The Mayoral Red Kettle Challenge is a long-standing holiday tradition in Mansfield and nearby towns. The challenge, also known as the Salvation Army Mayoral Challenge, began in 2009 with the mayors from Arlington, Dalworthington Gardens, Kennedale, Pantego and Mansfield competing to raise the most money for the Salvation Army. Last year, Mayor David Cook and his fellow city council members stood at the Walmart on Walnut Creek Drive, and raised more than any other town in the challenge. They'll be back at the same Walmart this year on Saturday, December 12, from 10am to 8pm and they're hoping to break records this year. Arlington mayor, Jeff Williams, will be at the Walmart on Randol Mill Road at the same time and is looking to take the challenge. Help support Mansfield this year by heading out to the Walmart on Walnut Creek Drive and donating!
Mansfield has been an integral part of the Red Kettle Challenge since the competition's first year. However, it is in most recent years that Mansfield has developed a reputation as the winner of the challenge. In 2011, Mayor Robert Cluck, of Arlington, raised just over $11,000 to win the event. In 2012, Mayor David Cook raised $12,000, and one year later, Mayor Cook raised a shocking $22,000 to keep the trophy in the town. It was Mayor David Cook's fourth win. In 2014, the Salvation Army decided to honor the mayor who raised the most for the challenge.
Fun for the Whole Family
The Red Kettle Challenge has turned into far more than your typical day of Salvation Army donations at Wal Mart. Mayors Cook and Cluck have been trying to one-up each other for years. Cook has been urging people to donate the big bucks by providing live music, cheerleaders and other entertainers. In 2011, mayor Cluck had the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders rooting for everyone who gave a donation. The healthy and heartwarming competition has turned into an event that the locals anticipate every year.
Most importantly, the Red Kettle Challenge raises tons of money for the Salvation Army, which supports family shelters, summer camps, soup kitchens and countless other charities throughout the year. The event has raised anywhere from $272,000 to $492,000 in the Mansfield and Arlington areas over the years, which has helped thousands of those who need it.
"This is a special time of year, but one where many people are struggling. It's important to help those in need anytime we can and I think that's why this challenge means so much to me and the City of Arlington," Mayor Cluck said.