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posted: 12/13/2012 5:06 PM

Donor drops four $5,000 checks in Naperville Salvation Army kettles

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An anonymous donor has deposited four checks of $5,000 each in Salvation Army red kettles during the past two weeks in Naperville.

The donor, who officials say wishes to remain anonymous, made his donations Nov. 29 and Dec. 4 in two separate kettles.

The first two $5,000 checks were found in a red kettle at the Target store at 1188 W. Boughton Road. The third and fourth checks were found in the kettle at Trader Joe's at 44 W. Gartner Road.

In addition to the cumulative donation of $20,000, the same donor announced he will match all donations, up to $5,000, that are made through Christmas Eve at the red kettle at Casey's Foods, 124 Gartner Road.

"This is an extraordinary act of generosity that our kettles in this region have never seen before," Salvation Army spokeswoman Alyse Chadwick Chung said. "At this point, the donor is pledging as much as $30,000 with the matching funds."

The donations came around the same time a gold South African Krugerrand valued near $1,700 was found Nov. 30 in the kettle at Casey's. Officials don't believe the donations are connected.

"Nothing would surprise me any more at that location," said Cpt. Antonio Romero, Corps Officer at The Salvation Army Aurora Corps Community Center. "That kettle is always full from the generosity of the kind folks in that region, but this has just been awesome. It will make Christmas that much better for some families in need."

This year's campaign goal is to raise $12.5 million. The familiar red kettles were on the street and in shopping areas beginning Nov. 16, and will be removed on Christmas Eve. The campaign will continue online and over the phone through Jan. 31.

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