Kettle kick-off

Kettle kick-off

The Salvation Army starts its annual fundraising drive with a festival Sunday

11/15/2012

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The local Salvation Army has struggled in recent years to meet its fundraising goals, partly due to the city’s two Target department stores enforcing a chain-wide ban on Salvation Army bell ringers soliciting donations outside their locations. 
But with its 125th anniversary approaching in 2013, the local Salvation Army branch is carrying on the good fight for the city’s poor by redoubling efforts at other outlets, including popular grocery stores such as Ralphs and Vons. 
 
The local chapter is also making a bold move this Sunday, when it hosts the Ringing of the Bells Red Kettle Kick-Off Festival from 3 to 6 p.m. along Holly Street in Old Pasadena. Featuring a Winter Wonderland theme, the event will include live performances by the Salvation Army’s local music groups and offer a taste of area businesses’ holiday treats. 
 
There will also be antique sleds as well as antique police and fire trucks, providing fun family photo opportunities, chances to win holiday gifts and a toy drive for which attendees are asked to bring unwrapped gifts. 
 
But the highlight of the day should be a fun competition that should prove to be highly lucrative as well. 
 
“We’ll be having a 125-second bell ringing race,” said Salvation Army Major Darren Norton. “Our ringers will ring their bells for 125 seconds to commemorate our 125 years here, and people will be asked to stuff as much money as they can into the red kettles during that time. It should be a lot of fun and be a great reminder for people to help others through the red kettles.”
 
Admission to the event is $12.50. For more information, call (626) 773-4400.

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