The Salvation Army’s California South Division honored Hank Hilty, president and CEO of the A.F. Gilmore Co., owner of the Original Farmers Market, at the Christmas Kettle luncheon on Dec. 15 at the Biltmore Hotel.
The luncheon is an annual event for the Salvation Army’s Los Angeles Metro Advisory Board. Comedian and long-time NBC4 weatherman Fritz Coleman and Lisa Guerrero, host of “Inside Edition,” served as masters of ceremony.
Hilty was recognized for his many years of dedication to the Salvation Army. The Hilty family’s support for the Salvation Army dates back to his great grandfather, Earl B. Gilmore, who in 1968 donated 540 acres of land for what is now Camp Gilmore near Calabasas. The camp allows thousands of children from underserved communities to experience the outdoors every summer, many for the first time.
Hilty joined the Salvation Army Los Angeles Metropolitan Advisory Board in 1983 and has served on the Advisory Council for The Way In program, which helps disadvantaged young adults in Hollywood. The Original Farmers Market also hosted the Salvation Army’s Kettle Kick-off event for years, launching the organization’s red kettle fundraising drive each holiday season.
“My family has a 100-year history of supporting the Salvation Army and I am proud to have played a role in carrying on that tradition and honored for the recognition,” Hilty said. “It has been my pleasure to serve the Army in a variety of different volunteer capacities over the years and to witness, first hand, all of their great works. I am constantly amazed by the number of people the Army has helped and know they will continue to do so.”
The Salvation Army has experienced an increase in the need for services since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2021, the Salvation Army provided more than 200,000 nights of housing for families and individuals in L.A. County, and more than 500,000 meals to individuals at youth and family centers. The organization also helped more than 1,500 veterans with employment placement and is currently distributing thousands of toys and food boxes to families. Donations can be made by visiting socalredkettle.org. For information, visit westernusa.salvationarmy.org/california-south.
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