Marquette Catholic High School students and theology faculty bring Red Kettle Campaign to a close on December 23, 2023. Students manned the kettle all day, offering musical entertainment, caroling and a very special weather forecast. Pictured left to right: Kennedy Eveans, Skye Heru, Robert Price (theology professor), Ben Droste, Charlie Ahne, Eli Waters, Mike Roberts (theology faculty) and Braden Nash. (Photo by Karen Roberts).ALTON - The Salvation Army announced on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, that it surpassed the 2023 $217,000 red kettle goal by raising more than $368,804 to help people in Madison County.

Campaign organizers said the total includes donations made through mail appeals, corporate gifts, unsolicited gifts, Schnuck’s Round-Up at the Register and donations made at red kettles throughout the area.

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Karen Roberts, who co-chaired the campaign with her husband, meteorologist Mike Roberts said they were so inspired by the charitable individuals, families and groups who make the campaign a success each year.

“Some have maintained the tradition of ringing the bells for years while others were new to the experience," she said. "Many were willing to participate at a moment’s notice. The enthusiasm we witnessed from teenagers to retired individuals reminded us how special our community really is. Those providing financial gifts throughout the campaign were so appreciated.”

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Roberts said the collection, preparation and distribution of Christmas gifts was a remarkable work of charity.

“We are so fortunate to have a very dedicated and talented team of professionals locally," Karen added. "Captains Sean and Cassy Grey, the staff, Advisory Board and the Christmas Committee do such tremendous work throughout the year. What a blessing to be introduced to this mission. God is so good.”

Salvation Army Capt. Cassy Grey said: “This community continues to amaze us, how they choose to love beyond and wrap around their neighbors in need. We could not have reached this goal without the support of our local businesses that hosted kettles and counter kettles, those who volunteered to ring, and all of the incredible donors.”

“The generosity of this community made it possible to provide over 615 families with Christmas baskets and over 1,000 children with Christmas gifts,” Cassy added. “With funds raised, we are able to help those who are experiencing food insecurities and provide a free, safe space for youth in our After School Program. Captain Sean and I are so grateful for the support of this incredible community.”

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