QUINCY -- More than 4,000 volunteer hours were required for the Salvation Army to exceed its $400,000 goal for the 2016 Tree of Lights Christmas campaign.
Before unveiling the final tally of $407,276 Tuesday at the Kroc Center, co-chairmen of the campaign Allison and Dustin Hall lauded the volunteers, especially those who braved the winter conditions.
"The volunteer hours made all of this happen," Allison Hall said. "That is just unbelievable."
This brought applause from the audience that attended the brief announcement, including their 2-year-old son Liam.
Allison Hall told the crowd that she and her husband were working with Liam to say hooray.
"Can you say ‘hooray?'" she asked Liam.
"Hooray!" Liam yelled, causing the audience to laugh and applaud.
This is the second-highest amount raised through the annual campaign. The 2014 total was the highest at $429,205. It exceeded last year's mark by $5,000.
The end-of-campaign announcement was about a month earlier than normal, after the Salvation Army's territorial headquarters shorted the campaign by 30 days.
The campaign supports the Salvation Army's outreach programs and services throughout West-Central Illinois.
Patty Douglas, director of development for the Quincy Salvation Army, said this includes supporting the organization's food pantry and rent and utility assistance.
"We also have a program where we try and break down barriers to people that need jobs," Douglas said. "If someone has an opportunity to get a job but yet they may not have the proper work attire or they need a certification, we try and help provide that for them."
The goal of the program is to help people reach the point where they no longer need the assistance of the Salvation Army.
During the holidays alone, the Quincy Salvation Army provided the following assistance:
º 723 children received 4,338 toys from Toy Town.
º 480 meals were served on Thanksgiving.
º 380 meals were served on Christmas Day.