by Anne Urban
In recognition of The Salvation Army’s 125th anniversary in Traverse City, Majors Jeffery and Dawn Russell, corps officers, held an open house and barbecue luncheon attended by more than 275 people representing community businesses, civic and other organizations, a variety of agencies and professionals, as well as advisory board members and friends of The Salvation Army.
“We are deeply honored to be here at this time,” said Major Jeffery. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to be mindful of our past, yet at the same time be focused on the future and the responsibilities we have to serve our community with hope, compassion and love.”
The major referred to the event as a celebration of the generous and compassionate support from generations of individuals, families and businesses who’ve partnered with The Salvation Army to transform lives.
Highlighting the event were proclamations honoring the Army’s milestone from the governor of Michigan and Traverse City’s mayor. Advisory Board Member Annette Roman shared, Skyler Smith, Marlene Ralston and Helen Lake (l-r) provide service with a smile.
“I originally came to The Salvation Army as a single mom who didn’t trust [and] didn’t have a lot of hope. The Army accepted and loved me and my family for who we were. I get tremendous joy in being able to give back and see the smiles on people’s faces [and hearing] stories of how the Army has helped them. Being part of an organization like this is truly rewarding.”
The Salvation Army provides social services annually to an average 54,000 people. These services include emergency sheltering, food and clothing, assistance for older and house-bound adults, emergency disaster relief, opportunities for underprivileged youth and Pathway of Hope (POH).
Major Jeffery concluded, “As long as there’s a need, The Salvation Army will be a consistent beacon of hope in Northwest Michigan.”