Some people obtain their inspiration from great books or brilliant sunsets. Noreen Peterson is not ashamed to admit that one of her greatest ideas came from the pig races.
Last summer's pig race fad at Lagoon provided the fodder (or is it slop?) for Peterson's PTA fund-raising program at Oakdale Elementary School, 1800 E. Creek Road, Sandy."The kids were really into that, so I thought the pig races would be a good incentive," said the membership and fund-raising vice president of the Oakdale PTA. That is somewhat of an understatement.
A pig-race board, complete with laminated racers dressed in cloth jogging shorts, provided the first incentive for the pignacious PTA membership drive. The pigs inched forward on a 10-foot-long bulletin board in proportion to the number of memberships returned. The class with the day's highest total was treated to "pig tales," light stories that Peterson made up and that the kids seemed to gobble up. The winning class also gained possession of the pig in the pen - a stuffed creation by Peterson and her father, complete with trough. One lucky student got to keep the grand prize porker after a drawing at the end of the drive.
The initial fund-raiser was so successful, the school started the pigs back at the start of their track for a newspaper drive competition. The result was hogstanding. The school collected five tons of newspaper and astounded the man at the recycling center. This has all led to T-shirts and pignics, not to mention cries of "there goes the pig lady," wherever Peterson goes.
While the school got its money, it also got something else, Peterson said. One little boy told his mother that this has been his happiest year in school, ever. All because of pigs.