Salvation Army goal in sight

DeWayne Bartels

The Salvation Army has surpassed the $1 million mark in its 2009 Tree of Lights Campaign.

Receipts through Jan. 4 hit $1,122,030, or about 83 percent of the $1.35 million goal.

Kettle totals ended about $9,000 higher than last year.

“We do see the higher kettle totals as a good harbinger for the overall campaign. It is a good sign because that means that more people are giving and being generous in this time of need and is consistent with the increase in the number of volunteers this season,” said honorary co-chair Sid Banwart.

Flo Banwart, honorary co-chair, added, “We are still confident in the generosity of the people in Central Illinois and are cautiously optimistic that we will achieve our goal because in January 2009, the campaign drew in $260,000, and this January, we need only $225,000.”

The Banwarts said in order to get to the goal, there are a number of special events planned, including a fundraiser at Paparazzi Jan. 31.  

Donations can be still be made by mailing a donation to The Salvation Army, PO Box 1468, Peoria, IL 61655, or by calling 655-7220.

The campaign will officially close with a victory celebration Feb. 11 at the Holiday Inn City Centre.