And the Winner of the Salvation Army Kettle Challenge Is…

All three teams raised over $74,000 combined

FARGO, N.D. — Local law enforcement, firefighters and realtors all went up against each other in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Challenge.

After ringing these bells for hundred of hours over the course of three days, the winner is the realtors for collecting over $29,000.

“Our strategy is to have kettle matches. Having several businesses and individuals match at our kettle sites. For example, this year, Gateway Chevrolet donated $1,000 and they matched it at Scheels,” said Deanne Mason, a realtor.

It’s your firefighters who came in a close second with a little over $27,000.

“We always want to win when we get the chance to be in a competition but we’re happy with second place. In reality, the winner here is the Salvation Army,” said Benjamin Willey, Fargo Fire Department EMS & PR captain.

And law enforcement officers plus their K–9’s who came in third place, raising over $17,000.

“They beat us again. I thought maybe if we had them ringing on Bison games day that we would do better than them but they beat us again. But it’s all for a great cause and we’ll be graceful losers if the Salvation Army is the winner at the end,” said Fargo Police Chief David Todd.

The Salvation Army started their Red Kettle Campaign in November. At 32 locations across the metro, the competition shows just a few of the hundreds of volunteers who have helped the Salvation Army raise half of their $900,000 goal so far.

“We’re very optimistic the kettles will come in on Christmas Eve no matter what. That’s a very targeted window,” said Fargo Salvation Army Maj. Jerry O’Neil.

Every cent going towards an organization who’s there for community members year–round.

“When we see families that are displaced, due to fire, the Salvation Army does a lot to help cloth them, provide them food, they work with the Red Cross to help them find shelter. They’re also available on scene to help our firefighters which is also important,” Willey said.

“Another way they help us is during critical incidents or flood years. They come out, give us something to drink, a hot meal,” Todd said.

And showing the Salvation Army just how much love there is around them.

“The people you see every day really care about the community they live in. They’re not just employed here. They live here, they work here, it’s very much a part of who we all are and it’s a great opportunity. Anytime you get people to come together for a common cause, I think it’s a great opportunity,” O’Neil said.

The Salvation Army is still looking for volunteer bell ringers at all of their locations.

If you’re interested, call 701-356-2691.

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