Red Kettle Challenge exceeds 2018 goal

By Patrick Lynn

The Salvation Army of Portage County has surpassed its fundraising goal for 2018.

By the end of the campaign at 4 p.m. on Dec. 24, the organization pulled in $210,000—nearly $10,000 over the goal for its annual fundraising drive.

But funds are still coming in, according to Ed Wilson, Salvation Army Operations manager, and he said he wouldn’t be surprised if the final numbers approach the $220,000 mark.

“The support of the Salvation Army, through the hundreds of volunteers who rang bells and the thousands of people who made donations, will make a real difference for individuals and families in need in Portage County,” Wilson said. “Your support will give those in need hope—what a wonderful holiday gift from our community.”

Committee Chairman Craig Shuler said it couldn’t have been done without support from the entire community.

“The generosity of businesses who sponsored match days, welcomed kettles at their doorways and counter kettles at their registers throughout the campaign, made an important contribution to the success of this beloved annual tradition,” Shuler said. “You have shown you care about the community we share — and you have helped to make a real difference for our neighbors in need, right here in Portage County.”

From its humble beginnings as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army Captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. Roughly one-third of the Portage County Salvation Army’s funding comes from the Red Kettle campaign, with another third from the United Way and a third from other donations throughout the year.