Rhinelander Salvation Army exceeds goal
Nearly $35,000 collected so far
By Eileen Persike
Perhaps The El Nino weather pattern, which brought unseasonably warm December weather to the Northwoods, deserves a bit of thanks. But more likely it was good old fashioned community effort that pushed the Salvation Army collections beyond expectations.
“We had several good weeks prior to colder weather arriving, and that made [bell ringing] a bit easier for folks,” said Kettle Campaign Coordinator, Kim Swisher. “We had several shifts fill at the last minute when people saw decent weather in the forecast. We were able to ring right up through Christmas Eve, which was a challenge last year.”
Volunteers numbering near 300 filled 189 bell ringing shifts at Trig’s and Walmart; volunteers
also filled shifts Monday through Saturday at Shopko. Swisher said the School District of Rhinelander’s annual competition kept the bells ringing, along with other businesses and organizations taking their turns.
“We also saw a great number of families come out this year,” Swisher said, “Parents and grandparents rang with their children, sharing the spirit of giving.”
Donations from businesses were up this year, too.
“Taco Johns has continued to do a terrific job selling stuffed animals and encouraging their customers to donate,” she continued, “Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Ray Rousseau VFW Post 3143, Rhinelander GM, Ripco Credit Union and the WPS Foundation all contributed significant amounts this year.”
Swisher said the final total will be a bit higher since they are still collecting the mini kettles placed around Rhinelander and donations are still coming in through the mail.
For every $1 donated, 86 cents stays in Rhinelander and 14 cents goes to state and national emergency relief efforts. The Salvation Army serves the community by providing emergency assistance with housing, transportation and medical needs.