ALTON - Rain or shine, Salvation Army of Alton’s Kettle Coordinator Greg Gelzinnis is taking to the skies.

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In a last-ditch effort to help the Salvation Army of Alton reach their $99,000 goal before the Red Kettle Campaign ends on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, Gelzinnis will be headed up in a cherry picker above the Army’s location on Alby Street to participate in a 24-hour fast to raise awareness for the campaign.

“I decided that the best way to create awareness, both for homelessness and for hunger, is to participate in a 24-hour fast outside up in our bucket truck because this is all about reaching our goal,” Gelzinnis said. “The Salvation Army has been serving the least and the lost in our community for 127 years, so we have just served over 2,400 families this year and provided for 250 families right here in the river bend region this Christmas season.”

Gelzinnis is prepared for each and every weather situation as he headed up in the cherry picker this afternoon. Armed with several different changes of clothes, socks and shoes, he is ready for whatever the Lord throws at him in his final push for so that the Salvation Army of Alton can light the star on the top of their Christmas tree.

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“Every dime, every dollar, every check, coin, penny, all goes to continue to allow us to provide service, especially to those in need this holiday season, would have little to none,” he said.

Those who wish to visit Greg Gelzinnis are welcomed to come say hello outside and kindly donate into their special lighted soldier and kettle stationed outside the Salvation Army of Alton. His fast and campaign from the sky will end once the Red Kettle Campaign reaches their $99,000 goal or when the 24-hour mark has been reached.

“We have to raise about $20,000 to 25,000 in the next 24 hours,” Gelzinnis said. “From day one, it has really been about lighting this star. Together, we can change lives in the river bend.”

Gelzinnis urges donors to head out to those red kettles around the area and donate. Donations will also be accepted in at the Salvation Army of Alton’s special light-up soldier for the next 24 hours and online at

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