Electric co-op general manager kisses a pig for dough

"What did I get myself into?"

“What did I get myself into?”

Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative General Manager Dale Haugen puckered up to a pig last night, but he didn’t have to go it alone.

Haugen was part of a Kiss the Pig fundraiser which ended up with him and the mayor of Williston, ND, kissing a pig on center court of a Williston State College basketball game. Mountrail-Williams Electric is a Class C member of Basin Electric.

Each year, Mountrail-Williams Electric sponsors an elementary school at a Williston State College basketball game. They call it School Spirit Night as a way to get kids and their families involved at the college, according to Jessica George, Mountrail-Williams Electric public relations and communications coordinator. “Students and their parents can attend the game for free. Each year we choose a different theme and way to raise money for the school and continue Mountrail-Williams Electric’s commitment to community. This year’s school was Lewis and Clark Elementary, and the theme was ‘Western Wear,’” she says.

Tammy Lyson, teacher, and Meredith Johnson, principal, kiss the pig during the first half-time.

Tammy Lyson, teacher, and Meredith Johnson, principal, kiss the pig during the first halftime. Mountrail-Williams Electric Staking Engineer Leon Brackey holds the pig, while Mountrail-Williams General Manager Dale Haugen assists.

The kids got to vote for who they wanted to kiss a pig by paying 50 cents per vote. The general public paid $1 per vote. There were five people in the running: Haugen; Hunter Berg, Williston State College Foundation alumni association director; Howard Klug, mayor of Williston; Meredith Johnson, principal of Lewis and Clark Elementary; and Tammy Lyson, teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary. There were 851 votes total, and Haugen was the lucky winner of the second halftime with 233 votes. The first halftime, Johnson and Lyson kissed the pig, to the grand excitement of their students.

Haugen showed up to the game with an extra $500 from the co-op, as long as the mayor would join him in the spectacle. Klug agreed.

The grand total raised for the school was $1,032.50.

“The crowd cheered and clapped,” George says. “The student section was chanting ‘Kiss a Pig!’ for both halftimes, and the crowd got into it.”

After kissing the pig, Haugen said to laughs, “I feel hungry for a ham sandwich.”

Howard Klug, mayor of Williston, and Dale Haugen, general manager of Mountrail-Williams Electric, kiss the pig during the second halftime.

Howard Klug, mayor of Williston, and Dale Haugen, general manager of Mountrail-Williams Electric, kiss the pig during the second halftime.

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