The Alton Salvation Army kicked off its 2012 Tree of Lights Campaign on Friday during the annual Tree Lighting at Lincoln Douglas Square.   Several families attended the 18th annual event last night, and Salvation Army Lieutenants used the occasion to invite the community to be generous at the red kettles they will pass while shopping this season.

This year's goal is $114,000 for the red kettles, $6,000 more than last year.  The overall campaign goal is $262,000.  The Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club provides the tree for the square each year, Santa and Mrs. Claus visited with the kids before and after the tree lighting, and free hot chocolate and cookies were provided.  Many in attendance then moved out of the chilly conditions and into the Riverbender.com Community Center for an open house.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com )