The bells will soon be ringing for the Turlock Salvation Army's Annual Kettle Kick Off Luncheon.
This event launches the holiday 'bell ringing' and fundraising season for the nonprofit organization which offers a variety of programs and support for those in need in the community.
More than 1,300 men, women and children come through the Salvation Army building on Lander Avenue every month through a variety of programs, including After School Kids, Senior Adults Loving Together, Narcotics Anonymous meetings and to receive emergency food baskets or utility assistance.
Along with the programs that occur inside the building, the Salvation Army does outreach in the community.
"Two days every week we go to skilled nursing facilities and visit with seniors. In October, we visited 190 senior adults," said Turlock Salvation Army Corps Major Debi Shrum. "We have great employees and great volunteers."
This year's luncheon will be held on Nov. 17 at the Assyrian American Civic Club. The Kettle Kick-Off is attended by close to 800 community members each year. Last year, close to $46,000 was raised for the Salvation Army, much of it through the Kettle Klash.
Kettle Klash teams are made up of folks from different community businesses and organizations. Some teams raise as much as $15,000 prior to the event. Then during the luncheon, a Kettle Klash Brigade is held where teams run around trying to get their buckets filled with additional donations in a five-minute fundraising frenzy. The team that raises the most money is awarded the "Golden Kettle" and, of course, bragging rights for the year. Last year's winners were local nut farmers, the Just Plain Nuts team, which edged out the developer team, We Can Build It.
After the Klash, featured speaker Lt. Tracy Gonzales will share her personal Salvation Army rehabilitation story. Children from the Army's after school program will also demonstrate one of their karate routines and, per tradition, "Silver Bells" will be performed.
The 20th Annual Kettle Kick-Off will be held at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 17 at the Assyrian American Civic Club in Turlock. Neto's will be catering a full Thanksgiving feast. Tickets for the luncheon are $20 a person or $200 for a table of 10.
To reserve tickets, email Event Chairperson Kristin Bettencourt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (209) 815-3731.