Salvation says thank you |

Salvation says thank you

Carolyn Pope
Special to The Vail TrailSteve and Mike Wodlinger.

They are an inevitable part of holiday shopping: the Salvation Army bellringers. You’ll see your friends and members of the community who take time out of their busy holiday schedules to (occasionally) freeze their bums or fingertips at store entrances ” all in the name of charity.

That money raised, along with other donations throughout the year, goes to providing services in the valley that you may not know about. Recently, the Vail Valley Salvation Army hosted a thank-you party for those who volunteer. The Sonnenalp Resort’s employees volunteered their time to make the event special. Tom McNeill from the Gourmet Cowboy served up his famous deep fried turkeys, and Albert Ewing prepared beef tenderloin.

Dan Smith, board chairman, showed off the new Salvation Army Canteen, a kitchen in a four-wheel drive vehicle (the first four-wheel drive canteen in this country).

For 24 years, the Vail Valley Salvation Army has helped low-income families meet emergency needs. Their programs include a year-round food pantry, a 24-hour crisis line and an assistance program for those who are at risk of losing housing or utilities, facing medical issues, transportation needs and household necessities.

During the holidays, many groups adopt families and assist with food baskets. The numbers are impressive ” in 2007, they worked with 716 cases seeking assistance (which equals 1,041 adults and 841 children). Almost 900 food baskets were distributed and 341 families were adopted.

Volunteers help with bellringing, assemble and deliver food baskets, and run the Holiday Cabin for the Adopt-a-Family Program. They also organize the Annual Red Kettle Golf Tournament (June 5 this year at Red Sky Golf Club) and maintain the food pantry and man the emergency shelters.

Vail Valley Salvation Army is a self-sufficient service unit of the Salvation Army and receives no financial support from the Denver or National Chapters. Local fundraising and private donations are their source of revenue.

For information on how you can help, contact Tsu Wolin-Brown at 926-3704.

>> To help us publicize your event, e-mail or call (970) 748-2989.

Click on photo galleries at to see more photos from this event.

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