Please join campaign co-chairs Dr. John and Barb Hoelscher by supporting the annual red kettle campaign. All dollars raised in the area stay in the area to provide food, toys, utility assistance and shelter to people in our community. Your support is greatly appreciated. (Photo by Pete Basola)ALTON – Salvation Army Madison County Corps Advisory Council Chairman Kevin Botterbush announced today that Dr. John and Barb Hoelscher will chair this year’s Tree of Lights.

The kettle campaign will kick off at the Alton Rotary Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. on November 18 at Lincoln Douglas Square in Alton. The Salvation Army will serve cookies and hot chocolate during this festive event.

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“The Salvation Army has been a steady, loving presence in our community for so very long, we are honored to help further their mission with this campaign,” Barb Hoelscher said. “They work so hard to give a hand up to folks experiencing rough times in their lives, while reminding all of us that God is always there to help, too. I can't think of a more worthy cause than helping your neighbor through a time of great need.”

The campaign begins November 25 and runs thru December 24. Hours of ringing are from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. There will be no bell ringing on Sundays. Please sign up to ring by going to, selecting the location, and entering your information. An estimated 1,500 volunteers are needed to cover all the time slots and locations.

Salvation Army Corps Officers Captains Cassy and Sean Grey are excited to kick off their second area kettle campaign. "All monies raised stay local," said Captain Sean Grey. “We’re asking everyone to take a turn and help out with ringing the bells."

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“YOU can make a difference,” Captain Cassie Grey added. “Please help us make sure the STAR on the top of the Tree of Lights shines brightly this year.”

“When we decided to move here in 1984 to start our family and my medical career, one of the main reasons we chose Alton was the unique character of the community,” Dr. Hoelscher said. “Alton has a rich historical character but also a population that truly cares about each other. The Salvation Army is the epitome of an organization that really puts into action the charge of our savior to take care of the needy among us. Please join us as we support the Tree of Lights campaign this year.”

Kicking off the campaign is the “Round Up” program at Schnucks. Customers can choose to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and every penny of round-up donations will support the Salvation Army in the community in which it is donated. Customers who use self-checkouts may choose a $1, $3, or $5 “Scan and Give” option. Reward members can donate their rewards to the Salvation Army as part of the Donate Your Rewards program.

Earlier this year the Alton and Granite City Salvation Armies combined to form the Salvation Army Madison County Corps. The campaign goal for the Alton area is $111,500 and the goal for the Granite City area is $106,000, for a combined total of $217,500. While the Alton kettle campaign has been staffed with volunteer bell ringers for several years, the Granite City location will begin transitioning to a volunteer bell ringer model this year. Civic organizations, churches, school groups, and others in the Granite City area are encouraged to help by volunteering on

If you have any questions about the campaign, please call the Salvation Army Madison County Corps - Alton location at 618-465-7764.

For media inquiries, please contact Nicholas White at or 314-717-9323.

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