WISH TV-8 anchorman, Eric Halvorson kicked off his fifth season as Chair at our Tree of Lights ceremony this morning. Community leaders and volunteers gathered to show support in raising this year’s campaign goal of $3 million – the largest goal ever set by The Salvation Army in Central Indiana. That’s an ambitious goal in a tough economic climate, but with requests for assistance soaring, we will need every last dollar to continue to provide food, shelter, utility and holiday assistance to our neighbors in need.

Walmart has generously agreed to once again serve as our Tree of Lights tree sponsor. Also joining us at this morning’s kick-off event was our 15th annual WIBC Radiothon team of Radiothon Chair and Pacers’ VP of Communications, Quinn Buckner and Terri Stacy and Joe Staysniak of the WIBC Morning Show. And special music was provided by the St. Richard’s singers and The Salvation Army Brass Ensemble. Our Divisional Commanders Majors Richard and Vicki Amick encouraged each of us to help our communities in need – if just one in ten people in Marion County could donate just $30 each, we’d collect that $3 million by Christmas! Now that’s not so unattainable.

We’d like to thank our corporate partners for their attendance and support this holiday season – Jerome Rauch – Walmart, John Elliott – Kroger and Jay Ricker – Ricker’s Oil and am/pm convenience stores and Two Men and A Truck. Thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts and GFS Marketplace for providing coffee and hot cocoa to all. Of course, we couldn’t have a tree lighting ceremony without our partners at Barth Electric. Thanks to the folks at WISH TV-8 for loaning Eric to us and for hosting and promoting the WISHTree toy collections throughout the season and at the December 13 Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Of course, this is just the beginning of the season for us. If you’d like to involve your business or organization, we’d love to have you join us! WIBC Radiothon hourly sponsorships and in-kind sponsorships are still available at WIBCRadiothon.org. Or, you can become a toy collection site and host a collection box – last year we were able to play Santa to over 900 families because of donations collected in offices and store fronts across Central Indiana! Ring a bell, host an on-line red kettle or just drop a few bucks in the kettle as you go by. With a $3 million goal, we can use all the help we can get!