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Friday Harbor postmaster kisses a pig to raise money for Relay for Life

Friday Harbor Postmaster Dan Fleming turned out to be the big winner in the
Friday Harbor Postmaster Dan Fleming turned out to be the big winner in the 'kiss-a-pig' Relay for Life fund-raiser. More than $1,700 was raised as islanders cast votes — donations of $1 — for one of five brave volunteers who volunteered to kiss a pig to raise money for Relay for Life.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

My, how times have changed.

One hundred and fifty years ago, a pig was shot, sparking a diplomatic battle for ownership of the island.

Wednesday, a pig was kissed, raising money for the battle against cancer.

Friday Harbor Postmaster Dan Fleming turned out to be the big winner in the "kiss-a-pig" Relay for Life fund-raiser.

More than $1,700 was raised as islanders cast votes — donations of $1 — for one of five brave islanders who volunteered to kiss a pig during intermission at Island Rec's Music on the Lawn concert, Wednesday at the San Juan Historical Museum.

Fleming was one candidate; the others were Sheriff Bill Cumming, Undersheriff Jon Zerby, and Friday Harbor Fire Chief Vern Long.

After results were tallied, Fleming, the winner, puckered up for a porcine peck.

Relay for Life is July 25-26, 2:30 p.m. to 11 a.m., on the Friday Harbor High School football field. (An earlier story and editorial said Relay started at 5:30; that time is incorrect.)

Participants will walk in honor of survivors, and light candles in memory of those who have passed on. Relay teams are comprised of former and current cancer patients, those who have lost a loved one to cancer, as well as families, businesses and civic organizations.

Relay for Life is held in thousands of communities across the United States. Thanks in part to funds raised by Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society has about $500 million in research grants in effect today. Each year, Friday Harbor’s Relay for Life contributes at least $60,000 toward that cause.

The result of those research dollars? The American Cancer Society has about $4 billion in research for a cure. In 1946, 25 percent of cancer patients lived at least five years after diagnosis; today, that rate is 60 percent.

To register for Relay for Life or make a donation, call Chris Hallock, 378-8237; or Christine Gabler, 378-8928. For information about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org or call (800) ACS-2345.

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