Tuesday, December 19, 2000

Salvation Army gets $190,000 windfall

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        At last count, the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign was so far behind target it would take a Christmas miracle to meet its goal. On Monday evening, that miracle arrived — word that $190,570.20 is coming.

        “I just gave them 50 bucks the other day and then thought, "Hey, I have $190,000 in the bank,'” said Jim Yockey of Morrow.

        Mr. Yockey has been working to settle his uncle's estate since the uncle died in January. Family members say Walter Yockey, who was 80, saved as much as he could after living through the Great Depression. The Westwood native worked all his life at the same company, Emory Industries, which is now Henkel.

        “He didn't make a lot of money on the hour, but he certainly saved it all,” his nephew said.

        The elder Mr. Yockey earmarked more than $190,000 for each of three charities before he died, but the younger Mr. Yockey hadn't gotten around to writing the checks.

        Then he read an article in the Enquirer about how far behind volunteers were in the Salvation Army campaign. Jim Yockey decided to speed up the process.

        “I don't have time to ring a bell, but I can do this,” he said.

        A large portion of the elder Mr. Yockey's savings will now go to the Salvation Army to help those in need in Greater Cincinnati. The money donated during the Red Kettle campaigns is used as the operating budgets of the Salvation Army's six community centers in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

        Jim Yockey said he had wanted to put the check in one of the red kettles but decided against it. He plans to drop off the donation today at the Salvation Army's downtown office.

        Family members said Walter Yockey told them before he died that the Salvation Army helped him while he was in the service during World War II.

        Christy Cox, director for the Red Kettle campaign in Greater Cincinnati, said volunteers had a good weekend that brought in thousands of dollars, but they were still far from the $600,000 goal Monday with about $300,000 collected.

        With the latest donation, though, the organization may set a fund-raising record.

        “Oh, my gosh,” Ms. Cox said. “(The donation) will do unbelievable things for the Salvation Army as a whole. I am speechless. I can't even put my joy into words.



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