Salvation Army kicks off fundraising event

By Nikki Blankenship -

The Portsmouth Salvation Army is kicking off their Kettle Kick-Off, starting with an event scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at Portsmouth Krogers, located at 811 Gay Street.

“What is happening is the Portsmouth Fire Department will be using their ladder truck on that day. We’ve asked several community members to volunteer one hour up in the ladder truck to see how much money they can raise during their hour,” stated Dan Simco, local Salvation Army President. “The kettle kick-off is a fun and exciting event that helps bring the community together to launch our 2017 Christmas kettle season campaign.

Volunteers scheduled to spend an hour elevated above City streets is as follows:

10-11 a.m. – Bill Raison, Portsmouth Fire Dept.

11-noon – Gerald Cadogen, Portsmouth High Teacher/coach

12-1 p.m. – Kevin E. Johnson, City Council Member

1-2 p.m. – Darrell Nickles, Life Point Pastor

2-3 p.m. – KC, Stars Impact Team

3-4 p.m. – Beth Born, Portsmouth Elem. Principal

4-5 p.m. – Reese Brown, Portsmouth Rotary President

5-7 p.m. – Santa Claus.

The person who raises the most money will be awarded for their efforts at the end of the event.

“This goes to benefit the Salvation Army,” Simco stated. “It will benefit our feeding program, our emergency assistance program, kids character building programs and emergency disaster services.”

The feeding program is a service that is open to all members of the community, providing meals from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We serve a hot lunch during those couple of hours for community members to come in and take advantage of,” Simco added.

The emergency assistance program is a new program that will be in operation beginning of next year. The program aims to provide funding to assist community members with rent and utility bills. Through the kids character building program, area elementary school students are provided with a safe place to go after school where they are given an after school meal and an opportunity to take part in various activities such as scouting type programs for both boys and girls, a kids chorus, beginner brass band and open gym. The Salvation Army picks children up from school and transports them to the Salvation Army to take part in the program and then transports them home. Any child enrolled in elementary school is eligible. Finally, the disaster relief program aims to offer assistance to families and individuals experiencing tragedy either from an emergency event such as a house fire or from a natural disaster.

The Salvation Army will have a brass band playing Christmas music from 11-12 p.m. during the kettle cook-off event. In addition, the Salvation Army will have its Emergency Disaster vehicle at Krogers passing out free hot chocolate.

“We are also looking for groups and individuals that would like to volunteer their time for a day on the kettle stand during our kettle efforts from November 18 to December 23,” Simco stated.

For more information about the event or about the programs offered through the local Salvation Army or to offer assistance in the upcoming event, contact the Salvation Army 740-353-2400 or visit the Portsmouth Salvation Army Facebook page.

By Nikki Blankenship

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.