Major Andy Miller pointed out that the campaign was one month shorter than the previous campaign, officially ending at the end of December 2016.

A row of miniature 100 Grand candy bars provided a clever hint about the success of the Hannibal Salvation Army’s 2016 Tree of Lights Christmas Campaign.

Campaign Chairs Joseph and Sharon Welch commended volunteers and community members for their time and donations before they pulled the veil off of the campaign thermometer Tuesday, Jan. 10, at Hannibal National Bank North. The results spurred enthusiastic cheers and applause throughout the group of Salvation Army members and leaders: $103,412 was collected, marking the second straight year the Hannibal Salvation Army’s campaign exceeded its goal. Major Andy Miller pointed out that the campaign was one month shorter than the previous campaign, officially ending at the end of December 2016.

The Tree of Lights Christmas Campaign is the Salvation Army’s major fundraiser each year, with funds going toward community services like food, rental and utility assistance, transportation and clothing for residents in need in five Northeast Missouri counties. During the Christmas holiday, the Hannibal Salvation Army gave 600 families Christmas food baskets and 2,146 toys to 1,073 children from Toy Town. Through the combined efforts of Toy Town and Toys for Tots, 5,400 toys were distributed to children in the area.

“We’re very fortunate to live in a community where people help the less fortunate,” Joseph Welch said.

Welch also thanked the 366 volunteers who donated 793 volunteer hours to help make the campaign a success. For Frannie Altheide, advisory committee chairman, the campaign results echoed how so many members of the community joined together to make an impact for those who need it most.

“I find it humbling to help with this type of fundraiser because you truly appreciate the community your live in.”

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com