The Rochester Salvation Army continues ringing the bells and offering Red Kettles, as it has for almost 120 years! The 2015 Red Kettle/Christmas Campaign is scheduling volunteer ringers right now, and a brief campaign kick-off event is scheduled for this Thursday (Nov 12), at Rochester’s newest Hy-Vee location (4221 West Circle Drive NW).

The Appreciation/Proclamation/First Donation celebration will begin with a musical accompaniment by members of the Salvation Army Band at 5:45 p.m. At 6:00 p.m. Major James Frye will introduce the 2015 Red Kettle and Christmas Campaign goals, with Rochester city council president Randy Staver announcing the season of sharing with a special Red Kettle Kickoff Mayor’s Proclamation.

Hy-Vee shoppers will be entertained by Seeds of Wisdom Children’s Choir as they sing holiday favorites with no short supply of cuteness and talent! The Salvation Army will also recognize the contributions of the four local Hy-Vee stores for outstanding leadership and support as Rochester’s top Red Kettle locations for total donations each year. This year the first actual day of ringing, Friday, Nov. 13, will only be available at one of the four Rochester Hy-Vee stores.

A ceremonial First Kettle Match donation will also be received by the Rochester Salvation Army from Think Mutual Bank to encourage and inspire the community to give generously over the next six weeks to meet the stated goal of $1.075 million in gifts entrusted to do the most good.

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

Over 8,000 hours will be expected to be filled this holiday season that runs through Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015. You can sign up to be a bell ringer online through the local Register To Ring site.