FAIRFIELD, NJ — Teachers, faculty and students at Fairfield's Adlai Stevenson Elementary School did their part to "Light It Up Blue" and raise money during World Autism Awareness Day with a "Penny Race" and a live "Kiss A Pig" assembly on Tuesday.

Student Council Advisor Nicole Messina explained that students were asked to bring in specific coins each day during the week of March 25-29 with a goal of raising $1,000 for United by Autism, a 501c3 organization that helps support programs and families on their autism journey. The council promised that when the goal was reached, Superintendent Susan Ciccotelli and Meghan Cafone, Coordinator of Behavioral Programs & Home Instruction, would kiss a real live pig in front of the entire school.

"The students did a great job fundraising and we exceeded our goal," said Messina. "Today, not only did our amazing school raise nearly $2,000 for autism, but because they did, we kissed a pig. It was worth every penny of it."  

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In follow-up to the "Penny Race," Fairfield Schools are encouraging the community to eat at California Pizza Kitchen at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne on April 16. The restaurant will be hosting a "pizza with a purpose" event, where 20 percent of each check will go toward United by Autism when the flyer is presented.

According to Messina, the Foundation for Educational Administration (FEA) is purchasing a large catering order for both Fairfield elementary schools on that day. 

"We will be able to donate an additional $100 with the "Pizza with a Purpose" fundraiser, making our total donation to United by Autism $2,000," said Messina.

In addition to Ciccotelli and Cafone, other teachers who kissed the pig included Messina, Laurie Salter, Lauren Nolan, ALyssa Iarossi, Laura Barra, Cheryl Malinski, Ms. Efrus, Ms. Tornatore, Daphne Alonso, and Ms. Caradimitropoulo.