On December 23rd, as much of Connecticut was covered in a sheet of ice, WTIC AM 1080 and The Salvation Army were broadcasting live from Avon Old Farms Hotel for the final day of the 2017 Holiday Store. The slick conditions did nothing to deter people from stopping by the Holiday Store to drop off donations in the form of checks and bags filled with toys.
This year marked the 28th anniversary of the WTIC AM 1080 Holiday Store which benefits the programs and services of The Salvation Army - it might just have been the most successful year yet! Thanks to a few last minute donations before the Holiday Store was set to close at noon, the final total was boosted over $230,000. A new record!
The Holiday Store ran from December 8th to December 23rd at four different locations – Avon Old Farms Hotel, Homewood Suites by Hilton Hartford South-Glastonbury, Bank of America at City Place in Hartford and Farmington Bank in West Hartford. Along with cash donations, toys for 1,700 children were collected, as well as food for local Salvation Army food pantries that will carry them well into the New Year.
Major Roger Duperree, Divisional Secretary of the Southern New England Division of The Salvation Army, says the money also goes toward essential services, such as shelters, feeding programs, anti-human trafficking programs and more.
“It never ceases to amaze me, the outpouring of support from the community,” said Duperree. “Having just come off several national and internal disasters, for which our loyal donors gave generously, we were uncertain if we would meet our goal. As has always been the case, WTIC AM 1080 loyal listeners came through again. We truly couldn’t do it without WTIC!”
During the annual campaign, WTIC 1080’s Ray Dunaway ran his show from the Holiday Store each day, with Todd Feinburg and Pastor Will Marotti filling in during the afternoon hours for a few of the days the Holiday Store was open.
During Pastor Will’s broadcasts, he’s fond of what he likes to call “texting parties” where he challenges listeners to text to give (Text WTIC to 41444) during specific periods of time. This year, all funds raised during the texting parties supported The Salvation Army’s Anti-Human Trafficking program, an issue Pastor Will is particularly passionate about.
During the different times Pastor Will held his texting parties, thousands of dollars were raised which will also be matched by a generous donor through The Salvation Army’s Bloom Initiative, serving Greater Hartford.
Another highlight of the Holiday Store was a check presentation from Walmart for $100,000 that will go towards supporting The Salvation Army’s feeding programs throughout the state.
Of course, the WTIC 1080 Holiday Store would not be possible if it wasn’t for the generous support of our sponsors. We wish to thank: Bank of America, United Technologies Corporation, the Home Builders & Remodelers Association, Farmington Bank, Connecticut Lighting Centers and Restoration Lighting Gallery, People’s United Bank, Sunlight Construction Inc., American Eagle Financial Credit Union, Day Pitney LLP, Simsbury Bank, Quinoco Energy Services, Connecticut Mattress, Eversource Energy, Aetna, Avon Old Farms Hotel , Homewood Suites by Hilton Hartford South-Glastonbury.
The Salvation Army would also like to thank WTIC – the station, its management, the production crew, and the on-air talent for giving their all to help and we certainly wish to thank the WTIC listening audience whose support makes the Holiday Store a success.
If the icy weather on December 23rd scared you away, you can still support the 28th annual event or see how your gift is used locally by visiting