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Holiday Season Begins Tomorrow with Salvation Army Kettle Kickoff.

Anonymous Party Will Donate up to $250,000 in Matching Funds

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- If The Salvation Army's red kettles and ringing bells symbolize Christmastime, then it's official: The holiday season begins this Thursday, Nov. 16, at Cub Foods Midway, 1440 University Ave. W. in St. Paul.

That's where The Salvation Army will hold its Kettle Kickoff celebration, a 12-hour fund-raising event featuring a 3,000-pound red kettle, free Cub Foods refreshments, big-ticket prizes and one incredible fire truck.

An anonymous party will donate up to $250,000 in matching funds (see bottom).

The Kettle Kickoff replaces the Army's traditional Giant Lighted Kettle celebration. The Kickoff will feature "Big SAL," a new 8-foot-tall kettle that holds about $230,000 in change.

KOOL 108 will broadcast live at the Kickoff from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help the Army provide those in need with hot meals, food shelf items, Christmas toys and rental assistance. The radiothon is sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Association's 3-A-Day program., which encourages families to consume three daily servings of milk, cheese or yogurt.

"3-A-Day of dairy shares a common goal with The Salvation Army in stressing the importance of good nutrition, especially in encouraging moms to make sure their families get three servings of dairy each day," said Joe Schmitz, marketing manager for the Midwest Dairy Association. "To celebrate the holidays, Minnesota Dairy Farmers are offering consumers the chance to win some great prizes."

Prizes:

uA Chance to win either a $103,333 mortgage from 1st Option Mortgage or a $2,000 gift card from Bed Bath & Beyond. Both prizes are part of a sweepstakes by the Midwest Dairy Association's 3-A-Day program.

uA Chance to win a three-year lease on a 2007 Pontiac G6 four-door sedan, a $21,820 retail value courtesy of Walser Automotive Group.

uA Chance to win a Minnesota Wild jersey signed by Wild player Mark Parrish.

Events:

uA KOOL 108 Morning Show host Jeff Olsen will spend the morning "held hostage" above Big SAL in an Xcel Energy aerial lift until the first $5,000 is raised.

uA A grand march will commence at noon, when 40 Salvation Army officers line up to receive red kettles for the Army's 350 Twin Cities area kettle sites. The kettles will arrive to the Kickoff in an armored truck from Garda, a security company.

uA Volunteer firefighter Jeff Schadt will display Ladder Truck 155, a fire truck that was among the first to arrive at Ground Zero during the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Schadt bought the truck almost four years ago, but was unaware of its history until recently.

Throughout the day, scores of volunteers - including members of six metro Lions Clubs - will ring bells at Cub Foods' 54 metro locations. Other kettle volunteers will include staff from 13 Twin Cities fire departments; firefighters typically raise three times more money per hour at kettles than any other volunteer group.

The Salvation Army's goal for the 2006 Christmas season is to raise $7 million in the Twin Cities, about $3 million of which is to come from kettle donations.

"The average U.S. household has $99 in spare change," said Major Paul Fleeman, Commander of The Salvation Army's Twin Cities service area. "That's about $108 million in the Twin Cities alone. The Salvation Army has the ability to use this spare change to make critical changes in the lives of people in need."

The Salvation Army serves over 200,000 people in the Twin Cities, and is a safety net for those with no place to turn. The Salvation Army serves 1,200 hot meals each day, houses more than 800 people each night and is the largest provider of Christmas toys in the metro area. To bell ring call 651-746-3519 or visit www.thesalarmy.com. To donate, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, visit www.thesalarmy.com or mail a check to 2445 Prior Ave., Roseville, MN 55113.

Photo Opportunities

7 a.m. - 10 a.m.

uA Ladder Truck 155

uA KOOL 108's Jeff Olsen "held hostage." Olsen will also debut KOOL 108's e-Kettle, a new online donation tool created by The Salvation Army.

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

uA Grand march: Salvation Army officers receive kettle for Twin Cities distribution.

Donations matched

uA 10X match for donations made at the event.

uA 10X match for donations made to KOOL 108's e-Kettle.

uA 3X match for donations made at any of Cub's 54 Twin Cities locations.

uA The Salvation Army will receive $100 for each volunteer hour of bell-ringing scheduled.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 15, 2006
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