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Wendy Reuer, Published January 30 2013

Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign sets record at $911K

FARGO – The Fargo Salvation Army’s 2012 Red Kettle Campaign set a record, officials said Wednesday.

During the more than two-month bell-ringing campaign, $911,875.37 was raised, said 2012 Honorary Campaign Chairwoman Margie Bailly.

“That 37 cents is very important,” Bailly joked during a news conference.

Last year, $877,000 was raised through the campaign, which supports Salvation Army programs and operations.

Despite worries earlier in the campaign that this year’s goals would not be met, Bailly said many community members “stepped up to the plate” and gave either money or time.

She said 4,312 volunteers put in 10,780 bell-ringing hours across the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Area firefighters won the daily contribution competition, Bailly said. Groups of firefighters, police and Realtors monopolized bell-ringing for one day each during the campaign, aiming to raise the highest one-day total. Firefighters took home the honor, pulling in $76,000 in one day of bell-ringing, Bailly said.

“The red kettles and the sound of that bell truly are the sights and sounds of hope,” Bailly said.

The organization had hoped to raise $825,000 this year, said Maj. Harold Baugh, interim Salvation Army captain. He said the $911,875.37 will all be used locally.

This is Baugh’s third tenure as captain of the Salvation Army. He was called to serve as interim captain after Bill and Ann Mealy transferred to a Salvation Army post in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

The couple left on Jan. 14 for their new post.

Baugh said the first year he was involved with a Red Kettle Campaign in Fargo, in 1995, the effort raised only about $130,000.

“Our community size, it’s not expected to raise this much money,” Baugh said. “This is an all-time record for the Fargo-Moorhead community.”

Baugh said he hopes to have a permanent captain in place at the Fargo Salvation Army by July 1.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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