By Sarrah Peters/News Editor
The Salvation Army Advisory Board hosted its annual meeting and awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 15 at the Downtown Civic Center.
The Salvation Army Ensemble played music as attendees enjoyed dinner. The Gadsden City High School’s ROTC, led by Colonol Carl Harrison, posted the colors. The Gadsden Corps Timbrel Brigade entertained the crowd with a tambourine performance.
The meeting served as an opportunity to introduce the board’s new members. Outgoing Advisory Board Chairman Max Dover welcomed new Advisory Board Chairman Kent Back.
The event also served as a way to recognize groups and individuals that contributed to the organization through fundraising.
Rainbow Presbyterian was awarded first place in the Civic Club Bellringers for raising $6,260.68. Gadsden Kiwanis Club was awarded second place in the Civic Club Bellringers for raising $1,970.03. East Gadsden Baptist Church was awarded third place in the Civic Club Bellringers for raising $1,405.86.
The Gadsden City High ROTC was awarded first place in the Youth Bellringers for raising $2,269.03. The Etowah Beta Club was awarded second place in the Youth Bellringers for raising $2,053.06. The Order of the Arrow Boy Scout Troop was awarded third place in the Youth Bellringers for raising $391.33.
The James Culberson family was awarded first place in the Individual Bellringers for raising $3,451.66. The Jack Simon family was awarded second place in the Individual Bellringers for raising $1,231.58. Charles O’Rear was awarded third place in the Individual Bellringers for raising $659.42.
A plaque was awarded to Robert Dillard and the Attalla Fire Department for hosting a roadblock to benefit the Salvation Army, which raised $2,900. Assistant Fire Chief Chris Correll accepted the award on behalf of the fire department.
Captain Hayes said that the Salvation Army would like to recognize everyone who contributed time or money to the orginization, but there simply wasn’t enough time. In the past year, 7,683 volunteers gave 13,378 volunteer hours, allowing the Salvation Army to provide 3,420 nights of shelter, distribute 3,260 Christmas gifts and serve 16,504 meals.
The guest speaker was Major Fred Thornhill, who had worked at the Gadsden Salvation Army previously. Thornhill related tales of his time in Gadsden. Thornhill also incorporated two songs into his talk.
“Jesus makes it very clear that if we open our eyes to the needs of others 10 we are also opening our eyes to Him,” said Thornhill. “It has been the mission of the Salvation Army since our beginning over 150 years ago to reach out in God’s love to those who are less fortunate than us, to meet the needs at the point of needs with the resources that we have available to us.The Salvation Army in Gadsden has been meeting those needs for over 100 years.”