The Alton Salvation Army kicked off its 2011 Tree of Lights Campaign on Friday during the annual Tree Lighting at Lincoln Douglas Square.   About 200 people attended the 17th annual event last night, and Salvation Army Captain Randy Tooley used the occasion to invite the community to be generous at the red kettles they will pass while shopping this season.

Tooley says this year's goal is the same as last year:

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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 by the Salvation Army and St. Anthony’s Health Center.  Many in attendance then moved out of the wind and into the Community Center for an open house.