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Erik Burgess, Published November 20 2013

Salvation Army hopes to break record, collect $950,000 in red kettles

FARGO – They’ll have less time to do it, but Fargo’s Salvation Army hopes to break the record it set last year by raising $950,000 in its 2013 Red Kettle Campaign.

The Salvation Army kicked off its campaign this morning at West Acres. This year’s campaign will be five days shorter than the more than two-month campaign last year that raised a record $911,875.37.

This year’s goal will require 5,000 volunteers, about 700 more than last year, said 2013 Honorary Campaign Chairman Tom Dawson.

Volunteers this year will be ringing bells for 10 hours a day at 32 posts across the metro, said Dawson, president of Dawson Insurance in Fargo.

“We’ve got a pretty short time frame,” he said. “But I don’t want you to think that the fact that my job is short and the campaign is relatively short, that it diminishes the impact that this campaign has on our community.”

New to the campaign this year is that the Salvation Army will be accepting matching funds, encouraging donors to match what comes in one kettle in a day, said Major Elaine Medlock, a commanding officer of the local Salvation Army.

“Or a super generous person could manage to match a whole day of ringing,” Medlock said.

Money raised makes up about two-thirds of the local Salvation Army’s budget, funding the group’s programs and operations, Dawson said.

Last year, 4,312 volunteers logged 10,780 bell-ringing hours. In 2011, the effort raised $877,000.