When students at Gilbert Intermediate learned there were big rewards offered in raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, they stepped up to lend a helping hand.

As they filled the school’s front lawn Monday morning, the students said stepping up for a good cause really pays off. The cheering crowd agreed that only one thing could be better than raising money for cancer research - watching your principal, teachers, peers, and superintendent kiss a pig!

The school recently participated in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients fundraising campaign. Fifth and sixth grade students collected pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, raising more than $1,000 for the organization.

When the campaign got under way, students were told that if they collected enough loose change, they would get to see a few familiar faces smear on some lipgloss and lock lips with a hog.

If the students raised $350 they would see Principal Michelle Bryson smooch a sow; if they collected $500, Bryson and two teachers would kiss a pig; if they raised $700, the reward would include four of their peers.

The kids, however, opted for the grand prize. For raising more than $1,000 in mere weeks, they lined up to see Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd show his wild side, as he stood last in line ready to pucker up.

According to www.schoolandyouth.org, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. Since 1994, more than 10 million elementary, middle and high school students have raised millions of dollars by participating in the Pennies for Patients Campaign.

The Society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The Society has invested more than $550 million for research specifically targeting blood cancers since 1949.