Community comes together for Kettle Kick-Off

More than $27,000 raised

By Nikki Blankenship -

The Portsmouth Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is off to a good start with money raised through the Kettle Kick-Off event held on Nov. 18.

Portsmouth Salvation Army Co-president Misty Simco explained that the event has helped the local Salvation Army to raise almost half of their goal.

“Our ultimate goal for this year is $74,350,” Simco stated. “Thanks to the Kick-Off, we are currently at $27,000 and continuing to move toward that goal each day. We want to thank all those who helped us start off with such a great head start.”

During the kick-off event, the Portsmouth Fire Department joined the Salvation Army at the Portsmouth Kroger where the fire department set up their ladder truck. Volunteers then spent an hour each up in the ladder to see who could raise the most funding.

Volunteers included Fire Chief Bill Raison, Portsmouth High School Teacher and Coach Gerald Cadogen, City Council Member Kevin E. Johnson, Life Point Pastor Darrell Nickles, Keith Chatfield from the Stars Impact Team, Portsmouth Elementary School Principal Beth Born, Portsmouth Rotary President Reese Brown and even Santa Claus.

“Keith Chatfield, during his hour up in the firetruck bucket, raised $586 toward the $1,965 raised by the rest of our Kick-Off volunteers,” Simco commented. “Raising money during our Red Kettle Campaign goes to support all of Scioto County throughout our fiscal year. And congratulations, again, to Keith.”

Funds from the campaign go to benefit the Salvation Army’s feeding program, 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 hot meals from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The emergency assistance program is a new program that will be in operation in coming months. 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.

During the Kick-Off event, the Portsmouth Salvation Army also had a brass band playing Christmas music, had its emergency disaster vehicle on display and passed out free hot chocolate.

Salvation Army Red Kettle efforts will continue through Dec. 23.

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.

More than $27,000 raised

By Nikki Blankenship

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

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