TOPEKA -- Volunteers ringers and Salvation Army organizers have called it a kettle season, with Christmas Eve delivering them over the top on their drive to collect $230,000 through the little red kettles.
Final total: $253,611.
Captain Chuck Yockey called Friday a "record day" for any kettle collection effort. $20,533 was pushed into the kettle slots on Christmas Eve, and Yockey could barely contain his excitement about hitting those kinds of collection numbers in the nation's sour economy. All the money collected Friday was actually above and beyond their original goal, which will be a huge help in funding their programs for 2011, including the popular and much-needed child daycare programs.
Among the angels who contributed; an anonymous donor who dropped a check for $10,000 into one of the small kettles. And Emily Sprouse and her sister donated the entire $100 they had been saving and collecting all year.
The overall total they're seeking for donations this year is $430,000. And with more than $373,000 collected including mailed in donations, they have a few more days to add to that total. Checks may be sent after the holiday, to: P.O. Box 599, Topeka, 66603.