SAYRE - The Sayre Salvation Army held its monthly advisory board meeting Monday evening, Jan. 14, and announced several new programs for 2013. After an opening prayer, Captain Debra Stedman thanked the entire community for an excellent holiday season.

"The community responded to our needs for the many families we helped during the recent holiday season," said Capt. Stedman. "I want to thank every person or business that helped in whatever manner making 2012 a better year than 2011."

Capt. Stedman also singled out the recent "Christmas Is For Kids" event, held every December at the Sayre Theatre. Sayre radio personalities and "Christmas Is For Kids" founders Chuck Carver and Todd Bowers, owners of WATS 960AM and WAVR 102.1 FM radio, were thanked at the meeting for their continued support. The duo head-up the a live broadcast from the theatre, with the object of the program is making sure all children have toys and the Sayre Corps has enough donations to fulfill the food and clothing needs during the holiday. The one-day event generated over $50,000 for the Sayre Salvation Army cause. Margie Ross, theater manager, was also complimented for her continuing support in allowing the Sayre Theatre to be used as the home base for Carver and Bowers radio broadcast and the official drop off point for toys and donations.

Advisory chairman Joel Clawson noted that some 247 bundles of toys were distributed for Christmas, with a total of 1085 households receiving help. There were also 383 nursing home residents that received a holiday food and/or gift box. Additionally, another 1080 people received bread/pastries from the free morning breakfasts held weekly at the church hall in December.

The annual Thanksgiving Dinner, held each year on Thanksgiving eve at Church Of The Redeemer, 201 S. Wilber Ave, attracted 125 individuals on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. The guests enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, including desserts and refreshments. Sandy Campbell, advisory board member and twice weekly breakfast coordinator, noted that the Boy Scout troops that helped serve and clean up were extremely helpful taking care of all the tables. The entire board also gave special thanks to Henry Farley, Director of Food & Nutrition for Guthrie Healthcare, for his assistance in preparing all of the turkeys for the event.

Assistant Sayre High School Principal Dan Polinski also gave a note of thanks to State Line Auto Auction's Jeff Barber for his continuous financial support of the Sayre Salvation Army. Polinski noted that although Fuller always shies away from any type of media publicity concerning his philanthropic ways, without Fuller there would be many things in the Valley, especially The Salvation Army, that would be "very different" if it weren't for Fuller's involvement.

"From his donations to numerous charities and causes to help during the flood, Jeff Fuller is a person the Valley can count on when things get tough. He's a very unselfish, giving person who is aware of the community," said Polinski.

Capt. Stedman and board member Debi Adams both noted that although there were some hours when Red Kettle Ringing was impossible during Christmas season due to lack of volunteers, they noted the collections were still outstanding. Ted Clark's Busy Market, Walmart, State Line Auto, Tops Food Markets and K-Mart were all instrumental to this year's success.

"Next year, we are going to coordinate better the kettle locations with hopefully more volunteers, and we'll also concentrate on the Online Kettle program and Counter Kettles for the New Year," said Capt. Stedman.

New for 2013 will be a Youth Program dubbed "Teen Spot" that will be held every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. with a starting date to be announced. The event, open to teens of all ages, will focus on a chorus, sacred dance, gospel presentations and hot dinner for each attendant. A Youth Ministry and Arts program is in the formation stage, with Saturday mornings the anticipated time. More news on both programs will be forthcoming from the Sayre Corps board.

Captain Stedman welcomes all for services every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. at the Elmer Ave. church. She emphasized that the Salvation Army was founded in 1865 and is a Christian-based love of God organization coupled with addressing the needs of the community. The Salvation Army's ministry emphasizes preaching the Gospel, disseminating Christian truths, supplying basic human necessities, providing personal counseling and undertaking spiritual and moral regeneration and physical rehabilitation of all persons in need regardless of race, color, creed, sex or age.

For information on personal/family support or to volunteer please phone (570) 888-2153. The Sayre Corps office and church are located at 314 S. Elmer Ave., Sayre, PA 18840.