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Former MLB star Darryl Strawberry Keynote Speaker at Tree of Lights Kickoff Luncheon on November 3

St. Louis, Mo. – The 2016 Salvation Army Tree of Lights campaign will begin November 1 with the annual Tree of Lights kickoff luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 3 at NEO on Locust. Former major league baseball player Darryl Strawberry is the keynote speaker at this year’s luncheon.

darryl2Darryl Strawberry is an ordained minister and co-founder of Strawberry Ministries. He is a four time World Series champion, with 8 All-Star appearances and was the 1988 Major League home run leader. Though Darryl was extremely successful in his career, his personal life was plagued with addictions, abuse, divorces, cancer, jail-time and other issues. Darryl finally found true redemption and restoration in Jesus Christ. Darryl Strawberry will share his personal story entitled, “Knowing God’s Will.”

The Tree of Lights iconic red kettles and bell ringers will begin to appear throughout the Bi-state area on November 18. The monetary goal of this year’s Tree of Lights campaign will be announced at the kickoff luncheon.

The Tree of Lights campaign is the largest annual fundraising event for The Salvation Army. All monies raised during the Tree of Lights campaign stays local and 86 cents of every dollar goes into funding our programs and services year round for women and children, seniors, youth, the homeless, our military veterans and during times of disasters. The Tree of Lights campaign represents a substantial portion of The Salvation Army’s year-round operating budget. 2016 marks the 69th annual Tree of Lights campaign in the St. Louis region. Larry Otto, U.S. Bank St. Louis Market President will serve for the second consecutive year as the Tree of Lights Honorary Chair.

Last year, The Salvation Army provided nearly over 107,000 meals to hungry men, women and children, nearly 85,000 nights of shelter to the community’s homeless, over 31,000 grocery orders to families in need, and over 95,000 Christmas toys and gifts.

Each year The Salvation Army assists thousands of families in Missouri and Southern Illinois. You can help by donating by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or online donations to the Tree of Lights Campaign at: stlsalvationarmy.org or text TREEOFLIGHTS to 41444.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 86 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.