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Salvation Army Bell-Ringing Campaign Raises $27,000 for Locals in Need

Marble Falls Rotarian Brooks Blake (center) presents checks to Rita Ingram (to his right) and Sue Kennedy (to his left) for the Burnet County Salvation Army centers. They are joined by Melissa Smith (far left) and Anthony Torres of the Salvation Army. The three Burnet Rotary clubs raised more than $27,000 during the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign from Nov. 24-Dec. 24. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

MARBLE FALLS — All that bell ringing the three Burnet County Rotary Clubs did from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve paid off for the community.

“It’s so special to see people come out and give their time to help others,” said Melissa Smith, director of service extension for the Salvation Army. “We lean on our volunteers, and they are truly amazing.”

Smith, along with Salvation Army Regional Representative Anthony Torres, stopped by St. Frederick Baptist Church in Marble Falls to deliver checks to the two Burnet County Salvation Army centers. Brooks Blake of the Marble Falls Daybreak Rotary Club presented a check to Sue Kennedy of the Marble Falls center and Rita Ingram of the Burnet center.

The money came from the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, which ran the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. The three Burnet County Rotary Clubs — Rotary Club of Marble Falls, Rotary Club of Burnet, and Rotary Club of Marble Falls (Daybreak) — coordinated and volunteered to ring the bells during that period, along with other supporters.

Blake said the Rotary Clubs rang the bells throughout the day at locations in Marble Falls and Burnet.

The effort raised $27,760, which will be split between the Marble Falls and Burnet Salvation Army centers.

Torres explained that his money will go to help people with utility assistance, food, disaster relief, and a few other necessities. The key, he pointed out, is the generosity of others during the one-month Red Kettle Campaign allows the Salvation Army to help the community.

“The money raised in this period is what we use to help out the rest of the year,” Torres said. “Without this money, we wouldn’t be able to offer the assistance we do. It comes 100 percent from the Red Kettle Campaign and because of the volunteers through the Rotary Clubs.”

The Marble Falls center is located at St. Frederick Baptist Church, 301 Avenue N. It’s open 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Fridays and serves people in southern Burnet County. The Burnet center is located at the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, 1601 E. Polk St. (Texas 29) in Burnet, and available during regular business hours. It serves residents of northern Burnet County.

Along with the regular help and disaster assistance, the Salvation Army offers a youth summer camp available to qualifying kids. The camp is free, but the Salvation Army helps the kids get the supplies they might need through local fundraising.

The camp, called Camp Hoblitzelle, is a full summer camp with all the activities from zip lining to horseback riding that kids ages 7-16 can enjoy. Burnet County families can register their kids through the appropriate service center, but Torres said it might be later in the spring before registration gets fully underway.

Ingram said the kids she’s talked to who have gone to the camp simply love it.

“We have some who want to even go back as counselors,” she said. “It’s that good.”

“And we can do it because communities like this support us,” Torres added.

Go to hoblitzelle.com from more on the camp and salvationarmytexas.org for more on the Salvation Army in Texas.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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