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Winning kisser has a new story

November 5, 2017 GMT

A surge of last-minute donations pushed River Dog Outpost bartender Adam Sikes into the dubious first-place position for the annual Coosa River Basin Initiative Catfish Kissin’ contest Saturday. A lack of ballots, in the form of dollars, meant that Mark McLucas and Mark Persails tied as bottom feeders in the eightperson contest, and they also “got” to pucker up with the Coosa River catfish at First United Methodist Church.

Sikes, who raised $642, made no catfish bones about it; he really wanted the opportunity to sidle up to the fish at the CRBI Fish Fry.

“I work on the river and we use it weekly, if not three or four times a week, so it’s really important that our water is clean,” Sikes said. “The health of our rivers is paramount.”

Sikes used a raffle for one of his homemade gas can guitars to surge past Berry College Dean Tom Kennedy. Sikes has been making homemade electric guitars from unusual items for the past five years after seeing a video on YouTube.

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Kennedy, who came in second in the event, finished with $608.

A last-minute surge of support for Davies Homeless Shelter Executive Director Devon Smyth also propelled her onto the stage for a smooch with the fish. Smyth raised $574. She leaned in, then grimaced and turned away. After regaining her composure, Smyth closed her eyes and was able to make quick contact with the fish which was being held, somewhat steadily, by CRBI board member Blair Carter.

The eight contestants raised a little more than $3,000, which was just enough to get CRBI Executive Director Jesse Demonbreun- Chapman to participate in the puckering Saturday afternoon.