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Published November 14 2012

Bell-ringing drive aims to raise $825,000 for Salvation Army

The local Salvation Army kicked off this year’s Red Kettle Campaign on Wednesday, with a fundraising goal of $825,000.

The goal for this year’s signature bell-ringing drive is $15,000 more than last year’s goal of $810,000.

The Salvation Army Fargo surpassed that goal, taking in more than $877,000 in the 2011 drive, Spahr said.

“We are very confident” about reaching the goal, said Laura Spahr, volunteer coordinator and community relations manager for the Salvation Army Fargo. “We have such a great community and a giving community as well.”

Margie Bailly, former Fargo Theatre executive director, is serving as the honorary chairwoman of the kettle drive.

“The Salvation Army treats the most vulnerable population, and they are the leaders in providing services for the most vulnerable population and they have been for decades,” Bailly said. “You know, you can’t really have people be self-sufficient until they can feel that they are well-fed and clean and sheltered.”

Bell ringers will be stationed at more than 30 sites in Fargo-Moorhead.

Money from kettle campaigns go toward a variety of efforts, such as family assistance, Thanksgiving and Christmas boxes, emergency response and meals provided at the Salvation Army at 304 Roberts St. N.

A number of companies and organizations have committed as full-day and partial-day bell-ringing sponsors, Spahr said. But there’s always a need for more help bell-ringing, and several days still need to be filled, she said. Filling bell-ringing shifts with volunteers instead of paid workers makes the fundraising campaign more profitable, Spahr said.

The Red Kettle drive provides most of the local Salvation Army’s funding for its year-round operations, Spahr said. The Salvation Army Fargo serves all of Cass and Clay counties.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734

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