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Tree of Lights at Northwoods Mall

The Peoria Salvation Army launched its annual Tree of Lights Campaign at Northwoods Mall Monday night November 15, as three large donations gave the organization a running start toward meeting its $1.7 million fundraising goal.

Those donations provided $440,518.72 to provide shelter, food, and other services for people suffering economic hardships.

“The Salvation Army has continued to provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even throughout the pandemic,” said Mike Leali, who is this year’s campaign chair along with family. He led the first Tree of Lights effort in Peoria 34 years ago.

The Women’s Auxiliary presented a $110,000 check from the Hope Marches On fundraiser earlier this month. The Peoria Advisory Board presented a check for $98,223, and Echelon Peoria, a group of mainly young people, presented a check for $23,500.