Porter County Sheriff's Department

What's Happening at The Porter County Sheriff's Department


Salvation Army Kettle Campaign

JON L. HENDRICKS | THE TIMES Porter County Sheriff David Lain contributes the first donation Thursday to the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign during a kick-off in front of the Porter County Courthouse in Valparaiso. The Salvation Army hopes to raise $200,000 this year from the collections.

Porter County: Goal is to raise $200,000 during holiday season

Salvation Army kicks off kettle campaign

By Joyce Russell | Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009 12:05 am


VALPARAISO | Porter County Sheriff Dave Lain wanted to be the first.

Thursday afternoon Lain dropped a bill into the Salvation Army of Porter County's Red Kettle during the group's annual Christmas campaign kick-off celebration on the north lawn of the Porter County Courthouse.

Lain wouldn't reveal the denomination of the bill. It didn't matter.

"I want people to give as they can, when they can, what they can," said Lain, who is serving as this year's campaign chairman.

Lain told the group gathered that people are going through difficult economic times, "people who never dreamed they'd be in the situation" But, he added a "bright spotlight" of the season has always been the Salvation Army.

This year the group hopes to raise $130,000 through its kettle campaign, which begins today at select locations in Porter County and will expand locations after Thanksgiving. They hope to raise another $70,000 through a mail donation campaign, said Major Jon Welch. Last year some $119,000 was collected in the kettles.

Welch, however, said there is more of a need this year. The Christmas campaign is the group's major fundraiser of the year and provides money to assist people with food, utilities and housing throughout the year.

Welch said they are seeing an increase in food and housing requests. The holiday program is also telling. Last year, the Army helped provide food and clothing for 530 families and clothing and toys for 1,151 children at Christmas. With the assistance application deadline today, he anticipates 700 families needing assistance, including 1,500 children.

In addition to launching the campaign, Morgan Township High School junior Andrew Sharp continued another tradition. For the fifth year in a row, the young man donated a prize-winning turkey for the group's annual Thanksgiving day dinner.

This year's Porter County Fair champion bronze turkey weighed in at 28.45 pounds.

"It is just a tradition now. I have two more years of 4-H, so I will do it two more years," he said, adding he hopes another 4-Her continues the tradition after him.

JON L. HENDRICKS | THE TIMES Porter County Salvation Army worker Lola Jennings puts Christmas lights Thursday into a tree during the kick-off for the Salvation Army's kettle campaign.


Let the ringing begin: Porter County Sheriff and campaign chairman David Lain rings the inaugural bell as the Portage High School Choraliers stand behind him Thursday in Valparaiso during the kickoff for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. Scott M Bort / Post-Tribune 

Salvation Army fundraising effort off to a ringing start

November 13, 2009

By Charles M. Bartholomew, Post-Tribune Correspondent


Porter County Sheriff David Lain slipped a crisply folded bill through the Red Kettle slot to kick off the 2009 Salvation Army Christmas Campaign on Thursday on the Courthouse Square.

"Let the bells be a clarion call for us to remember those who really need help from us," he said.

The Portage High School Choraliers and a handful of noontime spectators joined Majors Jon and Kim Welch to start the annual holiday fundraiser that pays for the help with food, clothing, housing, and utilities year-round.

"Let me say again, all of the money that we raise in Porter County stays in Porter County," he said.

He said the total 2009 goal for the kettles, countertop collections in restaurants and banks, and "white campaign" mail solicitations is $200,000, with $130,000 to be collected by the bell ringers at their kettles.

Salvation Army board chairwoman Bev Lakomek oversaw the hanging of 10 symbolic ornaments on a wooden tree made by board member Glenn Jennings that will mark the progress of the campaign.

"Each ornament represents $20,000," she said.

"Last year the kettles raised $119,000, and we were able to provide food and clothing for 500 families and Christmas toys for 1,151 children," Welch said.

He said with the economy down so far this season, those numbers might hit 700 families and 1,500 children.

Welch also noted that today is the final day to hand in applications for Christmas food boxes and toys that will be distributed through the Army's Angel Tree program.

Also on hand was Morgan Township High School junior Andrew Sharp, who has been donating his Porter County Fair prize turkeys for the Army's Thanksgiving dinner.

"This is my fifth year. This is the champion turkey from this year's fair. It weighs 28 and a half pounds," he said, handing it to Welch.

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