A generous Modesto starts the season of giving

November 22, 2013 

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The Modesto Bee

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BRIAN RAMSAY — Modesto Bee Buy Photo

Maj. Kyle Trimmer is impressed.

The man who, with his wife (the other Maj. Trimmer), oversees the Modesto Citadel Corps has never seen anything like the Kettle Kickoff.

“We’ve been here since July, and we’ve seen an outpouring of a gracious community,” said Trimmer. “But to see 1,500 people there for the express purpose of reaching out and touching other people’s lives, it really took us back.”

The Kickoff, once a uniquely Modesto celebration that is now being replicated in 11 other communities nationwide, raised $200,000. That was $20,000 more than was raised this year in Monterey. Why is that important?

Hugh Barton, who co-founded the Kickoff with Bette Belle Smith, died on Wednesday, the day before the Kickoff. In one of his last conversations, he told his son Jim, “Those people in Modesto had better get with it because the people in Monterey had $180,000.”

Well, the people of Modesto, once again, did get with it.

“We’ve been in larger communities,” said Trimmer. “We were in Long Beach for four years, and, not to knock Long Beach, but every year we had to go out and buy toys. Here, we’ve had toys coming in. We’ve had people coming in to volunteer to ring the bells. This community really reaches out.

“It’s breathtaking.”

Glad we gave the Majors Trimmer such a nice welcome.

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