Christmas kettle campaign kicks off

Local Christmas shoppers once again will be greeted by the jingling of bells this holiday season.
The Fort Frances Salvation Army kicked off its annual Christmas kettle campaign yesterday morning in front of the SAAN store on Scott Street.
Mayor Glenn Witherspoon was on hand to take the first shift of manning the kettle. Town councillors were on hand later to also ring the bells to seek donations.
“It’s just part of a community service effort to bring to the public the need to help the less fortunate,” said Mayor Witherspoon. “The Salvation Army is a good way to do that. It’s a good community effort.”
Yesterday marked the beginning of the 10-day campaign aimed at collecting monetary donations from shoppers for the less fortunate of the district.
Capt. Eric Alcock of the Salvation Army said all the proceeds will go towards the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program and to providing holiday help to those who need it.
“It’s about helping people in need at Christmas,” he said.
“We have more volunteer hours this year than any other year,” he added. “So we’re expecting to do at least as well as last year, and hopefully do better.”
The kettle campaign raised some $15,000 last year.
Capt. Alcock noted the kettle campaign started in the 1890s in San Francisco and has spread across the continent since. And things really haven’t changed much over the years—except for the kettles themselves, he said.
The kettles used to be the familiar glass bowls. Now they are made of red plastic.
“We’re still looking for people willing to man a kettle,” said Dedee Clement, who is co-ordinating the local kettle campaign. “I still have lots of slots to fill.”
Area businesses or individuals can volunteer to man a kettle during the campaign. Businesses can have a name sign hang from the kettle stand while they man it to show they’re supporting the program.
“It’s fun,” enthused Clement. “I can’t wait for my turn. You get to meet and greet people—potential friends I haven’t met yet.”

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