MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Nov. 13 is being billed as “Salvation Army Saturday”; it will be a day of campaign kickoffs and lots of music.

“On Nov. 13 at 11:30 a.m., we will be having our Angel Tree and Red Kettle campaign kickoffs, so we’re very excited that we have several featured guests, most notably to us is the Salvation Army’s own National Capital Band,” said Lt. Sheldon Greenland of the Salvation Army of Marion, Monongalia and Preston Counties. “And we’re going to have an ensemble from the group there at our Angel Tree and Red Kettle Campaign kickoffs. And, we also have the Mayor of Westover and another musical group, the string quartet called Flute Staccato.”

Lt. Sheldon and Nicole Greenland playing holiday music to encourage people to donate to Red Kettle Campaign

The kickoff event will be held in the food court of the Morgantown Mall.

Plus, Lt. Nicole Greenland with the Salvation Army said the event will have “a special feature”, which will be a dance-off between Salvation Army’s Cpt. Kettle and Walmart’s Sparky.

“The Walmart manager decided to dress up in his costume to you and to have a dance-off to see who will win and maybe possibly, who could raise the most money on that day,” Lt. Nicole Greenland said.

Later in the day, at 3 p.m., Salvation Army Saturday will include a concert, which is being called “The Hope Marches on Concert”.

Woman donates to Red Kettler during Salvation Army kickoff event

It will be in association with West Virginia University. The university’s School of Music will even host the event where the 35-member Salvation Army’s National Capital Band will perform.

“We’ll be having them featured there and also Monongalia Brass, which is the graduate quintet group from WVU’s Music School, so we’re looking forward to that,” Lt. Sheldon Greenland said. “It will be at the Creative Arts Center, at the Lyell B Clay Theatre at 3 p.m.”

The National Capital Band’s Bandmaster Steve Kellner said concert-goers can expect the band to play “a little bit of everything”.

Kellner said the 150-year-old band offers many different types of musical stylings.

“What I always say to the audience is ‘if you don’t like this, wait five minutes and they’ll be having another style coming up and you’ll probably like that’.”

Salvation Army’s National Capital Band. Courtesy of: National Capital Band

Obviously, Kellner said, “this is a very important time of year for the Salvation Army” because it is the bulk of the nonprofit’s fundraising. This fundraising effort funds everything the organization does year-round. To have the chance to help a local Salvation Army fundraise through music, Kellner said, is what the band lives for.

Lt. Nicole Greenland said the National Capital Band will conclude its day in Morgantown with a second performance, the “Instruments of Praise Concert” which will be held at 6:30 p.m.

She said it will be held in conjunction “with Faith Baptist Church, right there on Greenbag Rd., where the school Morgantown Christian Academy School Band will also be featured with the National Capital Band as well, so it’s a long day.”

Greenland continued, “But it is going to be a good, uplifting day. And all of this is free, F-R-E-E, free, free for the public to come out to. We want to just bring joy to Morgantown because we’ve been down due to COVID, so this is just to lighten the environment.”

The day will be a long one, but it will only be one day, so everyone needs to take advantage, the Salvation Army said.

It is unclear when the National Capital Band will be back in Morgantown and the nonprofit only kicks off its holiday campaigns once a year.

“We need people to show up, so we’re looking for it being very well attended so we can get the message out there that Salvation Army is a multi-faceted evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church that serves people without any discrimination,” Lt. Sheldon Greenland said. “Because everything we do, we want people to have the benefit of coming into our personal knowledge of who Jesus is. But most of all, we want everybody to be able to live life and live life well”

 Greenland said you can register to be a Red Kettle bellringer here.

Angel Tree sign

Lt. Nicole Greenland said as far as Angel Tree locations, they’ll have “trees at different locations”.

“We’ll have the angels at the Walmart on University Town Center where they’ll have their tree and you’ll see the angels there,” Greenland said. “And, we’ll have some at the downtown library as well as at the Morgantown Mall and the Mountaineer Mall as well. We’ll have it at Shoney’s, so if you’re out having dinner, as you enter Shoney’s, you’ll see the Christmas tree with the angels on it. Now, those angels will have the name of the child, the age, and their gender. And then, they’ll have the wishlist and the size of clothes and coats and shoes. All you need to do is just go pick an angel or two or three, or four or five and just go out and shop for the angels.”