Bothell Police Chief Kenneth Seuberlich ranked first in The Salvation Army Battle of the Badges Ring Off Challenge — a competition that pins law enforcement and fire officials against one another to raise money for a good cause.
It was the first to take place on the Eastside, with Seuberlich, Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett and Bellevue Fire Chief Jay Hagen competing. On Nov. 23, all three stood outside Fred Meyer stores in Bothell and Bellevue with small bells and the red kettles used for Salvation Army donation collection.
The winner was calculated using a per-hour average. Seuberlich wrangled up about $211 per hour, for a total of $844. Hagen came in second ($142 per hour) and third was Mylett ($92 per hour). Because of his win, Seuberlich won the Golden Kettle trophy, one that will be transported to departments that win.
“The Salvation Army is such an important community partner and offers tremendous support to thousands of Bellevue residents,” Mylett said. “The (competition) was a huge success, and both Chief Hagen and I were honored to join Chief Seuberlich to raise over $1,500 collectively.”
Zacharie Harvey, center director for the Salvation Army Eastside community center, said next year he plans on more fire and police departments participating in the challenge. Maybe even all Eastside chiefs will get involved, he said.
“The goal is really trying to get the community to come support them in the challenge,” Harvey said.
Because more community support means more dollars to fund things such as the Salvation Army’s eviction protection program and utility shut off prevention program, to prevent people from sleeping in cold temperatures or losing their housing.
“Our organization found it was a lot easier to prevent people from being out on the street than to place in housing after they’re already out on the street. We stop that cycle from even starting by keeping people in homes and their power and water turned on,” Harvey said.
And that spare change collected in the red kettles is important. A large chunk of budget dollars comes directly from the holiday collection.
“If everyone (donated) $0.50, $0.50 starts to add up over time,” Harvey said. “It’s so vitally important to raise as much money as possible to continue the programs on the Eastside.”