Vipers and Salvation Army Teaming Up to Serve Food and Collect Toys During Holiday Season

Craig Winder (Photo Credit: Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images)

MCALLEN, TEXAS – The defending NBA Development League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced Tuesday that they will be serving food at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving and collecting toys for the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program to benefit the less fortunate during this holiday season.

All Vipers players will be in attendance at the Salvation Army in McAllen (corner of 23rd and Pecan) on Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-to-1:30 p.m. to serve Thanksgiving meals to those in need. Part of the coaching and front office staffs will participate as well.

“The Thanksgiving dinner not only serves the hungry, but also provides a family dinner for the lonely,” said Major Dan Ford of the Salvation Army.

The Vipers are also accepting donations of new toys at all four Vipers home games at State Farm Arena from December 8-through-20, as well as at the Vipers Pro-Shop.

“The most important thing we do here is give back to the community. We have been fortunate and it is our duty to help those who haven’t been as fortunate, After all, the residents of the Rio Grande Valley aren’t just our fans, but our friends, family and neighbors as well,” Vipers President Bert Garcia said.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are the NBA Development League affiliate of the NBA Houston Rockets. The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. For the 2010-11 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Texas Legends. A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, which tips off Thursday, Nov. 18, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at

Dallas Cowboys Players Ring Bells at Walmart for Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive

Andre Gurode and Leonard Davis

Dallas Cowboys players and cheerleaders competed against each other to see who would raise the largest amount of money for The Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive.

Cowboy players Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode faced two Cowboy cheerleaders at a Walmart in Plano, Cowboy player Anthony Spencer took on two other Cowboy cheerleaders at a Walmart in Arlington.

A cold breeze in Plano wouldn’t stop Davis and Gurode, who urged everyone passing their kettle to help out for a noble cause.

“Giving back is what this is all about,” Davis said. “It’s very fun. We get to interact directly with fans and people in ways we can’t while playing in the field.”

In Arlington, Anthony Spencer recalled his previous participation with The Salvation Army as a young boy while maintaining a Kettle post in a Walmart in Arlington.

“When I was growing up, my grandmother was always around The Salvation Army trying to help out and do stuff for people less fortunate,” said Spencer.  “On Thanksgiving, I remember we used to go up there and pass out turkeys. It helped me really realize that pretty much everyone’s the same, we’re all just in different situations in life. So when you’re able to help out, it’s always good to do so. That’s how I was brought up and that’s how I live my life, so I definitely try to help out when I can.”

The Cowboy players came out victorious in the end. Davis, Gurode, and Spencer raised a combined total of $692.11, while the Cowboy cheerleaders raised $161.62.

The Salvation Army thanks the Dallas Cowboys for doing their part in doing the most good!

Anthony Spencer and a child donor

A little girl runs with glee after putting a donation into the kettle at Walmart in Plano.

Cowboys Cheerleaders Megan and Jackie ring bells at Walmart in Plano.

Anthony Spencer rings a bell to beckon Walmart shoppers to the kettle.

Ready, Set, Ring — Front Page

Ready, Set, Ring!

Host Your Own Kettle at

Looking for a great group or team fundraising event? The Online Red Kettle is perfect for classrooms, companies, and even sports teams who want to make a difference in their neighbors’ lives.

It’s quick and easy to create your own Team Kettle at by following a few, simple instructions. You’ll also be able to e-mail friends, family, coworkers, and other potential donors an invitation to make a simple, 100-percent secure online donation to your Kettle.

Last year, Texans donated $197,000 through the Online Red Kettle, leading the nation in online donations. This year, we want to beat our own record! Maybe your Team Kettle will be the one that raises the most funds to enable The Salvation Army to continue Doing the Most Good in 2011.

For more information or to create your very own Online Red Kettle, visit

Salvation Army in Czech Republic Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Contacts during open-air meeting

Czech Republic – CELEBRATIONS of the 20th anniversary of Salvation Army work restarting in the Czech Republic recognized the huge steps that have been made through this fledgling ministry.

In 1990, following some initial contacts and a request of President Vaclav Havel to the then General Eva Burrows, The Netherlands Territory took on the responsibility to restart Salvation Army work that began in Czechoslovakia in 1919 before being suppressed in 1950. Much growth has happened since 1990. Corps and social projects have been opened, soldiers and adherents enrolled, and Czech officers trained and appointed. Having being registered as a social organization by the Czech government, the Army is now working towards being officially recognized as a church.

