The Turlock Salvation Army held their annual Kettle Kick-Off event on Tuesday, November 16, signifying the begging of the well known bell ringing fundraising effort. The event includes a “Kettle Klash” portion of the program where teams rush through all those in attendance who ring bells signaling the desire to drop money in one of those red kettles we’ll start seeing around town.
When someone asked Turlock Salvation Army Advisory Board Chair Dennis Doo how much he expects this year’s Kettle Kickoff to raise, Doo answered as John D. Rockefeller answered a similar question of how much money is enough, “Just a little bit more.”
Doo went on to explain that the Turlock Salvation Army doesn’t just need a little more money, but also needs a little more time and effort.
The annual Kettle Kick-Off luncheon helps get people involved in volunteering with bell ringing time slots at the red kettle locations while also acting as a fundraiser at the beginning of the very demanding winter and holiday season.
Kettle Kick-Off MC Mayor John Lazar addressed the attendance of over 600 people in regards to the tough economic times and that the money raised during the event will help Turlock specifically.
Dennis Doo added that he really supports the Turlock Salvation Army because 83 percent of every dollar raised at the event, and by other local efforts, will be used in Turlock.
Mayor Lazar announced the Kettle Klash teams as:
We Can Build It – Clark Hulbert, Crystal Nyquist, Jerry Powell
The Bucket Brigade – Jim Madsen, Dennis Doo, Emma Perales
The Clean-up Crew – Bill Gibbs, Lee Marchant
Covenant Village – Raul Barnes, Bob Harris, Bob Peterson, Karen Walker, Dwayne Gabrielson
Just Plain Nuts – Dean Doerksen, Jack Wilkey, Mark Edsall
The CSUS Scholars – Julie Fox, Bret Foray, Lynn Johnson, Bob Koehler
The Charity Belles – Benita Wine, Allison Rehn
All the Kettle Klash teams rushed through all the tables with their red kettles as people seated were ringing bells and holding up money.
Before the fundraising amount total was announced, Turlock Salvation Army Major Debi Shrum made some statements informing everyone of all the increased needs the economy has put on all non-profits, and specifically the Turlock Salvation Army. Shrum told of the staff cuts, increased families needing help daily here in Turlock, and more that the Turlock Salvation Army is facing.
Major Shrum honored Bob Glover for his volunteerism as he has spent five and half years helping pick up bread, canned goods and toy barrels, and other volunteer work that he does quietly.
While all the donations were being tallied, guest speaker Jim Sanders, a WWII veteran and local author, took to the podium as the 14th Annual Kettle Kick-Off had a theme, “Salute to our Veterans.” Many veterans were in attendance at the event and heard Sanders tell a story on how he went about putting together his book remembering his veteran experiences, "Saving Lives, Saving Memories."
Mayor Lazar ended the event by announced that $35,539 had been raised, and then received an envelope with an additional anonymous $50,000 donation, making the total donations collected at the 14th Annual Kettle Kick-Off $85,539. This year’s donation total fell shy of meeting last year’s total of $91,000.