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A 1978 solid gold Krugerrand coin worth $1,200 or more is up for grabs from The Waukesha Salvation Army.

An anonymous person donated the coin in a Mukwonago red kettle this month.

The organization is accepting bids through 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, by phone or email.

State of emergency

Last week, The Waukesha Salvation Army declared a “Red Kettle State of Emergency,” announcing that it has raised just $350,000 of its $700,000 goal.

The release said both the Milwaukee and Waukesha Salvation Army organizations and other Salvation Army corps around the country are struggling to meet their goals.

Officials said that this particular Christmas season has been very challenging because of heavy snow and frigid temperatures.

Waukesha Major Nelson De La Vergne said in a press release the bell ringers can’t risk being out in the severe cold.

“Kettle contributors are rushing past the kettle to reach the warmth inside the stores or inside their vehicles,” he said in a written statement.

The Waukesha Red Kettle campaign ends on Christmas Eve; the week leading up to it is a critical and peak time for donations.

The bulk of funds raised is donated by individuals, families, companies, foundations and estates.

In addition, the organization has presented the first in a series of its brass quintet Christmas concerts. The Salvation Army of Waukesha series is intended to add from $10,000 to $30,000 to the Red Kettle total both from ticket sales and from generous business and benefactor underwriting.

“Now, the series is challenging us financially, and may end up in the red, largely because of the weather, a frugal, limited advertising budget, and the resulting lack of buzz.” De La Vergne said in a written statement.

Possibility of cutting programs

The Waukesha Salvation Army is hoping for a successful Krugerrand auction this week. and financial resources for 2017 will be raised.

“We’re not trying to raise ten, or twenty, or fifty million dollars, but we truly do need to raise what is, to us, our vital goal of $700,000 since every dime of that and more is slated in 2017 to provide vital services and programs to those most in need in Waukesha County,” De La Vergne said in a statement.

According to the press release, if the Red Kettle campaign goal is not met, there is a possibility of programs and services being cut in the county.

“We would not be able to help a host of very vulnerable men, women and children who are truly in great need. That would be tragic,” De La Vergne said in a written statement.

Bids for the coin may be made day or night either by email to dakota.reeves@usc.salvationarmy.org, or by phone to 262-547-7367, ext. 228. Dakota Reeves is the executive assistant to The Salvation Army of Waukesha’s Corps Officer, Major Nelson De La Vergne.

To donate money, send a check to The Waukesha Salvation Army, 445 Madison Street, Waukesha, WI 53188 or donate online at www.usc.salvationarmy.org/Waukesha.

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