Pucker Up! Five candidates vying to kiss a hog on Oct. 26

By Becky Fitzgerald on October 6, 2017

Adept at selling acreage and houses, five members of the local real estate community are selling the home-for-many mission of Meadowlark as contestants in a HOG & Kisses Contest. The candidates are asking their friends, family, co-workers, colleagues and Meadowlark stakeholders to help them raise money for the Good Samaritan Fund.

The contest is a feature of the 4th annual HOGTOBERFEST, set for Thursday, Oct. 26, at Cox Bros. BBQ. The contestant who receives the most votes, in the form of dollars, will kiss a live (young) hog shortly after 6 p.m. at the barbecue restaurant, operated by Bud and Bobby Cox, sons of Meadowlark resident Ellie Cox.

Vote for your favorite candidate by placing cash or checks in his or her donation jar, located across from the Meadowlark Hospitality Desk. Another option is to vote online with a credit card at www.meadowlark.org. Click the HOG & Kisses Contest button in the upper right-hand corner of the home page. Donations/votes are tax-deductible; gift receipts will be given to anyone providing a name and address with a contribution.

Several “votes” have already been received, and as of Oct. 4, Cindy Sloan is in first place, with Jodi Thierer in second and Travis Hecht in third. Keith Eyestone and Jerry Weis are not far behind. The five candidates introduced themselves at the September Town Meeting, sharing biographical information and their hog-kissing qualifications. Please continue reading to learn more about our enthusiastic participants. 

Keith Eyestone, real estate advisor, Alliance Realty
A Manhattan native, Eyestone graduated from Manhattan High School and earned a bachelor’s of science degree from Kansas State. For 23 years, he owned bars in Aggieville, including one called The Purple Pig. He’s worked in real estate for six years.

His father, Merle, lived at Meadowlark from 2004-08. His Uncle Cecil lived at Meadowlark prior to his death in 2016; his Aunt Phyllis is a Lyle House resident.

Eyestone is a member of First United Methodist Church.

He said he wants to help as many residents at Meadowlark as he can by being a contestant and raising money for the Good Samaritan Fund, which benefits residents living in a Meadowlark Hills healthcare household who have exhausted their financial resources. “It’s no big deal to kiss a hog!”

Travis Hecht, broker, Coldwell Banker Realty Group One
A graduate of Bern High School near Seneca, Hecht earned degrees from Kansas State in business administration and economics. He worked in banking after graduation, then worked for Life Care Centers of America, which owns long-term care organizations in 28 states. Hecht was an administrator at facilities in Andover and Seneca, and with his banking background, he did financial audits for various Life Care organizations.

He’s had a real estate license for 12 years, and joined the Manhattan Coldwell Banker agency in 2014.

At the September meeting, he pulled some chap stick from his pocket, and announced he’d be applying it three times a day in preparation to be the HOG & Kisses winner.

Cindy Sloan, realtor, Rockhill Real Estate Group
Sloan started life on a farm near Bird City, and attended a one-room school house for the first six years of her education. After graduation from Bird City High School, she majored in clothing and retailing t K-State, where she met her husband, Wayne of Manhattan.

After a short time in Wichita, the couple returned to Manhattan, and Wayne joined his father, Bob, in his business: Green Construction. The firm built the West Tower at Meadowlark Hills, and Bob Sloan was a Meadowlark resident for many years. One of the community’s six healthcare households bears the Sloan name.

Cindy Sloan has pursued a career in real estate since 1995, and his been active in several local philanthropic organizations. This summer, she joined Meadowlark Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Sloan’s campaign mascot is a prize-winning pink pig named Meadow.

Jodi Thierer, broker and owner, Legacy Realty of Kansas
Born and raised in Salina,  Thierer earned bachelor’s degrees in business and human ecology and a master’s of business administration from Kansas State, where she met her husband, Larry. She was a member of the K-State College of Business faculty for 15 years, and has worked in real estate the past 22 years.

Larry’s mother, Rae Ellen, lived at Meadowlark  Hills for 12 years, the majority of that in a first floor apartment. Because of her mother-in-law’s positive experience, Thierer didn’t hesitate to participate in a contest that benefits persons who’ve outlived their resources.

Community involvement has long been a priority for Thierer, and she has volunteered her time and talents in a number of capacities, including the Chi Omega sorority, Junior League of the Flint Hills, Allegro Ringers at the First United Methodist Church, as well as numerous short-term board appointments and advisory positions throughout the community and KSU.

Jodi joked during the September Town Meeting that her Legacy co-workers are part of her Kiss the Hog effort. Patty Boomer is serving as her campaign manager. Jolene Roberts is her press secretary, and Jennifer Foveaux is her finance manager.

Jerry Weis, realtor, Realty Executives Weis Real Estate Company
Born in Salina, Weis graduated from Salina High School in 1954 and proceeded to spend the next 46 years on college campuses. Experiences in learning, teaching, helping, counseling, organization and administration have been central to his interactions with people – be they students or colleagues – and he’s known around the office and community as the ultimate “people person”. 

A member of First Lutheran, one of Meadowlark’s founding churches, Weis has known many Meadowlark residents, many of whom were colleagues during his longtime teaching and administrative role in the Division of Biology at K-State.

Weis’s volunteer efforts have benefited the Manhattan Arts Council, Manhattan Rotary and the United Way, to name a few organizations.

A city boy, Weis confessed he fell in love with a country girl named Linda, and married her despite an unfortunate mishap with one of her family’s roosters. If Weis wins the contest, he promised to “kiss that hog’s curly tail straight”!