SA begins annual campaign, helps with meal

       The Salvation Army has begun its traditional holiday Red Kettle Campaign fundraiser outside local grocery stores, and the charity organization will work with Fort Carson cooks and local volunteers to offer a free Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To help the Salvation Army kick off its annual Holiday Red Kettle Campaign fundraiser the afternoon of Nov. 14, members of the 501st Legion-Pikes Peak Squad, a Star Wars costuming group, handled collections outside the King Soopers store at Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The full name of the event is the Westside Salvation Army Holiday Meals Site [and] Manitou Springs City Hall Community Feast.
       According to organizer Andy Wells, Manitou City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave., is the Westside location among several Salvation Army Thanksgiving meals offered that day. Anyone is welcome.
       Up to 500 people are expected, Wells said. Donations are also being sought from Manitouans and Westsiders. A similar meal is planned for Christmas Day. For more information, call 634-5999.
       For the Red Kettle Campaign, the Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to be bell-ringers. Helping kick off the season last weekend at the King Soopers at Centennial and Fillmore, members of the 501st Legion-Pikes Peak Squad, a Star Wars costuming group, was manning the kettles.
       “Last year, the campaign raised $600,000 in El Paso County,” a Salvation Army press release states. “Because of the extreme increase in those seeking The Salvation Army's services due to job loss and the economy, the 2009 campaign goal is $700,000. All funds are used locally to provide Christmas assistance to families, food and shelter for the homeless, aid to children and seniors, and many other programs to help the needy in our community.”
       For more information, call 884-1053 or visit

Westside Pioneer/press release