Local Red Kettle Campaign reaches $1 million
When Joe Powers suggested setting the goal of the Rochester Salvation Army's 2012 Christmas and Red Kettle Campaign at $1 million some people were skeptical.
Today he was happy to announce the grand total: $1,018,214, a record amount for The Salvation Army of Rochester.
Last year's campaign brought in about $908,000 and this was Powers' first time as campaign chairman, an annually rotating position.
"Some people said you're out of your mind," Powers said.
But many others followed his logic that, "It's an easy number to remember. This is a giving community that always gave. And our needs are bigger than ever," he said.
The Christmas and Red Kettle campaign had never broken the $1 million mark before and things didn't look too good this time around either until the final week, Powers said.
The total Red Kettle receipts came in slightly under its $400,000 goal, yet at $357,479 it also amounted to a new record.
Corporate donations, often given as kettle matching grants, doubled this year, he said.
Think Mutual Bank provided the biggest matching grant to date, $10,000.
The third ring of the campaign, Christmas giving, which is when people mail in donations, was also up this year.
Powers, the owner of Canadian Honker Enterprises who has worked on charitable efforts over the years, thanked the community for its generous response to appeals and credited volunteers and the campaign committee members, including Kenn Roehl, for their hard work and long hours.
"The group that worked on this campaign literally put in 16-17 hour days starting at Thanksgiving," he said.
More than 80 percent of every dollar raised, according to Major James Frye, will be invested back into the community through Salvation Army programs such as the Good Samaritan Medical and Dental Clinics, Caring Partners Adult Day Program, Transition Living and Counseling program, Castleview Apartments, social services, seasonal gift events, meal programs, worship and outreach through The Salvation Army church, and Rochester, Winona and Red Wing Thrift Stores.