Salvation Army kicks off Red Kettle campaign with 10-hour Wheel ride at ICON Park

Nonprofit hopes to raise $50,000 on Saturday

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Salvation Army kicked off its Red Kettle campaign at ICON Park on Saturday with its area commander riding the Wheel for 10 hours.

The sounds of the season performed by the Salvation Army band put guests at ICON Park in a festive mood. The band also helped kick off the nonprofit’s Red Kettle campaign.

“We raise 60% of our budget in December, so this is a critical month for us,” said Capt. Ken Chapman, the area commander for the Salvation Army in Orange and Osceola counties.

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This marks Chapman’s fifth year of riding the donation rotation. He will spend 10 hours Saturday riding the ICON Wheel.

“I added it up. By the time I finish tonight I will have spent 2 and half days of my life on this wheel,” he said.

Each 19-minute ride is a chance to raise awareness about the fundraiser, as well as the nonprofit’s mission of providing shelter, meals and rehabilitation services for our community.

“I get to see an awful lot of sights, meet a lot of people, but more importantly get to tell the story of the Salvation Army in Orlando,” Chapman said.

For each rider on the wheel, ICON Park is donating to the Red Kettle campaign. The Salvation Army hopes to raise $50,000 during the kickoff event.

Gregory Fornadel with ICON Park said this is a great way to help those who need it the most.

“We’ve all known the past few years’ times have been tough for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons, so this is a fantastic way to be able to give back and also do it in a fun way,” Fornadel said.

News 6 is also partnering with the Salvation Army for this year’s Angel Tree program. We’re helping make sure 4,000 kids and teens and 1,000 seniors have a special Christmas.

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Chapman said he’s grateful to the Central Florida community for giving back.

“I appreciate so much Central Florida being so generous to us because that helps our community be better, helping the most vulnerable and those who have lost their hope, hope is on the way,” he said.

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