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Salvation Army’s Kettle Kickoff set to return at full capacity
Kettle Kickoff preview
This year’s Kettle Kickoff luncheon is back in-person and will be taking place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Grand Oak Banquet Hall and Event Center in Turlock (Journal file photo).

It’s that time of the year again where the weather turns colder, Christmas decorations are brought out of the closet, and of course, red kettles are set up and bells ring outside of several businesses around town. The kettles and bells are a part of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, which has been a tradition since 1891. Each year, local Salvation Army Corps have gotten festivities and efforts underway with the annual Kettle Kickoff. After two years of hosting a drive-thru style event because of COVID-19, the Turlock Corps is back this year at full capacity.

This year’s Kettle Kickoff will be taking place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Grand Oak Banquet Hall and Event Center in Turlock.

“We're able to be back in person, so we're going big and going into the Grand Oak,” said Turlock Salvation Army Capt. Jeffrey Breazeale. “We’re very excited.”

And while the event allows community members to celebrate the giving season over a meal, it also serves as a fundraising event in itself, with all funds raised from ticket sales to be combined with the money collected at the kettles throughout the coming weeks.

Tickets are $25 per person, but there are several sponsorship opportunities, as well. A Table Sponsor for $300 gets 10 tickets; a Kettle Clash sponsor of $500 includes a table of 10 with a name featured in the program. A Red Kettle lunch sponsor for $1,000 includes a table for 10 with a name included in the program site, signage and in social media posts. The Event Sponsor opportunity also remains available for $5,000 and includes two tables of 10, a logo to be featured on the podium, a name to be included in the program, signage and social media, as well as a logo being featured on promotional items.

“We're looking for anyone and everyone who wants to support the Salvation Army and the work that we do in Turlock and surrounding areas. We don't want to limit it to anybody,” Breazeale said.

Those interested in purchasing single tickets or sponsorships are encouraged to call the Turlock office at (209) 667-6091 or to contact Beverly Spielman through email at

According to Breazeale, the Turlock Corps. has set out a goal to raise a combined $60,000 this holiday season. Nevertheless, he believes that those numbers can be shattered with the help of the community.

“For the whole Christmas season, we’re shooting for $60,000, and that also includes all of our kettles. But if we can hit $60,000 at our Kettle Kickoff event, that would just be amazing,” he said.

On average, the Turlock Salvation Army has about nine kettles set up in front of local businesses around Turlock, Denair and Hilmar. Storefronts also have opportunities to do “counter kettles,” which are small trays that stores can place on their counters. Breazeale explained that they are always looking for more businesses to participate. Those interested can get started in the process by reaching out to Breazeale through email at The organization would then provide a certificate of insurance.

Hopes are also high to reach and surpass the $60,000 figure as the organization makes a push to collect digital donations through a unique partnership with touchless payment company Tip Tap. At select locations with kettles and bells set up, volunteers will have Tip Tap available for individuals to make instant, paperless payments.

“It’s exciting for us to get these events up and running this year,” Breazeale said. “I just want to thank the Turlock community for all that they've done, for allowing us to take care of the people in our community, the families that are in most need.”