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The Salvation Army to Present Three Awards at this Year's Annual Luncheon

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Released 23 October 2012

 The Salvation Army to Present Three Awards at this Year's Annual Luncheon

56th Annual Luncheon to be held November 13th at The Millennium Hotel

Cincinnati, OH (October 23, 2012) - The Salvation Army announced today that three awards will be presented to local individuals and/or organizations at its 56th Annual Civic & Awards Luncheon, to be held Tuesday, November 13th at The Millennium Hotel, downtown.  The three awards to be presented include the William Booth Award, the "Others" Award, and the Gavin Gray Memorial Bell Ringer Award.

"The Salvation Army's heritage has been to acknowledge those whose commitment and service in support of our mission merits special attention," explained Major Hugh Steele, Divisional Commander at The Salvation Army.  "It takes many individuals, organizations and corporate groups to come along side us as we seek to lift up and help those who are most vulnerable in our community.  By showing our appreciation to outstanding supporters, The Salvation Army strengthens the communal bonds that enable us to fulfill our mission."

The William Booth Award, named in honor of the founder of The Salvation Army, is one of the highest awards conferred upon an individual by The Salvation Army.  It is given annually to a deserving individual for outstanding service to the community through their donation of time, talent and energy, as well as dedication to The Salvation Army's goal of service.  The recipient of the William Booth Award for 2012 is Mario San Marco, president of Eagle Realty Group, a member of Western & Southern Financial Group.  Mr. San Marco currently serves as the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army in Cincinnati, and has tirelessly supported the work of the local organization for more than 20 years.

The "Others" Award is rooted in the history of The Salvation Army, dating back to the early 1900s when General William Booth, the Army's founder, wanted to send a word of encouragement and direction to his officers around the world.  Wanting to be thrifty yet make his message clear, the general sent this one word telegram: "Others."  Following that history, The Salvation Army honors an individual or organization exemplifying an extraordinary spirit of service to ‘others,' not only through support of The Salvation Army but the broader community as well.  For 2012, the "Others" Award will be presented to The Kroger Co.  Accepting the award on behalf of Kroger is David B. Dillon, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.  Under his leadership, The Kroger Co. has been an extremely committed supporter of The Salvation Army.  The presence of the iconic red kettles at Kroger stores nationwide each Christmas season is just one example.

This year, The Salvation Army introduces a new award, appropriate for the season, to honor Gavin Gray, who long served as an Advisory Board member and was noted for his decades of service as a bell ringer volunteer.  Sadly, we lost our friend Gavin late last year.  The Gavin Gray Memorial Bell Ringer Award acknowledges that Gavin was exemplary in his dedication to the annual Red Kettle campaign, which resulted in ‘his' kettle being among the top producing kettles in the entire city.  Lucinda Gray Hesch, Gavin's daughter, will accept the award on his behalf this year.  In the future, the award will be conferred upon someone whose commitment to the tradition of bell ringing merits special attention and recognition.

"We're privileged to have the support and commitment of outstanding individuals and organizations like those we honor this year," stated Matt Pearce, Development Director at The Salvation Army.  "Every year, many special people and organizations step up to help us as we work to meet the needs of those in our community. Indeed, it's challenging to select just a few to recognize at the Luncheon, and I'd want each and every supporter to know that we're grateful and deeply blessed by their engagement with us."

The awards will be presented at The Salvation Army's 56th Annual Awards & Civic Luncheon, November 13th.  Carol Williams, anchor for Channel 9 News, will emcee the event, which will highlight Duke Energy's HeatShare program and include a special performance by Carol Jaudes, who formerly appeared for five years on Broadway in the hit musical CATS.  For more information regarding the Luncheon, please contact Deanna Powell, at 513-762-5600.

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