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Salvation Army Captain Rides The Wheel for 9 Hours to Meet Kettle Deficit

With less than three weeks to raise money to keep vital programs and services operating in 2021, The Salvation Army’s 3rd Annual Donation Rotation event at ICON Park is happening a week early.

During the opening weekend for the iconic Red Kettle campaign, donations were down by 83%. On Friday, Dec. 4, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Captain Ken Chapman will attempt to offset the $13,000 loss by riding the 400-foot observation wheel at ICON Park for 9 hours. Programs supporting struggling families, homeless children and vulnerable senior citizens are in jeopardy if the organization doesn’t meet its Red Kettle Campaign goal of $500,000.

For the first time, The Salvation Army launched its Red Kettle Campaign in September introducing its nation-wide Virtual Kettle Campaign, an online platform encouraging people to raise money among their peer groups.

“We started the season early with our rescue Christmas message because so many people needed food, financial assistance, housing and clothing. The demand for need is up 155%, and that will only increase after the new year,” said Captain Ken Chapman, Area Commander of The Salvation Army in Orange & Osceola Counties. So far, $14,986 was donated online and at our kettles leaving over $450,000 to be collected by Christmas Eve. “We are calling on those who were blessed in 2020 to give and help their struggling neighbors.”

ICON Park, a partner, sponsor and supporter of this event, will waive the ticket cost for all guests who wish to take the 23-minute ride with Captain Chapman. The guests can instead donate their ticket fare to the Red Kettle on site. ICON Park will also donate a dollar for every ticket that it sells that day to riders who choose not to ride with the Captain.

“The Salvation Army team does great work every day for people in need, and we are proud to help them raise money to support their mission, especially now,” said ICON Park President and CEO, Chris Jaskiewicz.

Ole Red Orlando, a restaurant and entertainment venue inspired by country music superstar and Opry member Blake Shelton, will be donating food to our volunteers. Families can enjoy the sweet sounds of Christmas music and capture the moment with a picture alongside Salvation Army mascot SAL and Captain Ken Chapman.

To donate to The Salvation Army, visit SalvationArmyOrlando.org, or call 407-423-8581. You can also contribute to any of The Salvation Army red kettles using cash, card or your mobile device. Proceeds from the kettles go to fund programs and services for struggling families, individuals and veterans in Orange and Osceola counties.