Western & Southern makes record-breaking donation to Salvation Army

Another year, another record-breaking donation to the Salvation Army by Western & Southern Financial Group.

The Salvation Army announced this week that it received a $94,509 check from Western & Southern’s charitable foundation. The check includes $47,254.50 from visitor donations received during the 2021 holiday season at the Crib of the Nativity display at Eden Park’s Krohn Conservatory and an equal match from the Western & Southern Financial Fund.

From left, Mark Caner, President, W&S Financial Group Distributors and former Salvation Army Advisory Board Chair; Major Timothy Lyle, divisional commander, The Salvation Army; and John Barrett, CEO, Western & Southern Financial Group.

“The Crib of the Nativity display is a wonderful, multi-generational tradition,” said John F. Barrett, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern Financial Group. “Cincinnatians gave from the heart in the middle of a pandemic. We are honored to join them in supporting The Salvation Army’s important work to help so many in need.”

The Crib of the Nativity was started by Western & Southern in 1939, where it was presented at Lytle Park, moved to Union Terminal during World War II, then eventually moved to Eden Park. It quickly became a popular attraction at Christmastime, as visitors of all ages enjoyed the realistic nativity scene with live animals. In 1993, Western & Southern’s foundation began matching the monetary gifts made by those visiting the display. Since then, donations and the match have resulted in more than $332,571 in donations to The Salvation Army.

This year’s donation, which tops the 2020 record donation of $87,623.40, makes it the largest in the 29 years donations collected at the nativity display have been matched.

The 2021 donation tops the previous year by nearly 10 percent and is the result of a record 31,500 visitors to the display, more than double the visitors in 2020.

“We continue to face record-breaking requests for assistance and services,” said Major Timothy Lyle, divisional leader of the Salvation Army’s Southwest Ohio Northeast Kentucky Division. “Donations like this from the community through the Crib of the Nativity truly make a big difference in our ability to help needy families in our area all year long.”

The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked The Salvation Army in its first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. The Cincinnati operations are among 7600 centers operated by the Salvation Army nationwide.

Western & Southern, a Fortune 500 company with $67 billion in assets, is the title sponsor of seven major community events every year, including the Western & Southern Open, a premier event in the U.S. Open Series played each August by the world’s top-ranked professional male and female tennis players.


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