Becky and Kris Hammond let change fall out of the piggy bank they have had for the past 30 years. As part of a fundraiser, people were asked to guess how much money was in the pig, which turned out to be $999.70.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Becky and Kris Hammond let change fall out of the piggy bank they have had for the past 30 years. As part of a fundraiser, people were asked to guess how much money was in the pig, which turned out to be $999.70.

Steamboat couple releases 30 years of coins from wedding piggy bank

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Read Tom Ross' column about the Hammonds' wedding pig.

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Kris and Becky Hammond were given this piggy bank as a wedding gift. The couple has been putting loose change in it since they were married 30 years ago.

— It took just a small, hand-held power drill to crack into the soft underbelly of the Hammond family piggy bank, unearthing 30 years of the local family’s history — in change.

Steamboat lawyer Kris Hammond dumped hundreds of pennies, nickels, quarters, dimes, Canadian change, Pesos, Malaysian coins, New Zealand coins, paperclips and dust onto the floor of Alpine Bank on Friday afternoon, emptying the contents of a piggy bank to which he and his wife, Becky, have been contributing since they were married 30 years ago.

In the end, the giant, ceramic, slightly ugly, little piggy yielded $999.70.

“It was in the attic. You don’t want this thing in your living room,” he joked.

“It’s ugly, and it’s heavy,” said Becky Hammond.

The Hammonds received the bank as a wedding gift when they wed in San Antonio. Guests and friends signed the tacky pig, which has moved with the family as many as eight times.

Kris Hammond said he put a coin in the little slot as recently as Thursday.

The family hopes to take their two children on a vacation somewhere using the funds.

Breaking open the bank also served a purpose for the community. Alpine Bank set up a contest where people could buy guesses at how much was in the bank. The profits raised by the contest were going to be split between whoever guessed the closest to the contents of the bank without going over and Partners in Routt County.

The closest guess was $928.91, an effort that will yield about a $25 prize. Because the contest didn’t create a significant number of entries, Alpine Bank decided to donate $300 to Partners in Routt County.

“I think they do great work in the community with kids at risk,” said Becky Hammond about choosing Partners to benefit from the contest.

Alpine Bank Vice President Jeremy Behling said saving habits have changed, and he hardly sees piggy banks brought into the bank anymore.

“It’s not every day you see a 30-year-old piggy bank with 30 years worth of coins in it,” he said. “It was a good way to raise money for a nonprofit.”

And it’s a tradition the Hammonds might continue. After the money was counted, Kris Hammond wondered aloud, “Maybe we’ll start again.”

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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