The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas held its 2014 Annual Banquet on Tuesday, gathering over 400 donors, volunteers, advisory board members and supporters for an evening of celebration and inspiration.
An hour before the program began, attendees were invited to a meet and greet reception with the area officers and distinguished guests. During the time of fellowship, a silent auction took place where autographed sports and movie memorabilia were available to bid on.
The event opened with KNWA anchor and emcee Marissa Kargas who introduced a trio of videos that told the story of clients who had been helped directly by The Salvation Army’s Northwest Arkansas Area Command. The subjects of the videos, who were in attendance, were recognized and greeted by a chorus of applause.
Headlining the Annual Banquet was special guest speaker Charlotte Jones Anderson, National Advisory Board Chairman. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Charlotte Jones Anderson went on to become the Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Dallas Cowboys. Her role with the Cowboys allowed her to introduce a groundbreaking approach to fund-raising through the Army’s Red Kettle program with the annual Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff Halftime Show each Thanksgiving. Through the Halftime Show, the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army partner together to present a nationally recognized musical entertainer who preforms a show that pivots around the Red Kettle theme. Since the launch of the Red Kettle Kickoff Halftime Show in 1997, the Red Kettle has raised over 1.8 billion dollars.
As Charlotte Jones Anderson addressed the audience, she spoke on the longstanding partnership of integrity and trust between the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army. As she chairs the National Advisory Board, Anderson continually speaks to audiences about the need for helping hands, not only during Christmas, but all year long. As her speech came to a close, Anderson appealed to the people of Northwest Arkansas to get involved with The Salvation Army, adding that “compassion is not a spectator sport, everyone has to play.”
Bringing the event to a close was the presentation of the Volunteer of the Year and Business Partner of the Year. The Volunteer of the Year Award was given posthumous to a Wilbert Barbian who had volunteered 40 or more hours for over eight consecutive years. The Business Partner of the Year Award was presented to Tyson Foods, who has supported The Salvation Army in Northwest Arkansas for over 20 years.
For more information on The Salvation Army’s Northwest Arkansas Area Command, visit them online at http://salvationarmyaok.org/nwarkansas