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Lightning to kick off 124th Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign on Saturday

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY -The Tampa Bay Lightning will help ring in the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties at Amalie Arena on Saturday, November 15 prior to their game against the New York Islanders (7 p.m.). The Lightning will also make the ceremonial first donation to the campaign prior to the game at approximately 6:15 p.m.

The campaign raises millions of dollars nationally throughout the holiday season. Donations help provide meals and shelter for families, Christmas toys for millions of children, in addition to numerous other social services programs year-round such as substance abuse programs, shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence, and military veteran assistance.

“We are delighted to partner with the Salvation Army and host the Red Kettle Campaign Kick-off. Throughout, and at this special time of year, it is our pleasure to join the mission serving those in need. We thank our loyal and generous fans who annually support this great cause,” said Kasey Smith, Senior Director of Community Relations for Tampa Bay Lightning.

The event, from 5-7 p.m. promises to be an evening of fun for local families. Activities include face painting, balloon twisting and giveaways. The Salvation Army Super Heroes including “Captain Kettle” will interact with fans before heading into the game to ride the Zamboni. Attendees can donate at kettles located throughout Ford Thunder Alley.

"The Salvation Army is grateful for the partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Our hope with the help of the Lightning is to spread the message of The Salvation Army throughout Tampa Bay,” said Major James Hall, area commander of The Salvation Army in Tampa. “We want to make sure everyone knows that if they are in need, we are here to help.”

The Red Kettle Campaign begins November 14 and runs through Christmas Eve. It is the largest and longest-running fundraiser of its kind. The campaign raised nearly $1.15 million in Tampa Bay and $135.9 million nationally last year alone. The money raised impacts the lives of more than 150,000 men, women and children through social services programs in the Bay Area by providing meals, shelter, clothing and holiday assistance.

In addition to giving online at salvationarmytampabay.org or to the traditional bell ringers, supporters can donate through the Army's text-to-give program. By texting the word "KETTLE" to 80888, donors can send $10 to the Red Kettle Campaign.

Groups may adopt a kettle site during the holiday season and volunteer to ring the bell at that location. For more information on The Salvation Army’s programs and services throughout the Bay Area, and to sign-up to volunteer, visit salvationarmytampabay.org.

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