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Salvation Army seeks big finish to hit Westmoreland County goal

| Saturday, May 2, 2009

With two weeks to go, the Salvation Army is about a third of the way toward its goal of raising $150,000 through its annual Westmoreland County Red Shield Campaign.

The six-week campaign started with a reception at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center and concludes May 15 with the "Doing the Most Good" dinner at St. Vincent College, near Latrobe.

Salvation Army officials announced Friday that about $50,000 has been collected, so far.

"A lot of individuals have been stepping up and helping us out," said Lt. Bryan DeMichael, of the Greensburg office. "We're really counting on folks, with these last 14 days left, to help us to get over the hump to our goal this year."

Westmoreland County has five Salvation Army worship and service centers, four service centers and 11 service units.

Requests for the organization's services are up about 20 percent, DeMichael said. This campaign is designed to maintain and expand existing programming that benefits the needs of the county's low-income youth, families, individuals and seniors, officials said.

The campaign goal represents about 7 percent of the $2.1 million needed to operate services in the county this year.

Robert Watson, the former national commander of the Salvation Army, will be the featured guest speaker at the May 15 dinner, while the Salvation Army New York Staff Band will provide the entertainment.

Greensburg Fire Chief Ed Hutchinson will be honored for his support of the organization's disaster relief programs, DeMichael said.

Tickets, which are $65 each, are available by calling the Salvation Army's Greensburg office at 724-834-3335.

Other donations may be sent to the Salvation Army Red Shield Campaign, Salvation Army of Westmoreland County, P.O. Box 945, Greensburg, PA, 15601. Credit card contributions may be made by calling 724-216-8033. All donations will be used in Westmoreland County.

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