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Salvation Army celebrates 100 years in Grande Prairie

The Salvation Army is looking back on its time in Grande Prairie while also looking ahead. This weekend marks the 100th year the group has been running in the city. Captain Peter Kim says it’s an amazing feeling to hit the 100 mark.

“Just to celebrate 100 years in the community it’s quite a feat for any organization. To grow with the city and with the community it’s just really nice.”

The Salvation Army originally opened here in 1919 when the population of Grande Prairie was only 1040. Last year alone, over 12 thousand people volunteered for the group helping with the annual kettle campaign, the soup kitchen and food bank, handed out more than 4000 hampers and raised $521,000.

A full day of activities are planned on Saturday to celebrate including a free lunch and live music at 11:30 at the soup kitchen followed by an open house at 1 p.m. at the church building. The evening ends with a banquet dinner at 6 p.m. Then on Sunday, there will be a service followed by a potluck.

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Kim says this celebration isn’t just about looking at the past, it’s also about looking at what the group can do over the next 100 years.

“We want to focus more on the individual and the families and try to break intergenerational poverty. We are actually starting with case management for families who are struggling to ensure that they reach their goals… We’re actually going to journey with these people and help them get to that place of stability.”

Another project Kim says he’s excited to start in the next few months is the mobile canteen. It will provide hot meals to residents at The Rotary House and will also be used to feed first responders in case of an emergency.

A full list of events as well as banquet tickets can be found here.

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