Saturday, July 15, 2000

Fund for fixing pigs set up

Bank sponsors repair efforts

By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Now you can donate some bacon to help take care of the porkers hogging the streets of Porkopolis.

        Fifth Third Bank began a donation program Thursday at its branches, where people can pledge money for keeping the Big Pig Gig pigs in good condition. Some have been vandalized, others worn by weather.

        The bank donated $1,000 to kick-start the program. Proceeds will go to the “Pig Spa and Hospital,” which opened this week downtown as a pig fixery.

        Of the 270-some pigs on the streets of downtown Cincinnati and Covington, a handful have suffered serious damage, said Big Pig Gig executive director Tamara Harkavy.

        One of them — “Ham and Swiss on Rye,” on Fountain Square — suffered $600 in damage to its wings and tail.

        “It's really too bad, because that pig was slated to go to auction and the proceeds help ArtWorks, and right now it's worth nothing,” Ms. Harkavy said.

        The Gig has hired five youths from the ArtWorks program to inspect pigs for damage. The “Pig Patrol” also cleans up pigs tarnished by rain, soot and car exhaust.

        Gig representatives have received calls and postcards expressing interest in purchasing a pig from as far away as Hollywood, Switzerland, Germany and Australia. Some of the pigs will be offered later this year in a live auction in Cincinnati; others will be bid for in an online auction designed to attract bidders from far away.

        Half of the proceeds will go toward ArtWorks, a youth arts program, while sponsors may give the other half to ArtWorks or choose a different charity.


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Tristate A.M. Report