04 December 2015

GENERAL André Cox became the first international leader of The Salvation Army to participate in the USA's national Christmas Kettle fundraising campaign launch, sponsored by the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoying his first American Thanksgiving as well as his first American football game, the General joined Jerry Jones (Owner, Dallas Cowboys) and USA National Commander Commissioner David Jeffrey in a number of promotional events.

The events started the day before the game with a national 'satellite media tour'. The tour allowed live interviews with the General, Commissioner Jeffrey and Mr Jones by cutting into local and national live television news broadcasts across the United States. This was followed by a taping of the first official donation into the kettle by members of the Jones family backed by a stage full of Salvationists.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Jones family hosted the General and those accompanying him to a Thanksgiving feast. During this event, the General presented Mr Jones with a special bowl that celebrated US$2 billion raised through Salvation Army Christmas kettles since the Cowboys launched the national Christmas Kettle Kickoff 19 years ago. Mr Jones presented the General with a signed Dallas Cowboys football helmet.

The launch officially took place during the half-time interval of the game, which was between Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers, with music provided by country star Luke Bryan. More than 80,000 fans in the stadium joined a national television audience of 32 million – and millions more worldwide – to make this one of the most successful Christmas Kettle Kickoffs since the event began.

'We are grateful to the Dallas Cowboys for their deep commitment to The Salvation Army not only during the Christmas season but throughout the year,' said the General. 'The value of the broadcast time is valued in the tens of millions of dollars each year and yet the Cowboys are unflinching in their support of our efforts. Because of them we will be able to reach 30 million people in the USA with much needed-services.' 

Report by Lieut-Colonel Allen Satterlee
Editor-in-Chief, USA National Headquarters

Tags: Americas and Caribbean, The General