Rotary Club Freeport captures Salvation Army Kettle project

RED KETTLE CAMPAIGN TROPHY PRESENTATION — Rotarians from the Club of Freeport receiving Red Kettle Campaign Trophy pictured from left to right: Venus Miller, Christina Burrows, May Radikan, Bridgette Major, Bert Lightbourne, Richard Bates at rear, President Darren Cooper, Major Rodger Compton, Elsie Knowles, Michael Stafford rear, Vicky Martell, Shekeatha Thompson, President Elect Lorine Miller, Len Hindley, Roger Pinder.

The Salvation Army-Grand Bahama, crowned Rotary Club of Freeport its 2017 winners of the Red Kettle Campaign. The announcement came last Thursday, at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant.

The Red Kettle Campaign is a fund-raiser, whereby clubs partner up with the Salvation Army to raise funds for those who need Christmas assistance. After the money is calculated, the presentation to the the winning club takes place a year later.

According to Salvation Army Representative Major Roger Compton, this is the biggest fund-raiser for the organization each year.

“We go out and greet people, and because the public is aware of what the Salvation Army is about, 75 percent of the money that we raise is used for Christmas assistance and the other 25 percent would go to the food pantry.”

Compton congratulated the Rotary Club of Freeport “for winning the Annual Bell Ringing Trophy and for raising the most money in 2017.”

It was reported that in the full year of 2017, 2,810 persons were assisted, some times more than once; 15,942 items of clothing were distributed; 859 meals were served to the homeless, who were in some cases afforded shower baths and toiletries.

Also different families in need, received a total of 1,025 Food Parcels.

Compton disclosed that the organization has a keen awareness of the many people who are in absolute need.

“If we can help families that are not able to buy food, we want to assist in any way we can,” he said.

Rotary Club of Freeport President, Darren Cooper who received the presentation, said it marked the third time Rotary Club of Freeport  has won the ringing of the bell competition.

“Every Saturday in the month of December, we would go to different business establishments that the Salvation Army may place us at, and from the opening to the closing of the store, the Rotary club members would be responsible for the tending of the red kettle and ringing of the bell.

“We would call up our friends and families to come and support us by donating to us instead of donating at other places, just so we could win the competition.”

“When you ring the bell it encourages persons to donate monetary funds in the red kettle, just so the Salvation Army can continue the work that they do year around. “

“It is a big thing to carry the trophy, and we are honored to receive the title for the third time. Rotary Club of Lucaya won three times, and Rotary Club of Sunrise won two times, so to be the club that would’ve raised the most funds is incredible.”

“It is significant to support the Salvation Army since they have similar intentions, to us.

“The funds that they raise with the ringing of the bell help them continue some of the work that they do year around. Just like our club, the Salvation Army continues to make a difference around the world, but especially in Grand Bahama. The work they are doing in Grand Bahama, we think, is very important to support.”

Cooper says the Rotary Club of Freeport is hoping to win for the fourth time, and encourages other members, and other business owners to come out, donate, and be a blessing.

December 22 is the last day of Red Kettle Campaign 2018, and various clubs such as Rotary Club of Freeport, Rotary Club of Lucaya, Rotary Club of G.B Sunrise, Kiwanis Club of Freeport, Kiwanis Club of Lucaya, Alpha phi Alpha Fraternity, Sigma Gama Rho Sorority, Pilot Club of Lucaya, Pilot Club of Freeport and Delta Sigma Sorority are participating.

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