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Gone to the frogs: Alan Clark selected Saturday to smooch 'kissing cousin'
Gone to the frogs: Alan Clark selected Saturday to smooch 'kissing cousin'

St. Robert City Administrator Alan Clark said his Marine amphibious training made his smooching partner a "kissing cousin."
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (May 2, 2009) — St. Robert City Administrator Alan Clark received the dubious honor of being selected to kiss a frog Saturday evening as part of Waynesville’s annual Frog Fest celebration in the downtown city park.

Each year, area residents vote with their pocketbooks on which of several local leaders they’d like to have kiss a frog by making donations in various jars posted in Waynesville businesses. Carol Welch, the assistant city clerk and former city collector, has “won” for many years, being selected from 2002 to 2005 and also in 2007. Local attorney David Lowe was the frog-kisser in 2006; organizers cancelled the Frog Fest event in 2006 due to park damage caused by a major flood in the Roubidoux Creek.

Welch wasn’t a candidate this year. Participants were Clark, who received $52.57 in donations, Sheriff J.B. King, who received $37.52, and Circuit Court Clerk Rachelle Beasley, who received only $9.55 from people who wanted her to kiss the frog.

City Clerk Barb Stinson noted that all donations go to charities after expenses of the festival are paid.

“This is a little low compared to previous years,” Stinson said. “We have gotten some years up to $300 on this.”

The charities that will receive the proceeds from the Frog Fest, which has many other sources of funds besides that frog kissing contest, haven’t yet been determined. Stinson said that decision won’t be made until after the festival is over and the funds have been counted.

As audience members called out that he only had to kiss the frog once, Clark, a retired Marine, said he’s done many things in the military that were much more uncomfortable than frog-kissing and said he might take the frog home with him after the kiss.

“I might want to do it more than once; it all depends on the frog,” Clark replied. “Before the Marines became expeditionary, we were amphibious, so this is a kissing cousin. I might take this one home.”

“Don’t let the frog be caught cheating on me now,” Clark said as the audience laughed.

Clark only recently accepted the city administrator post in St. Robert. Until April, he was a Waynesville alderman and had agreed to participate in the frog kissing competition last year before the 2008 Frog Fest was cancelled due to the park flooding.

There’s no way of knowing who voted for frog kissing candidates or how many times they voted, but Clark said he thought some of his relatives might have “stuffed the ballot box” to make him kiss the frog.

Two can play that game, Clark said, and the sheriff may not be off the hook for future close contact with green things.

“Next time I’m going to have to put more in J.B.’s, though; I didn’t put in enough for J.B.,” Clark said.

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