No one is confusing Pleasant City, Ohio, with Scotland or Ireland, which is why Michael L. Poole Jr. looks out of place every time he walks down the street in one of his several colorful kilts.
By now, though, locals must be getting used to Poole’s classic Scottish-Irish garb, because instead of wearing them for rare special occasions he has one on every day.
That’s because the pastor of the three-congregation Pleasant City Lutheran Parish has vowed to wear a kilt every day for a year to raise awareness for male-related cancer and world hunger.
Using Facebook as his soapbox, Poole founded “Kilted 50 for Charity,” which refers to the pastor wearing the kilts throughout his 50th birthday year. Everyone sponsoring Poole will be acknowledged on Facebook and given the chance to choose which of his kilts he will wear that day.
There’s the all-green kilt, a white one fashioned from an old karate uniform and a blue law enforcement tartan, to name a few from his collection.
Wearing kilts goes back several years for Poole, who discovered the tradition after learning about his Irish heritage. In his 30s he picked up playing the bagpipes, and for concerts he wore a kilt.
“This is my third call, and I’ve worn kilts at all three,” Poole said. “Right now I’m in the heart of Appalachia, so I get looks when I’m wearing one. But I told the congregations I serve what I was doing and they embraced it.”
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© 2016 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers