The Salvation Army lived up to its motto of “doing the most good” during the nonprofit’s annual Kettle Kick-Off fundraising luncheon on Tuesday. The main highlight of the annual event is the Kettle Klash, a race to raise the most cash in a set time limit. Teams run around the room with Salvation Army kettles and collect donations from luncheon attendees. Donators ring small bells to alert the kettle teams that they have cash to donate. The Kettle Klash is loud, frantic, and it brings thousands of dollars to the Salvation Army every year.
The Kettle Kick-Off event is the first official Salvation Army fundraising effort of the holiday season. Salvation Army bell ringers are ubiquitous holiday figures, found in front of stores everywhere. They collect donations for the Salvation Army, so that it can continue its programs year-round. Locally, the Salvation Army has programs for children, seniors and financially disadvantaged members of the community. They serve a wide range of people with their weekly emergency food boxes and after-school programs.
Carolyn Pourian spoke at the Kettle Kick-Off luncheon about her experience with the Salvation Army. Pourian’s children participate in after-school and youth programs put on by the Salvation Army in Turlock. She said the Salvation Army gives her family more structure and brings them closer to the church.
“(The Salvation Army) means a great deal to my family and I. It’s always there when we need it, like a second family,” Pourian said.
The Salvation Army offers tutoring, games and sports recreation to kids in a safe after-school setting. They also offer a senior drop-in center, hot meals for seniors, utility assistance and other aide to those who need it. The organization uses funds from the bell ringers and Kettle Kick-off to run its programs and services, and to keep the Salvation Army Turlock Corps Community Center open.
“Thousands in the Turlock community will need the help of thousands in the Turlock community,” said Major Rob Birks.
The Kettle Klash had eight teams participating this year. The winner was “We Can Build It” with $12,451 raised. The total amount of money raised at this year’s Kettle Klash was $35,280, collected in less than five minutes. Salvation Army in Turlock will continue its fundraising efforts with the Kettle Dash 5k on Saturday. The event is presented by the Rotary Clubs of Turlock and will take place at Turlock Junior High School. There will also be a 1 mile run/walk for children, the elderly, or anyone who doesn’t feel up to the full 5K. The race starts at 7 a.m. at Joe Debely Stadium, participants should come early to allow for same-day registration.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.