George - Pay the Pig mascot  Pay the Pig logo  

Explore Charleston logo

What is Pay the Pig? (Plus A Cool Article  from Association Adviser)

In 2015, Past GSAE President Lori K. Spear, CAE, staffer Wendy W. Kavanagh, CAE and Explore Charleston VP Chris Hendrix, CMP brainstormed an appropriate way to ”give back” to the Charleston community as part of our charitable activities (and to use some really fantastic ceramic pigs from a local gallery). GSAE and our members recognize the investment a community makes in hosting our Annual Meeting, and the Pay the Pig raffle was born to show our gratitude. 

A big hit with attendees, Pay the Pig stickers and ribbons are a mark of pride throughout the program year. The Pay the Pig Team is recognizable from a variety of pink accessories they wear during the meeting. Past Chair Gene Stinson, CAE, PCED, CEcD, HLM debuted both a Pay the Pig logo and the use of aprons during his tenure in 2018. The program has continued to flourish each year thanks to the dedication of sponsors and our sweetly persuasive GSAE volunteers.

The local charitable recipient is designated by the host CVB based on their knowledge of the needs of their respective communities. Since 2015, GSAE attendees have donated over $44,000 to support local charities. Photo Album.

2023 Pay the Pig, Charleston, SC
Charleston Animal Society logo
Charitable Recipient:  Charleston Animal Society
Amount donated: $7,650, with additional funds from Explore Charleston

In 1874, Charleston Animal Society was formed as the first animal protection organization in South Carolina and one of the first in the nation. Its purpose was then, and has always been, to prevent cruelty to animals. Almost 20,000 animals will turn to Charleston Animal Society for caring, compassion and hope this year alone.

2022 Pay the Pig, Jekyll Island, Ga

Georgia Sea Turtle Center logo

Charitable Recipient: Georgia Sea Turtle Center
Amount donated: $5,655

Georgia’s only sea turtle education and rehabilitation facility. The Center offers the public a chance to learn about sea turtles and see rehabilitation in action with a host of interactive exhibits and experiences. Year-round indoor and outdoor programs are also available for guests of all ages. Visit the official Georgia Sea Turtle Center website to learn more about the programs, research, and other important work being done to save turtles and other coastal wildlife. Gand Prize Sponsors: Map D and Explore Charleston. Prizes also donated by Jekyll Island Authority, DeFoor Hospitality Group, and Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center.

2021 Pay the Pig Event, Chattanooga, TN

Tennesse River Gorge Trust logo

2021 Pay the Pig, Chattanooga, TN
Amount donated: Over $5,000, with a matching donation from Chattanooga Tourism Co.

Charitable Recipient: Tennessee River Gorge Trust
The mission of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust is to preserve a healthy Tennessee River Gorge as a community treasure for generations.
With the help of cooperative landowners, TVA, the State of Tennessee and engaged citizens, the community has protected over 17,000 of the 27,000 acres of the Gorge! Note: To comply with local ordinances, all paying GSAE event attendees were entered to win a donated prize package onsite Friday morning. The entry of the paying attendee is by virtue of their attendance at the meeting and is not tied to the encouraged fundraising for the locally- designated charitable recipient (think casino nights where you may attend but are not obligated to purchase table access). 

2020 Pay the Pig, Savannah, GA
Amount donated: Nearly $6949, with a matching donation from Visit Savannah and their partners

Charitable Recipient: United Way of the Coastal Empire
The mission of the United Way of the Coastal Empire is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities. Special thanks to the following partners for helping us support the local Savannah community: Visit Savannah, Perry Lane Hotel, JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District, Hyatt Regency Savannah, The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, Savannah Riverfront Marriott, Savannah Riverboat Company, Savannah Convention Center, The DeSoto Savannah, and Above & Beyond Limousine. Thank you video link from United Way of the Coastal Empire.

United Way logo United Way people receiving check from Pay the Pig


2019 Pay the Pig, Greenville, SC
The Frazee Dream Center logo
Amount Donated: Over $5,345

Charitable Recipient: The Frazee Dream Center - The Frazee Dream Center is a free preschool, after school and summer program for under resourced children in the downtown Greenville area. The program offers assistance and guidance to children ages 3-16 in the areas of academics, character development, sportsmanship and emotional wellness. Grand Prize Sponsors: Map D and Explore Charleston

2018 Pay the Pig, Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, FL
Sandestin Foundation for Kids logo
Amount Donated: $4,136

Charitable Recipient: Sandestin Foundation for Kids - The goal of the Sandestin Foundation for Kids is to make a meaningful and positive difference in children’s lives. The Foundation will support causes or organizations which have the most impact, and to make the best, positive difference in the lives of children, including health and economic issues. Prize Sponsors: Map D and Explore Charleston, Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort, and The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island.

2017 Pay the Pig, Macon, GA
Loaves of Fish of Macon logo
Amount Donated: $3,222

Charitable Recipient: Loaves and Fishes of Macon - The mission of Loaves and Fishes Ministry is "to serve and improve the quality of life of the poor and homeless." Prize Sponsors: Grand Prize Sponsors: Map D and Explore Charleston

2016 Pay the Pig, Athens, GA
Bread for Life Athens logo
Amount Donated: $3,235

Charitable Recipient: Bread for Life Athens - Bread for Life provides hands-on training, instruction by industry professionals, and community support for men and women with the will to improve their lives and the desire to begin successful careers in the hospitality industry. Grand Prize Sponsors: Map D and Explore Charleston

2015 Pay the Pig, Charleston, SC
Music Children's Hospital logo

Amount Donated: $2,300

Charitable Recipient: MUSC Children’s Medical Center - As a Level 1 Trauma center, our pediatric emergency department specializes in providing emergency care for any serious injury or illness your child may experience at home, at school, or at play. Working collaboratively with pediatricians throughout the community, MUSC Children’s Health also provides after-hours care to children from birth to seventeen years of age in three different locations on weeknights, weekends and holidays. Prize Sponsor: Grand Prize Sponsor: Explore Charleston