Alle-Kiski Valley's red kettle campaigns exceed goals
By Chuck Biedka
Published: Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 12:21 a.m.
Although the Salvation Army's red kettle drive collected more dollars than last year, the 28-county Western Pennsylvania division fell short of its goal — mostly in Allegheny County.
But that wasn't the picture for most of the worship and service centers in the Alle-Kiski Valley.
Locally, collection goals were exceeded by units in Brackenridge, Vandergrift, Butler and Kittanning. The New Kensington unit collected 97 percent of its goal.
Salvation Army's Western Pennsylvania spokeswoman Virginia Knor said the Allegheny Valley worship and service center, at 917 Brackenridge Ave., Brackenridge, had a goal of $130,000 but was able to raise $167,637.50.
Capt. Rickie Armour, who heads the Brackenridge unit, said the unit's fund-raising was a product of hard work by volunteers. He encourages them to take part in many of the unit's daily programs and many are involved when red kettle time approaches.
Capt. Henry Thibault said his Butler unit, which serves the southeastern part of Butler County, has a resource that helped the unit surpass its $82,209 goal by $2,500.
“We have a soup kitchen, and many of the people receiving service want to give back and they ring the bells for the red kettle campaign,” he said.
Even so, five previous red kettle locations declined to participate in 2012.
“The other locations had to work even harder,” Thibault said, adding that it's “easy to understand why. Everyone knows the economy is tough.”
The Kittanning unit exceeded its $25,000 goal by collecting $32,134.
“They really did well,” Knor said. “That was even $6,905 more than in 2011.”
In Kittanning, Lt. Amber Imhoff, who with husband Lt. Jason Imhoff, started their assignment in June, had planned on kicking off their red kettle drive on the borough's light-up night.
“But a water emergency canceled the ceremony a half-hour before it was supposed to start,” she said.
“We took a water buffalo and our mobile canteen and set up downtown and served coffee, tea and hot chocolate to about 500 people,” she said.
Most stores are privately owned and were open to having a kettle there. The unit added some that hadn't been there in 2011. It also paid some people minimum wage to fill in for volunteer bell ringers, she said.
“We had a very blessed season this year,” Imhoff said.
Knor said the New Kensington worship and service center narrowly missed its goal but the Kiski Valley unit it directs surpassed its financial goal. New Kensington's unit collected 97 percent of its $66,870 goal, Knor said.
At the same time, the Kiski Valley unit had a goal of $30,994.99 and it collected $31,546.11, she said.
“The people of the Valley are very special people,” said Capt. Alvie Carter of the New Kensington and Kiski Valley units.
“The face of need has changed. These days we have working people with both mother and father working, but not earning enough. And we have individuals. We're just a vessel for helping people ... with physical and spiritual needs,” he said.
Knor said some of the division's deficit is probably a reflection of recent events. Knor said the charity's local fund-raising leading up to Christmas may have been affected by Superstorm Sandy, which devastated parts of the East Coast.
“People sometimes experience donation fatigue,” Knor said.
The charity's 2012 Western Pennsylvania goal was a little less than $2.83 million; it raised about $2.55 million.
The Salvation Army took in nearly $2.5 million in 2011, shy of the nearly $3 million goal.
Across the division, 24 of the 39 units fell short of their $2,827,217 goal by $270,000. The money is spent where it's collected.
“The Salvation Army is grateful for every gift, no matter the size, and we are truly humbled and appreciative of the generosity. But we would still warmly welcome any additional support,” said Maj. William H. Bode, divisional commander of the Salvation Army's Western Pennsylvania chapter.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Trib Total Media reporter Tony LaRussa contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- DA will audit Gilpin evidence
- Icy roads put drivers on the skids
- Spending will rise, but real estate taxes won’t in Arnold
- Cheswick passes spending plan with no increases in fees or taxes
- Woman accused of assault over rap music to attend anger management classes
- Questions on police shakeup go unanswered in Gilpin
- Education Partnership provides school supplies to Fort Crawford students in New Kensington
- Butler County hunter found dead in Cowanshannock
- Home badly damaged in Clinton Township fire
- Roads come up short as Allegheny County refigures miles
- Arnold, New Kensington residents whose water service is shut off may have additional charges