Auto Body Students Repair Salvation Army Kettle Stands

Auto Body Technology students at Canadian Valley Technology Center have been restoring worn out sign panels and stands that hold the familiar Salvation Army red donation kettles. Students are using the skills they have acquired to refinish the stands free of charge. Pictured (back row, from left) is Seth Weyhrich, of Chickasha, and Auto Body instructor Loyd Conner. Kneeling (from left) is Kaylyn Dole, of Rush Springs, Tramell Harper, of Chickasha, Zac Freeman, of Ninnekah, Ty Pool, of Ninnekah, James Roberts, of Tuttle, Aron Hopkins, of Chickasha, and Nathan Adair, of Ninnekah.

November 15, 2016

CHICKASHA – Weeks before any cash is dropped into the familiar red Salvation Army kettles this holiday season, a gift of another kind has been presented to the local branch of the international charity.

Students enrolled in the Auto Body Technology program at Canadian Valley Technology Center repaired 14 Salvation Army kettle stands as a community service project.

The portable stands hold the matching red kettles. Each stand is expected to be placed strategically throughout the area this winter at designated collection sites.

Kettle donations are distributed through a network of 7,500 Salvation Army centers nationwide in support of the charity’s mission that includes combating poverty, hunger and homelessness and providing services for veterans.

Many of the stands have been in circulation for several years and have not aged well, said CV Tech’s Auto Body instructor Loyd Conner.

“The paint was chipping badly and peeling all over,” Conner said. “Many of them had been painted before with spray cans, so we removed all of that.

“I have seen these kettle stands for years. They’re just getting worn out and are in bad shape.”

Auto Body students provided free repairs of the kettle stands using knowledge they acquired in class. They straightened dents on the metal sign panels, which rest on the stands, and then primed and painted both the panels and the stands. Students also re-welded metal brackets that hold the panel signs.

Conner said Brock Marshall, owner and manager of Napa Auto Parts of Chickasha, supplied the paint.

Students said they appreciated the fact the project was a departure from the norm in class.

“The Salvation Army is a great organization,” said Seth Weyhrich, a Chickasha adult student. “They help out tons of people every year – not just in our community – but everywhere. Having a small part in helping a greater good is gratifying to me.”

Classmate and Rush Springs High School junior Kaylyn Dole said she enjoyed getting a break from working on cars as well.

“It’s nice to make the stands look nicer,” Dole said. “These catch your attention. It’s nice to fix something up to help so that people can put money into them and in turn help others.”