The Salvation Army Red Kettle Dinner

Red tablecloths, candles and miniature Red Kettle bells adorned the Worship Center of the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Grand Rapids on Tuesday evening.  It was Kent County’s Annual Red Kettle Dinner, celebrating 122 years of the Red Kettle Campaign to raise funds for the upcoming year.

The event was presented by The Salvation Army’s Grand Rapids Advisory Board Chair Phil Catlett and Member Greg Conway, Divisional Commander Major Thomas Bowers, Kent County Coordinator Major Bob Mueller, Co-Chairs Dr. Larry Robson and Max Gibbs and keynote speaker Diane Paddison, the author of the popular Christian Book Work, Pray Love.  Diane addressed the crowd with a cool, calm wisdom of keeping a positive attitude through life’s challenges and learning how to channel your individual talents to be successful in your community.


The theme of the event was “Please Don’t Forget: Stories, People and a Reason to Remember.” Bokeh-dot decorated programs, banners and video testimonials of Salvation Army program beneficiaries, including Gladis Martinez – Booth Family Services patient, and Jim and Peg Murphy – Fulton Heights Corps Community Center Senior Program attendees, were included to remind guests of the impact The Salvation Army has with the generosity of its supporters.

The Salvation Army will need to raise $1.7 million in Kent County alone during the Christmas season to support the anticipated needs of the upcoming year.  To find out how you can help The Salvation Army meet its fundraising goals, or to be a volunteer for upcoming holiday events, please visit  To view our video testimonials, visit