Salvation Army's Big Ring fundraising down, but better than expected
Blizzard Alivia slowed down donations at the Salvation Army's Big Ring silent auction Tuesday but not as much as was feared by the event's organizer. The silent auction raised about $45,000 for the Salvation Army, which was short of the original ...
Blizzard Alivia slowed down donations at the Salvation Army's Big Ring silent auction Tuesday but not as much as was feared by the event's organizer.
The silent auction raised about $45,000 for the Salvation Army, which was short of the original goal of $60,000 but more than was anticipated midday Tuesday while a snowstorm was hitting Grand Forks.
"Even though we were down $15,000, I would call it very successful," Lt. Matthew Beatty of the Salvation Army said. "The people of Grand Forks really stepped up."
Beatty had feared the event, which is the Salvation Army's biggest fundraiser of the year, may only bring in about half of the organization's $60,000 goal, so he and others improvised and accepted bids through text messages.
Despite the blizzard, Tuesday's silent auction ended up being the organization's second-highest total in the eight years of the Big Ring event, with 2015's $50,000 being the only year to top it.
The Salvation Army set the $60,000 goal this year because it switched locations to the Valley Dairy at 4701 S. Washington St. and had high-interest items for people to bid on, such as a football signed by Carson Wentz and a jersey signed by the UND men's hockey team, Beatty said.
"With that location, there's no doubt that if it's a normal day, we hit $60,000, if not $70,000," Beatty said.
The Red Kettle Campaign was also slowed down by the storm, but had about half of the locations up and running Wednesday. With subzero temperatures forecast in the coming week, some of those locations will have to be shut down, which will in turn likely slow down donations, Beatty said.
The Salvation Army aims to raise a total of $207,000 in Grand Forks during the Christmas season. With the weather bringing down donations, Beatty said the organization will have to somehow recoup that money, as it was already part of the 2017 budget plan.
Those looking to donate or volunteer can do so by calling (701) 775-2597 or visiting its office at 1600 University Avenue. Anybody interested in participating in the Red Kettle Campaign can also visit RegisterToRing.com to sign up.