Minnesota Salvation Army kettle gets $500,000 check

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Salvation Army has wasted little time cashing this donation-bucket check.

Salvation Army officials in Minnesota and North Dakota say a couple dropped a $500,000 check into a red kettle Saturday outside a Cub Foods in suburban Minneapolis.

Spokeswoman Annette Bauer says it's the biggest check ever in the Minneapolis area and likely the biggest ever in the two states.

Bauer says the couple has a history of donations and prefers to remain anonymous. She said they alerted Salvation Army officials that the check was coming and asked them to open the kettle and remove the check before volunteers who count donations could see their names.

Bauer called it "an astonishing gift" at a time when the division was running about a half-million dollars behind the same point last year.

Despite this generous donation, this money will serve for those in need in Minnesota. The Salvation Army National Capital Area is asking for those in the D.C. region to donate locally. Go to www.onlineredkettle.org/nationalcapitalareacommand for more information.