Candidates from the San Luis Obispo community pucker up to “Kiss the Pig” today at 7 p.m. on the corner of Garden and Higuera streets as part of a fundraiser for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

CASA’s “13th Annual Kiss the Pig” is a contest between three community leaders to see who can raise the most money for the organization. The person who raises the most money will either smooch a pig or assign the duty to someone else, said Resource Development Manager Cathy Orton.

” ‘Kiss the Pig’ reaches out to all different segments of the community because each candidate has a different group of people he or she appeals to, so it’s a good way to let people know about CASA . and what we’ve been doing,” Orton said.

This year’s pig-kissers include: Anita Robinson of Mission Community Bank, Carol Thom and Stacey Stanek-Fairbanks of the Thom Group, and Hamish Marshall of WestPac Development. Hosted by Bill & JJ from the Morning Coast Show, the event will also include a performance from local artist Keith Perry.

“The pig’s name is Pumpkin,” Commander Martin Basti said. The Basti family donated the pigs for the past two years, and plan on showing Pumpkin at the Midstate Fair next week.

“We just supply the pigs for them . to kiss because they’re just so lovable anyway,” Basti said.

Pumpkin is a Blue Butt pig, which is a cross between a Hampshire and a York. The pig belongs to Basti’s son, Aaron Basti, who has been involved in Future Farmers of America for more than four years.

“They purchase (the pigs) when they’re little piglets and raise them until they’re market size, which is between 215 and 275 pounds,” Basti said.

The pig will be sitting on a flat bed during tomorrow’s event up until the “kissing,” which will probably bring in up to $25,000, Orton said. For more information about “Kiss the Pig” visit

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