Grossmont Center stages Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Kickoff for the holidays

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Pocket lint, engagement rings, rare coins, and even checks with the name blackened out are all part of the contributions received for some of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle ringers. The kettles are for the Salvation Army’s most famous street campaign.

Salvation Army Kroc Center’s bandmaster, Susan Pierce was on hand with 16 other band members to perform at Grossmont Center’s Annual Red Kettle Kick Off and Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 28.  Hundreds on Black Friday attended the event.

Pocket lint, engagement rings, rare coins, and even checks with the name blackened out are all part of the contributions received for some of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle ringers. The kettles are for the Salvation Army’s most famous street campaign.

Salvation Army Kroc Center’s bandmaster, Susan Pierce was on hand with 16 other band members to perform at Grossmont Center’s Annual Red Kettle Kick Off and Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 28.  Hundreds on Black Friday attended the event.

Band conductor, Stephen Yaleg helped youngsters get their jingle on by conducting their shakes on tambourines.

In addition to the Salvation Army’s band there were performances by the Kroc Center’s dance troupes led by AnnaLisa Lianer-Hansing. She was a virtual human teleprompter by sitting in front of the stage and helping to keep the very young girls on track by doing the moves near the front of the stage. The tiny dancers pulled it off well with an overwhelming crowd’s response.

Artistic Director Heather Pauley, introduced her troupe of Kroc Kids Junior Theatre Company kids who performed a scene from Annie Jr., a production that running December 12, 13, & 14 at the Joan Kroc Theatre in La Mesa.

Kroc Center’s executive director, Rick Peacock, pointed out how the kettle donations fund its programs and helps many in times of need. This red kettle tradition started in 1891 in San Francisco and was the idea of Salvation Army’s Officer Captain Joseph McFee.

“Get your bell on,” said Amy Lainhart, a second year bell ringer for the Salvation Army, who also said part of the technique, is to “ring the bell steadily.” Lainhart was nearby with other bell ringers at Grossmont Center as part of the Salvation Army team.

Kid’s voices echoed above the crowd like music in showing off their counting skills as Santa lead the crowd with a round of ho-ho-ho-ing and doing a New Year’s Eve like countdown of 5-4-3-2-1 for the lighting of mall’s tree as the grand finale of the kickoff.

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