Marking the beginning of their 2023 holiday season, Salvation Army Pasadena launched its 10th annual Red Kettle campaign with a kick-off fundraising breakfast at their Tabernacle Friday morning.
The event began with a welcome from Red Kettle Committee Chair Gabriel Rosemond, who, following a performance of the Salvation Army jazz band, discussed the history of the Salvation Army, particularly in Pasadena.
“We’ve been serving the community since our inception in 1865,” he said, “not only in Pasadena, but for well over 135 years throughout the world, over 132 countries and if Elon Musk, bless his heart, succeeds in colonizing Mars, rest assured we’ll be there as well. The Army has established numerous programs that serve children and families in need, as well as homeless individuals, senior citizens and veterans.”
Major Roy Wild, Corps Officer of the Pasadena Tabernacle, along with his wife, Major Paula Wild, then led the benediction, before updating the audience on the latest developments in the local Tabernacle.
“Over this last year,” he told the audience, “you have helped the Salvation Army in Pasadena to assist over 1,800 families with food, emergency food, grocery cars, household items, and 1,300 children during the holidays with Christmas toys.”
The Salvation Army has also provided 8,500 food bags, 4,800 hygiene kits, along with over 1600 clothing items and vouchers to the unhoused population in the local community, he said.
“And we could not do that without your help,” he said, adding the news about the recently dedicated Diane and John Mullen Hope Center, which offers 65 300-square-foot studio apartments, with 16 of the apartments reserved specifically for veterans.
The new building also features a “People’s Choice Market,” for clients as well as a grab-and-go food counter two days a week. Additional services for residents will include job training, resume development, life skills classes, financial literacy workshops, and continuing drug and alcohol recovery programs.
The Salvation Army in the LA Metropolitan Area also houses nearly 3,000 homeless persons every night.
Former NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman continued the morning’s event, introducing comedian and “Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year” Carlos Oscar.
Oscar, who has performed on the Tonight Show, regaled the audience with his everyguy delivery of his family life (“My daughter wants me to buy her a Tesla. I said, “You want a Tesla? You can’t even keep your phone charged!”).
Continuing on the fundraising theme, community representatives of both UCLA and USC then led a spirited challenge among the gathered guests, with lighted QR code display pieces on the tables for donations.
More information on the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign is available here.