Downtown fundraisers pick new name, charities

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November 12, 2002 // UPDATED 1:33 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Ellen Nigon
Ellen Nigon

After settling a lawsuit with the Salvation Army last year, maraca-shaking fundraisers Celebration Corps will be back Downtown.

Last year, the Salvation Army took the Celebration Corps (then known as the Celebration Army) to court over their name.

"We asked them not to use the name 'The Celebration Army' because we thought it was too confusing to the public," said Annette Bauer, community relations director for the Salvation Army.

The Celebration Corps came on the Downtown scene last year shaking maracas for Open Arms of Minnesota, which delivers meals to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Although both the Celebration Corps and The Salvation Army solicit funds in a similar manner -- one shakes maracas, the other rings bells -- neither said they mind the competition.

"As we've seen, we're not taking from each other. We're just getting more money for more people," said Charlie Rounds, Celebration Corps' volunteer coordinator.

This year, the Celebration Corps will also raise money for Park House (an organization that assists people living with HIV/AIDS), The Minnesota AIDS Project and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Rounds said expanding the benefiting groups "gave us a broader base for people giving and also for people volunteering. ... We also felt very strongly that breast cancer is an issue that we all have concerns about and that we wanted to have out there as well."

Last year, the Celebration Corps raised $6,000 for Open Arms. This year, they hope to raise $20,000 to be split evenly among the four beneficiaries.

The maracas will start shaking Downtown the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 29) and continue through Dec. 24. The Salvation Army officially kicked off their bell-ringing campaign Nov. 19, but most of their bell-ringing efforts will also start after Thanksgiving.

According to Bauer, this year's late Thanksgiving has cut a week off the holiday fundraising season.

"Most of the corporate sites don't want to start the holiday bell-ringing until after Thanksgiving," Bauer said. "It's a shorter season so it's a little more difficult. We also find that we're serving more people. Knowing that there has been an increase so much in the services we offer, it is a little scary to think that we're being shaved off a whole week of our kettle season. So we need all the help we can get."