AUGUSTA — The Salvation Army is kicking off its annual red kettle campaign that raises money for the needy during the holiday season.

A Salvation Army brass ensemble will play holiday carols at Monday’s kick-off celebration at the State House.

The Salvation Army’s familiar red kettles with volunteer bell ringers can be found at stores, malls and other locations throughout the holidays.

Salvation Army officials say funds donated to the kettles last year enabled the organization to serve 1,678 people during the holidays and nearly 700 people throughout the year.

The campaign runs from early November through Christmas Eve.

Gov. Paul LePage was scheduled to be at Monday’s event, but he’s attending the funeral of a Maine game warden who died last week of cancer.

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