Plover firefighters take win in Red Kettle Challenge

By Brandi Makuski

Public safety crews from across the Stevens Point and Plover areas raised over $13,000 during the 2021 Red Kettle Challenge.

Off-duty members of law enforcement and fire agencies from the Wisconsin State Patrol, Portage Co., Stevens Point, Plover, and Park Ridge, spent six hours ringing bells in a friendly challenge for the Salvation Army on Dec. 4.

Trisha Steinhorst, fundraiser and media director for the Salvation Army of Stevens Point, said last year, the group collectively raised just over $11,000. In 2021, the group raised $13,874.92.

“It’s an incredible amount of money and help to the people that we serve in our community,” Steinhorst said on Dec. 15.

The Plover Fire Department raised the most dollars this year, bringing in a total of $3,749.26 from their location at Walmart in Crossroads Commons.

The Stevens Point Fire Department, the winner of the challenge for the last two years, raised $3,094.80 ringing bells at Fleet Farm, 5590 Hwy. 10 East.

From their new location this year at Metro Market, 1850 Plover Rd., the Plover Police Department raised $2,719.31.

Steinhorst was at PFD’s annual Christmas dinner to present the department with the rotating trophy that’s been in the SPFD’s possession for two years.

“When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter which department won because it’s all for a really good cause,” said Chief Mark Deaver. “But yeah, it’s nice that we won this year, it shows the community supports us and the Salvation Army.”

While the Red Kettle Challenge resulted in a higher donation count this year, Steinhorst said donations overall are down by more than $100,000.

The nonprofit organization provided 20,000 meals and 8,000 lodging nights at the Hope Center, 1600 Briggs St., in 2020. The Red Kettle Campaign is the Salvation Army’s main fundraiser throughout the year.

To make a donation:

  • Visiting SAStevensPoint.org to donate online
  • Texting SHELTER to 24365 to donate by phone
  • Sending a check to The Salvation Army Stevens Point Hope Center, 1600 Briggs Street, Stevens Point, Wis. 54481