The Rochester Salvation Army announced today a highly-anticipated and major Red Kettle challenge match appeal and opportunity during five of the final days of the 2015 bell ringing season.

“5 DAYS to 50K” is the theme and unprecedented $50,000 final kettle challenge match provided by several local businesses, organizations and individuals. Each of the 35 Olmsted County kettles will indicate local challenge matches between Friday, Dec. 18 and Wednesday, Dec. 23. Each gift entrusted to a kettle is matched dollar-for-dollar to the maximum amount. Donations via Red Kettles, area Counter Kettles, online and dropped personally at the downtown Community Center (20 NE 1st Avenue) will be included in this challenge.

The Red Kettle season ends at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24, but the overall campaign will continue to receive donations through Thursday, Dec. 31. Today’s announcement took place at the general offices of Think Mutual Bank in Rochester. Representatives of Think Mutual Bank introduced an initial $10,000 kettle challenge match slated for Friday, Dec. 18 at all Olmsted County Red Kettle locations.

A second $10,000 challenge match will be placed at all kettles on Saturday, Dec. 19, courtesy of Rochester Motor Cars, another long-standing supporter of the Red Kettle campaign and Salvation Army. The remaining challenge match amounts have been contributed by Home Federal Savings Bank, Disabled American Veterans, Hamilton Real Estate, Olmsted Medical Center, Suk Law Firm, Perkins Restaurants and in memory of Adele Larson to support work at Caring Partners Adult Day Care. A large, anonymous foundation gift is also included in the total.

The Rochester Salvation Army still needs ringers to register to fill all remaining open times. Ringers attending a kettle ensure up to $50 in donations each hour while unattended kettles produce almost no gifts. Registration is available at RochesterSA.org.

The Rochester Salvation Army relies on generous donations as an important part of its yearly Red Kettle/Christmas campaign which generates almost one-third of its annual funding. Funds stay local and are used for food, housing, healthcare, adult day care, and social programs. Over one-half of all local, annual Salvation Army funding comes from public support.