The Brainerd Lakes Area Salvation Army raised $144,375 this Christmas season in its 2011 Kettle Campaign, surpassing its goal of $117,000. The familiar bell-ringers also covered the gap left when FEMA funding for emergency relief was cut by $20,000.
More than 2,000 volunteers this year logged in 1,647 one-hour time slots from the Friday before Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. The campaign started off slow, campaign officials said, but later rebounded.
“God is good, knows our needs, and provides for us according to His purposes,” Capt. Scott Strissel of the Salvation Army, said.
Brian Lehman, co-chair of the Kettle Campaign and mayor of Nisswa credited the matching funds from Mills Fleet Farm with helping to put the Salvation Army campaign over the top.
This year’s campaign saw matching contributions from the Edina Foundation of almost $3,000 and Mills Fleet Farm of approximately $9,600.
“We are very grateful to our community, our volunteers, the businesses that allow us to bell ring at their businesses, and everyone that donated funds into one of the many kettles around town,” he said.
Strissel expressed his appreciation to all involved.
“Our businesses, civic groups, churches, school groups and individuals really came forward this year and we are very grateful to each of them”, Capt. Strissel said.
The following are the groups that contributed significant hours to the 2011Red Kettle/ Bell-Ringing Campaign.
Civic Groups (175 Hours):
• Brainerd Noontime, Sunshine & Northern Lakes Rotary Clubs.
• Boy, Cub and Girl Scout Troops of Brainerd and Pequot Lakes.
• Brainerd Kiwanis.
• Baxter Lions.
• Garrison Lions.
• Brainerd Sertoma.
• Mason’s .
• Nisswa Volunteer Firefighters.
• Optimist Club.
• Baxter Sandpipers 4-H Club.
• American Legion Post 250.
• Brainerd VFW.
Church Groups (145 hours):
• First Lutheran Church.
• Brainerd Church of the Nazarene.
• Lakewood EF Church.
• Timberwood Church.
• Salem Lutheran Church.
• St. Mathais Church.
• Good Shepard Lutheran Church.
• Brainerd Area Catholic Church.
•Lord of Life Lutheran Church.
• Lakeside Baptist Church.
• Lutheran Church of the Cross.
• 7th Day Adventists Church.
•Emily Wesleyan Church.
• Business Groups (250 hours):
• MN Teen Challenge.
• Edina Realty.
• Good Samaritan Society - Bethany and Woodland.
• Weichert Realtors.
• Mid-MN Federal Credit Union.
• City of Brainerd – Police and Firefighters.
• St. Mathias Farm.
• WJJY / BL Broadcasting.
• Keller Williams Realtors.
• MCBI Radio Station.
• Timber Bay Camp.
• BlackRidge Bank.
• Bremer Bank.
• Positive Realty.
• Oakridge Homes.
School Groups (65 hours):
• PAC’s School.
• Pillager School Honor Society.
• St. Francis School.
• Brainerd Warrior’s Volleyball Team.
• Brainerd High School Key Club.
• Onamia School.
Individuals (1,012 hours):
For this category, at least 125 individuals logged hours.