World's largest Salvation Army kettle coming to Willmar
WILLMAR -- It's red, it's huge, it weighs more than a ton and it holds a lot of money. The world's largest Salvation Army kettle is coming to Willmar on Saturday to help launch the Willmar Salvation Army's annual kettle campaign this week. The gi...
WILLMAR -- It's red, it's huge, it weighs more than a ton and it holds a lot of money.
The world's largest Salvation Army kettle is coming to Willmar on Saturday to help launch the Willmar Salvation Army's annual kettle campaign this week.
The giant kettle will be at the Kandi Mall from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday for the mall's holiday charity campaign.
At 6:30 p.m. it will appear in the Holidaze Parade in downtown Willmar.
"It's awesome. I'm excited," said Debbie Stahl of The Salvation Army in Willmar. "We have been trying to figure out ways to let people know The Salvation Army is here."
The colossal kettle can't fail to be noticed.
Known as Big Sal, it's eight feet wide and more than eight feet tall. Two thousand pounds of steel and 320 pounds of aluminum went into its manufacture. It weighs about 2,300 pounds and can hold approximately $230,000 worth of donations.
Most of the time, Big Sal reposes at The Salvation Army's divisional headquarters in the Twin Cities, Stahl said.
"Nobody's had a vehicle big enough to pull it," she explained.
This year, however, an enterprising Salvation Army leader from Albert Lea managed to line up a truck and trailer so that Big Sal could hit the road. The king-sized kettle is visiting Fairmont and Albert Lea this week and next week, as well as coming to Willmar.
Big Sal's visit to the Kandi Mall on Saturday coincides with the mall's "Spruce Up a Life" holiday drive, during which volunteers can sponsor a holiday tree and donate food and gifts to the needy.
The giant Salvation Army kettle is too large to fit through the doors, so visitors can see it in the mall parking lot instead. Traditional Salvation Army kettles will be available for making donations. Hot coffee and refreshments also will be served from The Salvation Army's canteen.
For Stahl and her husband, Randy, who serve as the corps administrators for The Salvation Army in Willmar, the timing couldn't be better.
Their annual kettle campaign starts Friday. The goal this year is to raise $65,000 to support local Salvation Army programs. Last year The Salvation Army of Willmar served more than 9,000 people in Kandiyohi County with emergency food, shelter, clothing and children's programming.
"We want to let people know it's kettle time," Stahl said.
The Salvation Army already is gearing up for one of its major projects, the distribution of Thanksgiving baskets, she said. The Thanksgiving distribution will take place Monday and Tuesday.