ARLINGTON, Texas – Academy of Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan, took the stage at AT&T Stadium to kick off The Salvation Army's 125th Red Kettle Campaign with a live nationally televised halftime performance during the Dallas Cowboys' game against the Carolina Panthers on CBS. The performance marked the 19th year of the partnership between the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army.
"There are many reasons to celebrate on Thanksgiving, and I am honored to perform on behalf of two iconic organizations to kick off the season of giving with the Red Kettle Campaign," said country music star Luke Bryan.
The campaign officially began with Bryan's live halftime performance and the inaugural Red Kettle donation from Jerry Jones, owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, and his family. Since teaming up in 1997, the collaboration of The Salvation Army and the Dallas Cowboys has raised more than $2 billion for the Red Kettle campaign, which provides America's most vulnerable with food, shelter and other support throughout the year. Bryan joined a star-studded list of past performers including Selena Gomez, Kenny Chesney, Enrique Iglesias, Keith Urban, Daughtry, Jonas Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Destiny's Child, Toby Keith, LeAnn Rimes, Creed, Jessica Simpson, Billy Gilman, Clint Black, Randy Travis and Reba McEntire.
"Luke Bryan not only embodies the spirit of service and the generosity of The Salvation Army, but he's an incredible performer and reigning Entertainer of the Year at the CMA and ACM Awards, and just this week, Favorite Male Country Artist at the AMA's. We knew he would be a perfect fit to kick off the Red Kettle Campaign," said Charlotte Jones Anderson, executive vice president and chief brand officer for the Dallas Cowboys and former national advisory chairperson for The Salvation Army. "The Salvation Army is an organization near and dear to my heart, and our team and organization are proud to lend our national stage to raise awareness of all the ways it helps America's most vulnerable and encourage donations to the kettles during this important fundraising season."
"The holiday season is our most crucial fundraising period, and a time when a lot of families are seeking our assistance," said Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. "The visibility that Luke Bryan and the Cowboys bring to our organization is invaluable to us."
Red Kettle Kickoff is just the beginning of an exciting Christmas season for The Salvation Army. In addition to the more than 25,000 red kettles being stationed in storefronts and on street corners nationwide, there will be numerous ways for the public to get involved.
RedKettleReason: The Salvation Army is continuing to encourage Americans to share their personal reasons for giving using #RedKettleReason. New this year, The Salvation Army will award one lucky winner of The Salvation Army Giving Spree Contest with a paid trip to New York City to participate in a "Giving Spree," to buy toys and necessities to benefit a Salvation Army program in their community. The Salvation Army Giving Spree shopping event will be featured on TODAY. Additional details about the contest can be found at RedKettleReason.org.
- Giving Tuesday: December 1 is known as Giving Tuesday, a day of charitable giving during the holiday season. The Salvation Army will raise awareness #GivingTuesday and encourage supporters to donate during a series of appearances on national and syndicated news and talk shows. In addition, the Giving Spree finalists will be announced.
- Sixth Annual Rock the Red Kettle Concert: For the second year, Becky G will headline the Rock the Red Kettle Concert. She will be joined by Jacob Whitesides and Jake Miller for the free concert at L.A. LIVE in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, December, 5, at 5 p.m. PT. A live stream of the concert will also be available at RedKettleReason.org.
- Walmart Fill the Truck: On three consecutive weekends from November 27 to December 13, participating stores across the country will be collecting toys and coats for children this holiday.
- Volunteer: For additional ways to volunteer and give back, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to find a local corps.
From its humble beginnings as a program started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. It provides toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers throughout the country ring bells and solicit donations to the red kettles.