Forest Grove officials duke it out to raise the most cash for Salvation Army

by: CHASE ALLGOOD - Local ring off heats up.On your mark, get set, Ring!

It’s male against female, fire truck against police car, Oregon against Washington in Forest Grove’s first Celebrity Ring-off this evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

For one hour, Forest Grove residents will get to cast their monetary votes for one of three contestants: Police Chief Janie Schutz, Fire Chief Michael Kinkade or Mayor Pete Truax, who will all be ringing bells downtown to raise money for The Salvation Army’s food-box program in Washington County. Whoever raises the most money wins.

There is no religious requirement for food boxes, said Emmanuel Masango, a lieutenant with the Salvation Army’s Washington County office in Hillsboro. “If somebody walks in and says ‘I’m in need,’ we give them a box,” Masango said. “We don’t ask them anything about their faith.”

Last year the program’s $50,000 budget provided 3,300 food boxes — a quarter of which went to families in Cornelius and Forest Grove, Masango said. The inaugural ring-off, conducted in Hillsboro last year, raised $3,000 for the program. This year, the Salvation Army is expanding the ring-off to Beaverton and Forest Grove.

To help those who can’t decide where to cast their coins (or bills), the News-Times offered the rivals a chance to make their cases.

Police Chief Janie “Underdog” Schutz will be in front of Summa Realty, 2012 Main St.

"The organizers want me to go up against two formidable opponents who have been in town for years. However, Forest Grove is big on attracting new people, so let’s support the newest person in town, and let’s support the woman! This police chief is not just sitting back and accepting the fact that a man is going to win. Some people might write off a woman winning, so I want to appeal to all the women out there to send a message by donating to my red kettle. Women can do a traditionally male job and do it very well. Of course, some might say I’m at a vehicle disadvantage too. I understand that most people see the blue and red lights of a police car behind them and they start to shiver, while on the other hand, everyone thinks fire trucks are great. I know Kinkade’s going to pull a fire truck up there by his red kettle to draw donors ... I just hope he has it legally parked. Yeah, everyone loves firemen, but just remember — if there’s a hot call, a dangerous call like “shots fired,” it’s the police who have to clear the scene before anyone can go in. Medical and fire personnel will wait until the police say the scene is safe. One thing the fire chief and I agree on though — we both may want to win, but as long as one of us beats the mayor, we’re happy!"

Fire Chief Michael “Good Guy” Kinkade will be in front of A Framer’s Touch, 1920 21st Ave.

"Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee began this noble tradition in 1891 in San Francisco, where he set up a pot on Market Street with a large sign stating, 'Keep the Pot Boiling.' He raised enough money to feed the poor that Christmas. I understand Mayor Truax was one of McFee’s first contributors. And speaking of the mayor, I encourage everyone to forgive and forget his long history as a politician. Also his long-standing support of the Washington Huskies. And I’m sure his wearing of a Seahawks hat is purely accidental. I would also never want anyone to hold a grudge against our police chief because of a past traffic citation or jaywalking ticket. And I’m sure we can all look past that comment she made the other day: 'Why does it always rain here?' No, I would never want to influence anyone into contributing more money to my kettle than that of a politician or a gun-wielding enforcer-of-the-law. I’d just like to remind people of the fire department’s long history of giving and assisting this wonderful community. It’s just our nature. We like helping people. If you do kindly decide to contribute to my kettle, I will be standing next to one of our large fire trucks that saves people daily, under the proudly displayed large American flag, with several good-looking firefighters — and free candy canes. 

Mayor Pete “Desperate” Truax will be in front of Valley Art, 2022 Main St.

"The Top Ten reasons" for donating to the mayor's Salvation Army kettle:

10.  It gives you a reason to go into Valley Art and buy some really weird lawn sculpture.

9.  If you put money into the kettle of the Chief of Police, it still won't keep you from getting a speeding ticket on 19th Avenue.

8.  If you put money into the Fire Chief's kettle, that doesn't mean you will get to drive the engine or sound the siren.

7.  Contributing to the mayor's kettle will automatically enter you into a drawing for a free whitewater rafting trip down the Tualatin River with Ray Giansante.

6.  Walking out to drop money in the mayor's kettle might keep you away from Grendel's when the dart thrower misses the board.

5.  You might win an autographed replica of Mike Hundley's high school yearbook picture as he impersonates the Heisman Trophy.

4.  You can pose with the Traeger Pig in front of Van Dyke's on your way to donate.

3.  Retiring football official Carl Heisler will give you an extra down.

2.  ACE Hardware will sell you even more LED holiday lights.

And (drum roll, please) the number one reason why you should donate to the mayor's Salvation Army kettle is ... you could win a picture of the entire Forest Grove City Council! You know ... Doc, Dopey, Bashful, Grumpy, etc.

The real reason?

Giving will make you feel good, and whether you give to the mayor's kettle or to those of the police or fire chief, it will help make this holiday season a little bit brighter for someone else. Thanks, and Happy Holidays! 

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