Local Salvation Army Kettle Campaign sets all-time record | Community Spirit
CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Salvation Army in Greater Cincinnati announcedThursday that it raised a total of $715,017.94 from its 2011 Kettle Campaign, against a goal of $625,000. The campaign is a major fundraising effort that has been undertaken annually at Christmastime for more than 100 years. This is the third straight year that the campaign goal has been surpassed, and this year’s result sets a new record. In the final days of the campaign, generous donors responded in a ‘big way,’ pushing the total well past the goal.
“This response from the community is such an amazing blessing,” noted Major Hugh Steele, Divisional Commander at The Salvation Army, who marked his first Christmas as head of operations in Greater Cincinnati. “The people of this community have been so giving, so generous, and I’m deeply grateful to each of them who donated, as well as all those who gave of their time to ring bells at the kettles.”
The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign is a major component of its annual funding initiatives. Not only do the funds collected support the annual Christmas programs, such as Toy Shop, they are also used throughout the year to support the extensive programs offered by The Salvation Army.
“The funds raised in the kettles are an important part of our work all year long,” explained Major Steele. “Every day we serve those who are most in need of assistance with food, rent, utilities, and clothing. These funds provide the means for us to help day after day.”
The Salvation Army says it is grateful to every donor who put a contribution in the kettles and that every nickel, quarter and dollar makes a difference. It also appreciates the efforts of all the volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly in an effort to make the campaign such a great success. Hundreds of volunteers stepped forward to be bell-ringers, including first-time volunteers and others who have enjoyed ‘working a kettle’ for many years. Among those who have long served the kettle campaign, this year marked the loss of three notable volunteers:
Mary Middleton of Ft. Mitchell was tragically killed outside her home in November. She had long served as a bell-ringer and kettle coordinator – in response, her friends and family implemented a two-day “Ring a Bell for Mary” campaign that raised almost $1,500 toward the kettle goal. The group hopes to implement a bigger campaign in 2012.
Gavin Gray, a long-serving member of The Salvation Army Advisory Board and an icon at the Kroger in Anderson, passed away at the age of 88. Until this year’s campaign, he had been actively involved at the kettle. In tribute, staff at Kroger placed a photo of Gray with a brief memorial on a table near the entrance of the store.
Paul Wilhelm, who ‘stood the kettle’ with his children and grandchildren in Mt. Washington for many years, died suddenly after a brief illness. He had recently been featured in a local TV news segment discussing his family’s commitment to the Kettle Campaign. Wilhelm was very generous to the kettle campaign, both with his time and his funds, helping the Mt. Washington kettle raise more money than any other kettle in the region.
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