The Harvard Square Business Association (HSBA) in partnership with the City of Cambridge, The Salvation Army, and the Rotary Club of Cambridge, invite the public to join in a celebration acknowledging the significant contribution made to The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign by Ed VerPlanck, the recently departed Cambridge businessman and long-time owner of Dickson Bros. Hardware in Harvard Square.
Rain or shine, the remembrance will take place at noon on Monday, November 23rd on Brattle Plaza directly in front of Dickson Bros. located at 26 Brattle Street. Cambridge Mayor, David P. Maher will be on hand to read a City Council proclamation announcing November 23rd as Edward P. VerPlanck Day in Cambridge.
In the 1980’s, Ed, a member of the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army Cambridge Corps Community Center, requested a table top kettle that he could place next to the cash register in Dickson Brother Hardware. That small effort grew into kettles being placed at TAGS in Porter Square and the Bob Slate Stationery stores.
Capitalizing on the program’s success, Ed organized members of the Cambridge Rotary Club to ring bells at Salvation Army red kettles in the major squares of Cambridge every year on the first Friday of December.
Ed saw the need for additional funds to support the increasing number of human service programs at the Cambridge Salvation Army. To address the need, Ed recruited other organizations to “staff” a kettle in front of their business one day during the holiday season. Many responded, including Cambridge Savings Bank, Cambridge Masonic Lodge, Cambridge Trust Company, East Cambridge Savings Bank Company, MIT, Mount Auburn Hospital, and the Cambridge Corps Advisory Board.
Last December, despite his illness, Ed stood for two hours in front of the COOP, greeting his many friends while ringing the bell, drawing attention to the little red kettle. His determination never wavered; $10,965 was collected in 2014.
Over the 32 years, Ed’s efforts helped raise $396,000 for the many programs of The Salvation Army.
In addition to Ed’s family and the community, political and civic leaders are expected to attend along with representatives from the Harvard Square Business Association, The Salvation Army, and the Rotary Club of Cambridge.
A Salvation Army ensemble will provide seasonal music and their Emergency Disaster Service Canteen will provide refreshments for all.