Last updated: August 25. 2013 3:05AM - 328 Views

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LIMA – Lima celebrated 125 years of service by the Salvation Army on Sunday.

The Salvation Army recognized its anniversary with a communitywide celebration, including inflatable toys, a car show, live music and Elvis Presley and Barney Fife impersonators Sunday afternoon.

“We wanted this to be a fun way of acknowledging and celebrating our service here,” Tamayo said before the event.

The Salvation Army made its first appearance in Lima in 1885, when Salvationists came to preach and offer social services to the poorest of the poor here. It set up a permanent location in Lima on Nov. 18, 1888, but decided to celebrate now to avoid a conflict with the organization’s annual Red Kettle Drive and Ohio’s winter elements, said Major Phil Tamayo. The Salvation Army now has a location at 614 E. Market St., Lima.

Since its inception, the Salvation Army has fed, clothed and offered aid to thousands in the area. In 2011, more than 19,000 people were assisted through after-school programs, worship services, material assistance, and an annual Christmas campaign that helped 3,240 individuals and distributed almost 6,000 toys.

The Salvation Army opened its 125th birthday celebration with a worship and praise service Sunday morning. Salvation Army Lt. Col. Kenneth Maynor and Lt. Col. Cheryl Maynor, the Eastern Territorial leaders, and divisional leaders Maj. Hugh Steele and Kathleen Steele, were on hand for the service, which included a brass quartet.

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