Hundreds of people gathered for a march of witness on Saturday, October 9th in the Square of the Republic in the center of Prague. Behind the Czech Salvation Army flag and Rotterdam East Band from The Netherlands, Salvationists and Army friends marched through the center of the Czech capital.

After the march there was a celebration and worship meeting in the Lucerna Theatre, Wenceslas Square. More than 300 people from across the Czech Republic joined together for worship and to thank the Lord for what he made possible in their country. In his Bible message Commissioner Hans van Vliet (Territorial Commander, The Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory) spoke of God the Loving Father who is looking for the lost and wants to find them.

Music was provided by the national worship band and the Rotterdam East Band.

Lieutenant Jana Kováčikova spoke in her testimony about how the Lord called her to serve him and her people through The Salvation Army. At the end of the meeting many people responded to the altar call given by the Chief Secretary, Colonel Piet Dijkstra, by coming forward to offer themselves to the Lord or to thank him for what he has done.

Among special guests at a reception after the meeting were the Dutch Ambassador, J. C. Henneman, and British Ambassador, Sian MacLeod, who expressed her appreciation for the work of The Salvation Army

A benefit concert at the theatre in the evening was hosted by TV presenters Adéla en Dalibor Gondík. Well-known Czech artists gave their services, including singer Ilona Csáková, boys choir Boni Puerí, and the band Poste Restante. During the programme Pavla Vopelakova, assistant to the national leader, spoke about the work of The Salvation Army in the Czech Republic.

Sunday began with a meeting in The Salvation Army’s hostel in Prague, during which Wil van Vliet and Envoy Koos Tinga received certificates recognizing their exceptional service to The Salvation Army. Both are Dutch Salvationists and employees who have been involved with the work in the Czech Republic since it restarted. Tonda Plachy and Pavla Vopelakova were also recognized with certificates.

A highlight in this meeting was the appointment of Pavol and Petra Kristofovi as envoys. After the ceremony conducted by the territorial commander, the Dutch bandsmen and other Dutch visitors sang a benediction based on words from Numbers 6. The benediction is not known in Czech but after the commissioner explained the words and the final ‘Amen’ was sung the congregation responded with a long reverential silence.

The afternoon open-air meeting caught the attention of people who were out enjoying the lovely weather. Many stopped to listen and Czech Salvationists were able to talk with some of them about faith and the gospel of Jesus.

Many contacts were made during these days of celebrations and the Czech Salvation Army was able to testify about the Lord Jesus in different ways and to many people.

March through Prague

Rockets and Levy Restaurants to Serve Up Thanksgiving Meals for 150 Women and Children from The Salvation Army

The Houston Rockets will team up with Levy Restaurants to serve an early Thanksgiving meal to 150 women and children from the local chapter of The Salvation Army. The meal will be prepared by Levy Restaurants chefs and served by Rockets players, coaches, their wives and team executives. Clutch, the Rockets lovable mascot, will also be on hand to provide holiday cheer and entertainment.

Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010
1:30 PM (following the conclusion of practice)

Toyota Center
94-95 Room (US Level)
**Media should sign in and enter through the Administration Entrance**

Rockets players, coaches, their wives and team executives
Rockets mascot Clutch

Mobile Bell Ringer – How To Guide

Lubbock Kettle Kick Off

Mayor Tom Martin

Advisory Board Member, Coach Marsha Sharp with Captain Morton

Ribbon Cutting for the Kettle Kick-Off

Marsha Sharp making the first donation!

Marsha Sharp putting her donation into the bucket.

The Cactus Itty Bittys

Captains Mike and Nettie Morton, with Regional Resource Development Director Kimberly Lueb

The Salvation Army Angel Tree Kick-Off

There are thousands of angels needing your help this season and today is the first opportunity to select one. Angels are available at over twenty locations across Tyler (see list below) from Wal-Mart to On the Border. All new and unwrapped angel tree gifts must be returned to an angel tree location or The Salvation Army by December 10th. This year angels may also be selected online through JCPenney at This is a great program because gifts can be selected and shipped directly to The Salvation Army at no additional charge. The Salvation Army is so grateful for this wonderful partnership with JCPenney which allows for even more people to join in and contribute to this cause which is so necessary and good. A big thank you goes to the Pollard United Methodist Church and Ed King with Chick-Fil-A who have graciously provided over 300 bicycles for the angel tree recipients. In addition to these groups we are thankful for the many volunteers who year after year make this program a priority in their lives and work together to organize and make it happen. Without their commitment and work, thousands of low-income children and elderly would go without the joyous memory of opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning.

