The Rapidian

Kentwood Rotary Awarded the 2020 Golden Kettle

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The Salvation Army Fulton Heights Citadel presented the 2020 Golden Kettle Award to the Kentwood Rotary Club. The vigorously contested trophy wasn't decided until the last day of the Red Kettle Campaign by less than thirty dollars!
Aux.Captain Mika Roinila awards the Golden Kettle to John Verbrugge, President of Kentwood Rotary.

Aux.Captain Mika Roinila awards the Golden Kettle to John Verbrugge, President of Kentwood Rotary. /Sarah Merrill

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

Kentwood Rotarians John Verbrugge, Lois Craven, Bernie Sobie and Paul Bergsma receive the Golden Kettle Award.

Kentwood Rotarians John Verbrugge, Lois Craven, Bernie Sobie and Paul Bergsma receive the Golden Kettle Award. /A/Capt. Grace Roinila

Representatives of the Kentwood Rotary Club were excited to receive the vigorously contested Golden Kettle Award on January 19 from The Salvation Army at Fulton Heights Citadel Corps. Auxiliary Captain Mika Roinila presided over a brief ceremony in which he shared the thanks of The Salvation Army for all the volunteers and service clubs that participated in this year’s annual Red Kettle Campaign.

From amongst the several competing service clubs that sought the award, the Kentwood Rotary Club raised $3,316.01 and narrowly defeated the Pilots for Christ by only $28. What an amazing finish it was! Kentwood Rotary Club thanks its own "students of the month" from East Kentwood High School, who helped ring bells on the last three days of the campaign to eke out the Pilots for Christ.

Without the help of all volunteers, and without the generosity of the Grand Rapids community, the Red Kettle Campaign would have been in trouble this year. National projections estimated a 50% loss in giving, with less kettles and workers manning locations, and a much higher need for assistance from The Salvation Army. And while expectations may have been grim, the Kent County area was able to avoid such projections. Divisional Commander Major Glen Caddy has reported that The Salvation Army in Kent County has slightly surpassed its goal of $1.3 million! The kettle campaign itself raised a total of $291,675.98 which brought in more to the Fulton Heights organizers than they were able to raise last year. Thank you Grand Rapids!

So what happens with the Golden Kettle Award for the remained of this new year? According to Kentwood Rotary President John Verbrugge, the trophy will spend a few weeks in the homes of all Kentwood Rotarians as the travelling trophy visits all members throughout 2021. As a travelling trophy, the award is now in its second year and will undoubtedly be sought by others in the coming Christmas season once again. The Salvation Army welcomes more groups to join this worthy service project, and to compete for the Golden Kettle. May God bless one and all.

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