PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Salvation Army presented Fezell's County Market with an award for its many years of hosting the Red Kettle campaign at Christmastime.
The Salvation Army is recognizing Tim Fezell and Fezell's County Market with a plaque because they are supporting the community in all that they do, said Capt. Keith Jache, co-commander of the Punxsutawney Salvation Army.
"Not only do they host the Red Kettle every year, they also prepare the bagged food that is distributed at Christmas," he said.
"Whenever I need anything, Tim (Fezell) and County Market offers a helping hand whenever we ask," Jache said.
Fezell, owner of County Market, said he appreciates the award, and that he's happy to help any organization.
"Every organization is important, and we're glad to help any non-profit organization at any time," he said."There are a lot of fundraising events that occur throughout the year that we participate with.
"We enjoy participating in the Salvation Army's ‘Buy a Bag’ program for eight to 10 years now," Fezell said, adding that it gives his customers the chance to help the Salvation Army in a quiet, subtle way, and they realize that it's very valuable to the community.
In the meantime, the Red Kettle Drive is going to require some more help.
Jache said the Red Kettle Drive is at the midway point and has fallen off pace for meeting its goal for this year.
"We had to increase our goal to $55,000 from $50,000 this year because of the increasing need in the community, because of the people who are coming in for assistance," Jache said.
With the $5,000 increase, Jache said the Salvation Army has to raise an extra $10,000 due to things that are out of his control, such as businesses closing.
He said on top of the $10,000, the Salvation Army is now behind another $2,000.
"Between now and Christmas, I have to keep on the same stride I did last year and make an extra $12,000," Jache said.
"I'm doing a lot of praying," he added.
Jache said there is also the Angel Tree program, where the Salvation Army collects toys for needy children in the community and hands out food baskets.
"We also prepare baskets for senior citizens as well," Jache said, adding that 200 toys and food baskets are prepared to hand out before Christmas.
Other bell ringing locations are: Walmart, Dollar Tree and Peebles.