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March 05 03:02 PM

Salvation Army honors mayor for Red Kettle Challenge

Features Editor kerrykirspel@nwcable.net

Mayor Ollie Tyler received a surprise during Tuesday’s Shreveport City Council meeting.

Maj. Ray Morton, commanding officer of the Salvation Army in Shreveport, presented her with an award for her win over Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker in the Red Kettle Challenge in December.

“We thank you for fund raising and raising almost $550 in the time you spent for the Salvation Army,” he told the mayor before the assembled City Council.

The two mayors participated in a Red Kettle Challenge on Dec. 14 last year. For the third consecutive year, Mayor Tyler raised more donations than her Bossier City counterpart.

Mayor Tyler rang the bell in front of a red kettle at Brookshire’s on Line Avenue, while Mayor Walker rang his bell in front of Kroger’s on Airline Drive.

Within three hours, both mayors collected $727.63 to help support programs of the Salvation Army. Tyler raised $547.94, and Walker raised $179.69.

Why did the Salvation Army want to reward the mayor for her efforts? “I’ve just got to commemorate anybody who is willing to give their time to support change in this community, and it supports other people,” Morton said.

“I just want to encourage people to feel free to donate that time. It’s not just about donating money, it’s about volunteering. And I just want to recognize Mayor Tyler for doing that.”

Morton said that the friendly competition between the mayors helps to encourage volunteerism. “It’s a great way to go out and support your community.”

He said both mayors are looking forward to helping out again this year.

The money raised during the red kettle program goes to support the various programs provided by the Salvation Army in Northwest Louisiana.

Even though the Christmas season is the peak time for donations, the Salvation Army accepts donations year-round. “You can always come by and volunteer or support however you like any time of the year,” he said.

In addition to monetary donations, people can support the Salvation Army in other ways, such as volunteering to help out in the kitchen. “We serve food every day. We’re always in need of food banks for the food that we give out to clients that come through our program. And then, you can always do different drives in your community and donate that way as well — for food, for clothing, whatever.”

The Salvation Army is located at 200 E. Stoner Ave.

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