The generosity of the surrounding communities has once again showed the goodwill and the kindness of the human spirit regardless of the pandemic, local Salvation Army officials said this week, adding that local businesses and individuals came through in a big way.
The Red Kettle campaign kicked off in early November at Farm Home where Chilton High School National Honor Society students began ringing the bells. The Tom Reinl Match Day took place on Black Friday and brought in a total of $10,950, a new record for this match day event.
The Business Match Day which was held on Saturday, Dec. 5 also broke records. There were 18 businesses, organizations, and individuals who donated funds to create a beginning amount to match. Stockbridge businesses Parson Brothers Construction, Stockbridge Manufacturing Inc., and Mike’s Electric Inc. joined the Business Match Day held in Chilton. Other businesses were Randy Pingel PTR Insurance Services LLC, Burkhardt Eyecare, Horst Distributing Inc., Compeer Financial, Housekeepers Inc., Lakeshore Septic Service, Aspen Tree Service, Catholic Financial Life Chapter W109, Chilton Furniture, Roehrig Trucking, Bloomer Realty, Vern’s Cheese, Kwik Trip, Charlestown Catholic Financial Life Chapter 104, and anonymous donors. The total amount given by these donors was $3,660. This is a new beginning amount to match for the Business Match Day. The total amount donated into the Red Kettles was $6,260. Another new total was accomplished by the goodwill and generosity of local residents.
The counter Red Kettle Challenge was truly a challenge this year. There was strong competition between the gas stations of Chilton, Stockbridge, and Sherwood. It started with Sherwood Mobil having a $100 bill put into the kettle. Chilton Mobil station had the counter kettle emptied three different times throughout the Christmas season. GB Mini Mart in Stockbridge was also in the running but fell short at the end. First place went to Chilton Mobil with a total of $413, second place went to Brave Girl Boutique in Stockbridge with $402, and third place went to Sherwood Mobil with $318. There were 22 small businesses competing for the traveling plaque and “bragging rights” for the next year. Total amount collected from all counter kettles was $2,196.
There were other interesting events this past Red Kettle season. Sherwood Match Day was a huge success finding a $10,000 check in the Red Kettle at Dick’s Family Grocery. Chilton’s Farm & Home Red Kettle contained a gold coin weighing one ounce.
Pauline Geiser, Red Kettle coordinator, said, “It is not only the monetary surprises that are heart warming but the phone calls I receive telling me that the bucket is full again, the third day in a row. When I arrive to switch the buckets, I find a bell ringer that was ringing for the past two hours and was staying a while longer; or the grandma with her grandkids signing up for shifts that are available.
“The Salvation Army of Calumet County cannot express our gratitude enough to the businesses, the individuals who gave of their time to keep the bells ringing, and for all the people who donated to our Red Kettle Campaign,” she added. “Without all of your assistance we could not continue our efforts of helping families in need. By working together, we can change lives, one family at a time.”
The Salvation Army office, located at 16 W. Main St. in Chilton, is always looking for people who are interested in volunteering a few hours a week. The pantry is open Mondays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Tuesdays through Thursdays from 8 to 11:30 a.m. People can call 849-7856 and ask for John.