The Salvation Army will kick off its Red Kettle campaign, with a goal of $949,500, during celebrations from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday at all Festival Foods stores in La Crosse County.
At 10 a.m., students and staffers of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will take over the heavy bell-lifting until 8 p.m. that day.
The opening celebrations will include entertainment, celebrity bell-ringers and Salvation Army doughnuts.
“Having UW-L staff every kettle site is something we’ve been doing for years, and it’s one of our biggest days for donations,” said Alex Riley of The Salvation Army.
“These students and staff members are supporting us and giving back to their communities in a big way,” Riley said.
The Red Kettle Campaign accounts for about one-third of The Salvation Army of La Crosse County’s annual budget. Donations to the campaign help fund various day-to-day operations including the Emergency Shelter and Meal Program.
The bell-ringing portion of the campaign runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Dec. 23 at various sites throughout La Crosse County. The bells usually don’t fall silent until 5 p.m. Christmas Eve, but that is a Sunday this year.
The corps will accept donations through Jan. 31.