Sayre Salvation Army seeks Bell Ringers; ‘Kettle Kickoff’ begins

Sayre Salvation Army seeks Bell Ringers; ‘Kettle Kickoff’ beginsThe Arnot Mall was in full Christmas decor for the big opening night of Salvation Army Kettle Kickoff 2019 and the arrival of Santa. Representatives from Corning and Elmira Army Corps also took part. (Salvation Army Photo)

The Sayre Salvation Army is getting ready for a very busy holiday season as plans for upcoming events were discussed at the monthly advisory board meeting. 

Dates for the annual “Day before Thanksgiving” dinner, Kettle Kickoff at Arnot Mall, and the need for Bell Ringers topped agenda items. Gathering at the Salvation Army Church headquarters at 314 S. Elmer Ave., and following an opening prayer by Major Deb Stedman, board members discussed these upcoming initiatives.

Sayre Salvation Army seeks Bell Ringers; ‘Kettle Kickoff’ begins
Sayre Corps Major Debra Stedman is interviewed by TV18’s Jessica Camuto during 2019 Kettle Kickoff activities held on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Arnot Mall. This is Major Stedman’s final Kettle Kickoff as she is retiring June of 2020. (Salvation Army Photo)

Major Stedman indicated that there is a greater need this holiday season for Bell Ringers to help with the Red Kettles that are vital to the Sayre Corps success this Christmas season.

“Right now, we are in need of more Bell Ringers, and I invite individuals, groups, area clubs, or any other organization that would like to get involved. Donating your time as a volunteer in our yearly Bell Ringing is both enjoyable and helps us as this is our major fund raiser of the year,” said Major Stedman.

Sayre Salvation Army seeks Bell Ringers; ‘Kettle Kickoff’ begins
Santa made his initial appearance at the Arnot Mall during Kettle Kickoff. Santa’s Helpers include Gloria Groom, left, and Jennifer Frawley, right. He’ll be there now through Christmas Eve hearing kids Christmas wishes daily. (Salvation Army Photo)

The Kettle Kickoff took place last Friday at the Arnot Mall in Horseheads / Elmira, N.Y. The Salvation Army Band and representatives from several Army Corps, including Sayre, were present. 

Major Stedman noted that the donations from the Red Kettles are used for those in need in our immediate area. Those interested are asked to call the Sayre Corps office or stop in to volunteer during work hours or call (570) 888-2153. Dates and times for bell ringing can be tailored to the volunteer’s timeline. 

The annual “Night Before” Thanksgiving Dinner will be held again at the Church Of The Redeemer, located at 201 S. Wilber Ave. in Sayre, on Wednesday, Nov. 27, which is Thanksgiving Day eve. Last year a large turnout made the event an even bigger success than in previous years. Guthrie Clinic and Robert Packer Hospital cafeteria management and workers assist in the preparation of the turkeys. 

Sayre Salvation Army seeks Bell Ringers; ‘Kettle Kickoff’ begins
Camerawoman Fontaine Glenn, right, steadies the TV18 camera as reporter Jessica Camuto interview’s Elmira Corps Major Dorie Haggerty. (Salvation Army Photo)

The annual “Night Before” Thanksgiving dinner features all the expected Thanksgiving Day essentials, from the fresh roasted turkeys to mashed potatoes and all the fixings. The dinner starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. when doors will close. There are no takeouts, just a free, indoor Thanksgiving food tradition. The board thanks Church of the Redeemer’s Rev. Hazel Hunt and Pastor Melinda Artman for their help in making the event possible.

Area radio personality Chuck Carver’s “Christmas is for Kids” event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Sayre Theater from 9 a.m. to noon. Carver is the owner of WATS AM 960 and WAVR FM 102 “The Choice” radio, and will have live remotes on-going during the event.

The board members thanked Carver for his continued outpouring of assistance and emphasized that the monetary donations received that day pooled with the truckloads of toys donated make Christmas a very happy day for hundreds of children in need.

“Combined with our Red Kettle Bell Ringers, Chuck Carver’s ‘Christmas is for Kids’ makes the Christmas season successful for everyone that seeks assistance during this special time of the year. I also want to thank Coaches Pizza in Waverly, New York as they will allow us use of their food truck during this big event so we can pass out coffee, hot chocolate, donuts and whatever else we may have free of charge,” the Major concluded.

Before her board meeting’s closing prayer, Major Stedman also noted that she welcomes everyone for weekly church services every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. at the 314 Elmer Ave. church. 

For information on volunteering to be a Bell Ringer or for personal assistance, call (570) 888-2153.

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