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By Janis Mork

November 17, 2013 (El Cajon)- On November 14, the Salvation Army of El Cajon Corps held its 38th annual Kettle Kick Off party at Hooleys Irish Pub and Grill in the Grossmont Center mall. The day after, people started ringing bells at different businesses for people to put money in the red kettles to raise money for East County children and families in need during the holiday season. This year will be a challenge because of when Thanksgiving falls, and the season will be shorter than last year. The organization hopes to provide 500 families with Thanksgiving baskets.

ECM interviewed Captain Terry Masango (photo, left), administrator of all of Salvation Army’s services and pastor of the Salvation Army El Cajon Corps Community Center.  “We have senior homes, serve meals to the seniors, have after school youth programs, and serve groceries to 1100 families a month,” he said, adding that Salvation Army believes in offering help to those in need as part of its mission. ”We’re also in the process of registering 1400 families for Christmas.”

Captain Masango says that he grew up in the Salvation Army “because my grandparents were in the Salvation Army. In 2000, I started working in the Salvation Army in Spokane, Washington. I became captain in 2006 in East County.”

Throughout the night, there were opportunity drawings, a bell ringing contest, and music provided by the Salvation Army band outside and another local band inside, that plays at the Salvation Army every Monday.

ECM interviewed Cheryl Adams, who attended this event with her husband Ben (photo, right). “My husband is good friends with Drum and Jane Macomber, who work with the Salvation Army”. She added, “Last year, we went to a different event.. There was no band.”

There are other charity events coming up.

 First, on Saturday December 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. there is a Salvation Army benefit for Bev and Ramona’s Holiday Open House at Jasmine Creek Florist and Diamond Creations by Ramona. The Jasmine Creek florist team will demonstrate holiday floral designs for the public to order, take home and win in an opportunity drawing. The drawing also includes a grand prize of an arrangement for a month and a year and a diamond pendant, a $2200 value. All proceeds from the drawing and 10% of sales from Jasmine Creek Florist and Diamond Creations by Ramona will be donated to help the Salvation Army serve East County families in need.

Second, on Wednesday, December 11, the public is invited to Rob and Stoney’s holiday auction party at Viejas in the Dream Catcher room at 6 p.m.

Lastly, on Saturday December 14, there is a fire truck parade with toys in downtown El Cajon starting at Target. It’s another opportunity for the public to donate food, toys and  contributions.

The community can help by putting money in the kettles,  or you can mail checks or donate toys and food to the Salvation Army of El Cajon Corps Community Center, 1011 East Main Street, El Cajon 92021. Volunteers are also needed.

To learn more about the Holiday Open House on December 5, visit the Facebook link:

For more information about the Salvation Army, visit:

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