After a year of financial struggle and a particularly draining summer for so many East Texans, more and more families have realized their inability to provide Christmas gifts for their children this Christmas. This is an emotionally difficult realization for parents as they think of the disappointment their child will face on Christmas morning and ridicule at school when their child is asked what they “got for Christmas”. This is an added stress that no parent should have to face—especially when already facing the stress of the struggle to make ends meet. These parents may feel that their situation is hopeless, but, thankfully, there is hope for these families this Christmas! This is where the community is called to step up and embrace these families by providing the gifts low-income parents and guardians wish they could afford to give their children but simply cannot.

Angel Tree is a great way the community can be directly involved in helping their neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet and provide Christmas gifts for their children. We have complete faith in the generosity of the Tyler community to rise to meet this need as it always has in the past. We cannot continue to provide hope without the support of the Tyler community through financial donations and in-kind donations. Help us provide hope this Christmas season as we ensure the excitement of Christmas day for hundreds of low-income families. Visit to donate or call 903-592-4361 for more information on how you can help. Thank you for the wonderful support and generosity the Tyler community is always willing to provide and share. Without you we could do nothing!

2010 Angel Tree Locations
• Hideaway Lake Clubhouse- 101 Hideaway Lane, Hideaway, TX 75771
• Wal-Mart Supercenter- 6801 S. Broadway, Tyler, TX 75703
• Austin Bank of Whitehouse- 100 Horton, Whitehouse, TX 75791
• Trane A/C Company- 6200 Troup Hwy, Tyler, TX 75791
• TJC Student Activities Rogers Student Center- 1400 Fifth St., Tyler, TX 75701
• Regions Bank- (various locations) 100 E. Ferguson ,Tyler, TX 75701
• Wal-Mart #1022- 3820 Hwy. 64 West, Tyler, TX 75704
• Suddenlink- 3015 SSE Loop 323, Tyler, TX 75701
• Harvest Church Int.- 3034 McDonald Rd., Tyler, TX 75701
• UT Tyler- 3900 University Blvd., Tyler, TX 75701
• UT Tyler (HPC building, 3rd floor)- 3900 University Blvd., Tyler, TX 75701
• TK Gorman- 1405 ESE Loop 323, Tyler, TX 75701
• The Cascades- 4511 Briarwood Dr., Tyler, TX 75703
• All Saints Episcopal School- 2695 SSW Loop 323, Tyler, TX 75709
• Biolife Plasma Services- 1827 W. Gentry Pkwy. Tyler, TX 75702
• First Bank & Trust- 2211 Three Lakes Pkwy, Tyler, TX 75703
• Rose Heights Church of God- 2120 Old Omen Rd., Tyler, TX 75701
• On the Border- 4301 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler, TX 75703
• Texas Bank & Trust- 6530 S. Broadway ,Tyler, TX 75703
• Woodcreek Athletic Club- 6110 S. Broadway, Tyler, TX 75703
• Broadway Square Mall- 4601 S Broadway, Tyler TX 75703

Local Celebrities and Top Chefs team up for the 9th Annual Pro-AM Celebrity Turkey Carving Contest

Houston, TX (November 17, 2009) – On Thursday, November 18, 2010. The Salvation Army, Greater Houston Area Command will offer an early Thanksgiving Day meal to members of the public at their 9th Annual Celebrity Pro-Am Turkey Carving Contest scheduled to take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in downtown Houston, at One Allen Center. For a donation of only $7, participants will enjoy exquisite Thanksgiving Day meals prepared by some of Houston’s finest restaurants, including Reggae Hut, Hilton Americas, Doubletree Hotel, Arcodoro, HESS Corporation, Spindletop, Vic & Anthony’s and the House of Blues. Each restaurant will be partnered with a local celebrity and together they will compete for various prizes. All interested members of the media are invited to attend!

Local Celebrities
Top Chefs
The Salvation Army

9th Annual Celebrity Pro-Am Turkey Carving Contest

One Allen Center
500 Dallas St.
Houston, TX  77002

Thursday, November 18, 2010
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


  • Celebrity Teams competing for Prettiest Bird, Best Carver, Best Presentation, and Grand Champions
  • Exquisite meal with turkeys and sides galore prepared by some of Houston’s finest restaurants
  • Entertainment by the Harbor Light Choir
  • Celebrity Awards Presentation

To raise proceeds for The Salvation Army, Greater Houston Area Command’s 2010 Christmas Assistance program, which each year serves over 30,000 local individuals and families across Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.