Mr. Pig Goes to the Market began in 2011 as a memorial to Jimmy Welborn, owner of four Piggly Wiggly supermarkets within the Tuscaloosa area. Jimmy battled cancer for more than 30 years, and in honor of his legacy, Mr. Pig Goes to the Market was born in order to raise funds for The American Cancer Society.
Aside from the change in location, the event will continue its live entertainment, silent auction and catering from Hoo's Q. The event returns as a yearly testament to Jimmy Welborn’s battle with cancer, his legacy, and how much the Welborns themselves benefitted from research that the American Cancer Society funds.
“We had the task of moving on from a business perspective that Dad built with our grocery stores and we wanted to keep his name and legacy alive. We felt our partners would support a charitable event with The American Cancer Society,” Welborn said. “It gives people a real picture of what our company stands for.”
Matt Jones, a local Tuscaloosa musician, will be featured as the live entertainment for this year’s Mr. Pig event. Jones recently released “Redemption,” a Nashville-based CD, and has garnered a large following, Welborn said.
“Matt has gotten a pretty good following, so we’re excited to have him back. We had him our second year playing a small set and now that he’s gotten so big, he’ll get the whole night,” he said.
The proceeds from Mr. Pig also help to provide the grocery store food vouchers that B&W Foods and The DCH Foundation created as a way to help cancer patients and their families. Welborn said the program began from a desire to provide assistance locally as well as with The American Cancer Society.
“All of this is attributable to my dad and his impact on our industry. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve garnered more appreciation for his legacy. He was more than just a grocery man. He wanted to do well by the people we serve within the community,” Welborn said. “I don’t think my dad would have ever been one to step out front and put his name on something like this, but now that we’ve been able to do it, I think he would be proud.