December 19, 2011
Area Challenge Raises Big Money for Salvation Army
Arlington topped area cities in a friendly competition to raise
money for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.
With the help of Mayor Robert Cluck, who volunteered Saturday as a
bell ringer, the city raised $13,305.72. Mansfield came in second
“This is a special time of year, and there are a lot of special
needs,” Cluck said while ringing the bell with his wife, Linda, at
Wal-Mart across from Cowboys Stadium. “We’re trying to help the
Salvation Army do important work in our community.”
The mayoral challenge began on a whim two years ago, when Cluck
challenged Mansfield Mayor David Cook to see who could raise more
Both years, Mansfield came out on top.
Not this year. Cluck recruited a handful of city council members to
volunteer as bell ringers and turned to Wal-Mart, which donated a
check for $6,000.
Pantego, Dalworthington Gardens and Kennedale also joined this
year’s challenge, collecting $3,056, $1,904 and $674, respectively.
The Salvation Army raises a third of its annual operating budget
through the Red Kettle Campaign, said Captain Andy Miller, corps
officer for the Arlington-Mansfield area.
“This little challenge has become a big part of how we are able to
meet the needs in our community,” Miller said. “Money raised in this
area stays in this area.”
In the past five years, the number of people the area Salvation Army
served soared by 125 percent, Miller said. Last year, the
organization provided 12,214 nights of shelter, 30,945 meals and
2,853 days of childcare in after-school programs.
This year’s mayoral challenge helped generate big donations. An
average kettle receives $500 a day in donations, Miller said.
Combined, the five competing kettles earned $29,171.34, helping the
Salvation Army hit its goal of $497,000 this holiday season.
Cluck said volunteering as a bell ringer is an easy way to serve the
“We should be helping our fellow citizens,” Cluck said, as shoppers
stopped by to give donations.