2019 HOG & Kisses Competition

By Becky Fitzgerald on October 17, 2019

Voted “best of the best” by Manhattan Mercury readers, five category winners of our local newspaper’s annual Readers’ Choice awards are competing this fall to claim yet another title: 2019 Hog Kisser! These professionals own or work for local businesses that have reputations for quality and service, and Meadowlark Foundation is fortunate to have convinced them to put their talents to use for the future of Meadowlark residents. A representative from Manhattan’s top accounting firm, auction service, beauty salon, jewelry store, and the favorite attorney are contestants in a HOG & Kisses Contest and 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 6th annual HOGTOBERFEST, set for Thursday, Oct. 24, at Cox Bros. BBQ. The kissing candidate 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 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.
   The Good Samaritan Fund assists persons in Meadowlark Hills healthcare households who have depleted their financial resources. The Fund allows them to continue to receive the same quality of service, care and life enhancement as those with funds still available. About 50 people benefit from the Fund.
   Several “votes” have already been received, and as of Oct. 2, attorney Jim Morrison is in first place,  with Pfeifley Jewelers  in second. Candidates introduced themselves at the September Town Hall meeting, sharing biographical information and their hog-kissing qualifications. Please continue reading to learn more about our enthusiastic participants (in alphabetical order by Readers’ Choice category name).

~ Accounting firm: Sink, Gordon & Associates, represented by partner Justin Minchow
  Justin joined the SGA team in January of 2011, and holds a combined 18 years of experience in the accounting field. Justin earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1998, and his Master of Accountancy in 1999 from Kansas State University. He primarily focuses on taxes, including business return tax preparation, small business tax preparation/planning, bank tax return preparation, and individual tax preparation.
   Professionally, Justin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and serves the community as a member of the Young Professionals of Manhattan and as the Board Member for the Konza United Way. Justin enjoys cheering on the many athletic programs at K-State and also enjoys cooking for family and friends.

~ Attorney: Jim Morrison of Morrison, Frost, Olsen, Irvine & Schartz, LLP. 
   A graduate from Manhattan schools and Kansas State University, Jim was awarded his juris doctorate from Washburn University in December 1970 and was admitted to the bar in Kansas in February 1971. Jim served four years in the Riley County Attorney’s Office, two years as County Attorney and, upon completion of his term in 1975, started the practice with William L. Frost. 
   Jim has nearly 40 years of experience in areas such as estate planning, business law, domestic law, criminal law, and he’s also found time to be active in numerous community organizations. Observant residents have noticed a portrait of Jim hanging near the Community Room to honor his service to Meadowlark. He is a founder and past president of Manhattan Retirement Foundation, a not-for profit organization enhancing senior lifestyles. Jim’s mother, Norma, lived at Meadowlark.

~ Auction Service: Gannon Real Estate & Auction, represented by Vern Gannon
  A graduate of Missouri Auction School in 1972, Vern has been in the auction business for more than 45 years, serving customers in Manhattan and across Kansas. Vern and Company conduct many auctions a year, including real estate, farm, business liquidation, estates, antiques / collectibles, Commercial and household.
   Vern is a past Kansas Auctioneers Association president and is a KAA Hall of Fame member. Vern was gracious to volunteer as auctioneer at three estate-style auctions benefiting the Good Samaritan Fund, and more recently, he’s donated his auctioneering talent to the past two Art Mingle events, which benefit Meadowlark Memory Program.

~ Beauty Shop, Gallery for Hair, represented by owner Ted Hartke
   A native of Manhattan, Ted studied life science at K-State and graduated from a Topeka cosmetology school. When he took a break from college, his parents told him he had to get a job, so he decided to cut hair. He has now operated Gallery for Hair Spa & Salon for 30 years.
   Through the Gallery, Ted has literally had hair-raising experiences with many “great” residents and Passport members. The salon originally was in the Candlewood shopping center, and has been at the current location in Seth Child Commons for 13 years.
   Ted’s grandparents raised pigs, and his father is a veterinarian. His enthusiasm for puckering up with porker on Oct. 24 has spread to his staff. “There are about five of us here who want to kiss that hog!”
   Gallery for Hair recently participated in Hair 4 Hope, which benefited Katie’s Way.

~ Jewelry store, Pfeifley Jewelers, represented by Rick Pfeifley
   Certified by the Gemological Institute of America, Rick grew up in Riley, Kan., and graduated from a watch making and jeweler school in Kansas City.
   He’s owned and operated a jewelry store for 48 years, first in Clay Center, Kan., and now in Manhattan near Panera Bread Co. Rick’s son, Pat, joined this family-owned store, which has been a leader in bridal, fashion and custom jewelry.
  Rick treasures his many customers who live at Meadowlark, and when asked if he has experience with hogs he answered: “I really want to kiss one!” He said he lived on a farm when he was young, and his family owned pigs, but his parents sold their stock when they purchased the funeral home in Riley.
   Pfeifley Jewelry often offers sparkly bracelets, earrings, and necklaces to various non-profit organizations for silent auctions or raffles, and appraises donated pieces to Meadowlark Market at no charge.