Published: Jan 10, 2011 5:21 PM EST
Updated: Jan 10, 2011 2:21 PM EST

FORT MYERS- The Salvation Army of Lee and Hendry Counties is hoping it will come very close to reaching its goal of $550,000 from the 2010 Red Kettle program.The final amount of funds raised through cash donations was $535,000; however The Salvation Army will also add be adding monies raised from the sale of a record nine gold coins that were donated this year.

The nine coins, which were all provided by anonymous donors, are worth approximately $1,400-$1,600 dollars each and will be auctioned off later this month.

Total numbers of those helped by The Salvation Army during the 2010 Christmas season aren’t complete yet however initial figures show that several hundred additional families were served during Christmas Cheer Distribution in 2010 compared to 2009.

“We are so thankful and grateful not only to the people that donated these coins, but also by the generosity from the residents here in Southwest Florida,” said Major Tom Louden, Corps Officer. “We were behind by $50,000 at one point during the campaign and to think that we may actually meet our goal is amazing. We are truly blessed to be a part of such a caring and supportive community.”

Louden is also thanking the media for their support during the campaign. “The local media was very helpful when it came to getting our message out to the community this year,” said Louden. “That support honestly could not have come at a better time. “