Cincinnati (February 18, 2016) – The Salvation Army announced today that it received funds totaling $36,578 from Western & Southern Financial Group. The total amount includes $18,289 from visitor donations received this season at the Crib of the Nativity display at Eden Park’s Krohn Conservatory and an equal match from Western & Southern.
Since 1939, Western & Southern has sponsored the nativity display and for many years has matched the monetary gifts donated by those visiting the display. Since 1994, donations from visitors to the Christmas display and Western & Southern’s match have resulted in more than $250,000 donated to The Salvation Army.
“The Crib of the Nativity display is a true Cincinnati tradition,” said John F. Barrett, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern. “We are honored to partner with The Salvation Army on this and many other initiatives that help fulfill its mission of helping needy children and the homeless in the Greater Cincinnati region. Involvement in the community from individuals, organizations and businesses alike helps make Cincinnati a great place to call home.”
The Crib of the Nativity was first initiated by Western & Southern in 1939, where it was presented at Lytle Park. It quickly became a popular attraction at Christmastime, as visitors of all ages enjoyed the realistic nativity scene with live animals. Since 1954, the nativity has been presented in partnership with the Biedenharn family of Crittenden, Ky. The family of plant nurserymen and women has been dedicated to the nativity display for generations – building it, storing it, managing it, and providing and caring for the live animals.
During WWII the display temporarily moved to Union Terminal where it served an important role in both sending off and welcoming home troops serving the country. After the war, the display returned to Lytle Park then moved to Eden Park in the late 1960s when construction on I-71 necessitated a new site. Over the years, thousands have visited the display each Christmas season, and it has become a multi-generational tradition for many families who appreciate its simple message to “Keep Christ in Christmas.”
“We’re very grateful to all those who donate at the nativity display and Western & Southern’s matching gift year-after-year,” stated Major Larry Ashcraft, Divisional Commander at The Salvation Army. “Western & Southern has been at our side for many years, making possible our programs that support Cincinnati area residents of all ages, from the children in our after-school programs to the seniors at our housing facility, and all those in between who come to us daily for various forms of assistance. We can only fulfill our mission when those in the community stand alongside us with their donations of time, talent and treasure. Time and again, Western & Southern has been a role model for corporate partnerships in the life-changing work of agencies like The Salvation Army.”
Those interested in learning more about the work of The Salvation Army in the local community are invited to visit www.salvationarmycincinnati.org, and to follow the agency’s activities via Facebook (www.facebook.com/salvationarmycincinnati) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/salarmycincy). Donations can be made online, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Those in need of assistance can visit their local Salvation Army Community Center, or call 513-762-5666 to be directed to the appropriate resources.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to http://www.salvationarmycincinnati.org.
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