Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – Although donations have yet to be totaled, Kingman Police Department Explorers looked like they had a pot-load more money in their Salvation Army red kettle than their Kingman Fire Department counterparts after three hours Friday outside Walmart.
The police and fire departments volunteered to work a shift for the Salvation Army in its annual Red Kettle drive with a friendly contest, staffed by their teenage Explorers.
Dean Curtis, who’s been with the Police Explorers for about a year, estimated a collection of around $300 in their kettle, including a $50 bill from one lady.
“We’re getting a lot of donations,” added Trevin Gravell, a 2-year Explorer. Also working the police kettle was Lilith Bennett.
As for tactics to beat the Fire Explorers, “maybe block off their side of the parking lot,” Gravell said.
At the other entrance to Walmart, where a big red fire truck was parked nearby, Joey Mines, Garrett Martin, Constance Martin (no relation) and Dillon Haskell were soliciting donations with pencils, candy and Kingman Fire Department stickers, of which they ran out.
“Thanks for helping out, guys,” one customer said as he left the store.
Last year, Salvation Army of Kingman collected about $30,000 during the Red Kettle drive, Director Troy Palmer said.
It’s the first year the police and fire departments have volunteered to man the kettles, and both Police Chief Bob DeVries and Fire Chief Jake Rhoades, along with Mayor Monica Gates, showed up in support, Palmer said.
“I’m so grateful to have them participating,” he said. “I think they had a really good time.”
The Salvation Army’s traditional Red Kettle drive runs from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, and they can be found outside Smith’s, Walgreens and Walmart from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.