During National Salvation Army Week, set for May 13 to 19, the Mahoning County Corps will play host to two separate events to continue its mission of serving the needy while saying thanks to all those who have in the past, and continue to, support their efforts.
"It will allow us to give thanks to all the groups and individuals who have supported the Salvation Army," said Major Elijah Kahn, leader of the Mahoning County Salvation Army.
Kahn explained that the group was formed in London, England, in 1865 by then-Methodist minister William Booth. It was originally known as the North London Christian Mission. In 1878, Booth reorganized the mission and set up in a quasi-military structure and became its first general. That structure remains intact to this day.
The Salvation Army presents the Pendel Brass and Singers from Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware at 7 p.m. Friday, May 3 at Tabernacle Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
The mission of the Salvation Army has always been to provide help to those in need. Its social service work began in the United States in 1880. It is said that each year the organization supports more than 30 million Americans through a variety of programs that includes transitional and family shelters, feeding programs, senior centers, adult rehabilitation, education, athletic programs for kids, and more.
"In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation declaring the first National Salvation Army Week," Kahn said.
The week of recognition continued and this year, the Mahoning County Salvation Army decided it was a good time to thank those who have supported the efforts to help those in need. Two concerts are being planned with the first one taking place at 7 p.m. Friday, May 3 at Tabernacle Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 2432 South Raccoon Road, Austintown. The event will feature The Pendel Brass and Singers from Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.
"This will be a free concert," Kahn said. "We are encouraging those who can to bring a canned food item to place in a barrel to help feed those in need."
On May 15, a second concert is being planned at the Lake Club in Poland. This will be the 2013 Salvation Army Civic Dinner. Kahn said it is a way to say thanks to those who have helped them help others. He also mentioned that this event would have ticket sales for the dinner. The proceeds will go to help 60 needy children by providing them scholarships to attend a summer camp.
The Lake Club event will feature the music of the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble. There will also be some special awards given out to groups that have been longtime supporters of the local Salvation Army. One of those awards will be given to the UAW 1112 from the Paint Shop at General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant.
"They have supported us for the past 10 years," Kahn said. "We want to say thanks."