decision to place Rowdy back in the cage, so Mueller had to bend down and try to coax him out, which took quite a bit of time.
Finally, Mueller leaned it, the pig didn't back away. Said Mueller, "Come here, mmuhh," planting a quick peck.
The money from city employees was raised over the last two months, toward the United Way of Siouxland's overall goal of taking in $3.4 million this year.
“We have had great success with our United Way campaign this year due to the generous donations of our employees. As we near the end of our campaign we have exceeded last year’s donations and I’m proud of their generous spirit in improving the lives in our community," Padmore said.
About 450 local businesses and groups donate money to United Way. Some, like the city workers, use incentives to spur more money coming in.
After Friday’s ceremony, the piglet went home with Matthew Putze, a farmer who lives near Moville, Iowa. Matthew and his wife have nine children who have been working with the piglet with hopes to show the swine at a 4-H competition. Three of the high school Putze girls also have a big day Saturday, when they will compete in the state cross country championship race for Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson.