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Salvation Army reaches 2010 fundraising goal

The Salvation Army in Jamestown had a merry Christmas this year, but it didn't come until late January.

The organization has exceeded its goal for the Kettle Campaign, and helped a record number of children with the Angel Tree program this year, it discovered this week.

Donations slumped in mid-December and on Dec. 18 it was $56,000 short of its $105,000 goal. All that changed with a late surge in the kettles and $11,000 donations by mail, which were totaled Friday.

In all, the campaign raised $105,800.

"The community of Jamestown saw the need and they came through in the last hour," said Lt. Mitch Brecto.

The effort was truly that of the community and even surrounding communities with 700 donated hours from more than 100 people, he said.

The Lions and Kiwanis clubs had their annual Kettle Campaign battle with Kiwanis taking the crown this year with a total of $11,580. The Lions raised $9,263.

One man, Willie Kamletz, donated 87 hours of his time and Brecto estimated that he accounted for nearly $2,000 raised.

Church groups, the National Honors Society at Jamestown High School and North Dakota Realtors also donated money.

"By having a successful campaign we're able to do more to help the public," Lt. Teresa Brecto said.

Families from Ypsilanti, Montpelier and LaMoure all gave time this past holiday season.

The Angel Tree program gave gifts to 477 children, at least 110 more than last year.

"I would say the biggest word would be 'success,'" Teresa Brecto said.

In addition to the Angel Tree gifts, 155 households also received food baskets.

"There was a need in the community and residents saw the need and provided and God provided too," Mitch Brecto said.

That many donations has left the shelves of their food pantry barren and more donations are needed to restock it, he said. Donations of used books are also needed at the thrift store.

The Brecto's first Christmas campaign in James-town ended well, but they are already planning for next year.

Mitch Brecto said a jumbo kettle named "Big Sal" will be in Jamestown around July 10 for the parade for White Cloud's birthday. It's so big that donors climb a ladder to toss money inside.

"We're going to bring to Jamestown the largest kettle people in town have ever seen," he said.

Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at