The students raised $6,465.79 ? so Fite had to kiss the little piggy six times. She didn't mind and praised her parents for donating their coins and cash for the drive.
"They are wonderful, giving, generous," Fite said. "And they are teaching their children the same things."
Lent is a period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday when Catholics traditionally give up a luxury in recognition of Christ's sacrifice, said Cathi Garcia, a science teacher and penny drive organizer. Leukemia is the No. 1 killer of children, she said.
Garcia gave Fite three options to motivate the students: She could have ridden a bike to work, sang a song at an assembly or kissed a barnyard animal.
"I live 25 miles from here and I can't carry a tune on a piece of paper," Fite said. "This was a great way to get them excited."
The challenge worked for Mitra Pashayi, a 12-year-old seventh-grader who raised $300.
"It was a good way to motivate [us] to raise money and I wanted to see Mrs. Fite kiss the pig," Mitra said. "Giving the money to people with leukemia was one of the reasons I raised the money."
Leading up to the event, Garcia encouraged the students by having them give Fite "three snorts" during the morning announcements.
Fite had some revenge for Garcia, who had to kiss a goat which was dressed in the school uniform: a plaid green skirt, red blouse and white bobby socks.
"It wasn't baaaaaad," said Garcia about kissing the goat.
Richard Lucas, a 12-year-old seventh grader, raised about $70 mostly in coins and said he was motivated to see Fite's pig puckering.
"It was kind of my revenge for all the times I've been in her office," Richard said.
The students in Kathy Piumetti's third-grade class won the team competition raising $1,657.47, Garcia said.
Lauren Tomina, a 9-year-old fourth-grader in Gail Schall's class, was one of the top individual fundraisers. She used all sorts of strategies to collect $291 for the leukemia victims.
"I lost my tooth [March 20] and I hoped the tooth fairy would bring me 10 more dollars," Gail said. "But it didn't come in time."