Teens raise funds for Wounded Warrior Project


Put a pig in a pen and throw in seven Brownstown Central High School faculty members with hands covered in cooking grease and what do you have?

A slippery spectacle that was a whole lot of fun for all involved and raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project to boot.

Students in Robin Perry’s business management class at the school organized the greased pig contest Friday afternoon for faculty members and a second one that wound up involving 15 students.

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“I have not watched one before, so that was new for me, but it was exciting to see the students happy about it,” Perry said. “I think everyone had a fun time and everyone has been excited about it all day long. It’s been the talk of the school.”

The event was organized by one of the groups in Perry’s class. A second group collected 1,313 cans of food for Anchor House.

“Along with learning the principles of business management, I wanted the kids to manage a project,” Perry said.

Each week of the first trimester, her class had a Lead to Feed Tuesday where they would learn concepts about project management based on the book of David Novac, the retired CEO of YUM Brands.

“It eventually led to these projects,” she said.

The group raised money three different ways with a goal of $300. There were registration fees to participate in the greased pig contest, the school organized a day for teachers to pay to wear jeans and students donated a freewill offering as they lined up outside.

“It was entertaining and I think they enjoyed watching,” said senior Zane Fisher, who led the group. “We weren’t expecting them to catch it that quick.”

He said the group was glad to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“It’s a great cause,” he said.

The project is a nonprofit charity organization based in Jacksonville, Florida, that helps veterans with a variety of services in an effort to bring independence to the county’s most severely wounded veterans.

The group ran into some difficulties trying to organize the event.

First, the group wasn’t sure what they wanted to do, Perry said.

“This second group struggled a little bit with it’s project and finding a charity,” she said.

Finally, the group settled on an event and a charity.

“We just came up with after as we were pitching ideas around,” Fisher said. “A friend was wearing a Wounded Warrior hat and we thought it was a great organization to help.”

But then came the roadblocks. The unpredictable weather made it difficult to hold the event and the students had to reorganize and have it on the last day of the trimester.

“The last few weeks, we had to work out the implementation of this in a constricted time frame,” Perry said. “This is a big portion of their grade and I think they did a great job and it was a lot of fun.”

When it came time for the event, Fisher held cans of cooking grease and spread it on participants hands.

He said it was fun to get the teachers involved.

“It was funny and I think everyone liked seeing them out there,” he said.

Brandon Tormoehlen, a math and engineering teacher, came up victorious in the faculty portion.

He grew up raising pigs on his family’s farm, but has never participated in a grease pig contest.

“You normally pick them up by their hind legs, but that wasn’t the case,” he said. “I let the other teachers kind of corral it and I just kind of went in there and picked it up”

Tormoehlen said he was happy to participate because of where the money was going.

“It’s for a good cause,” he said.

Once the student the competition began the pig ran around the pen and students chased after it.

Andrew Freeman dove for the pig, but it freed itself quickly before shooting along the fencing to the other side.

Adam Pottschmidt made his way to a corner and fell near the pig, but could not get a hold of him.

That’s when Shauna Drake, the lone female participant, scooped up the pig and brought it to the other side.

Drake, a senior, is no stranger to grease pig contests. This is her third victory if you count her wins at the Houston Fall Festival.

“I just dove,” she said with a laugh. “You have to grab it all the way around and you can’t grab it by the legs like you’re supposed to because it will slip out.”

Having the entire school there to witness it was a little unnerving at first, she said.

“I was nervous at first, but then it was fun,” Drake said. It’s a good laugh, good times and for a good cause.”

Why is she so good at grease pig contests? Even she doesn’t really know.

“I don’t have pigs at home, I have dogs,” Drake said, still laughing.

“I just get in there and my mom really makes me do it,” she said. “I guess I have small hands and there’s less grease.”

Fisher said he was happy with the result and learned a few things along the way.

“You have to put in work to get a good result,” he said. “It may not be hard work, but it may not be work you really like doing. Also, it never hurts to ask.”

Perry said that was the point of having the groups lead their own projects and explore how to accomplish something. She said there was value in organizing an event, especially when there were challenges.

And student will step up when they need to, she said.

“It’s nice to let students choose and sit back and allow them to do it,” Perry said. “They will take the initiative if you just let them.”

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For information about the Wounded Warrior Project visit woundedwarriorproject.org


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