ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – It’s the touchdown celebration everyone is talking about. Ezekiel Elliott was penalized for jumping into a giant Salvation Army red kettle during Sunday night’s game in Dallas. The kettle was near the stands because the Cowboys have been a major supporter of the Salvation Army.
Elliott, rookie running back in the NFL, is from the St. Louis area. His mother, Dawn Elliott, spoke to FOX 2 about her son’s celebration after returning to St. Louis from watching the game in Dallas.
“He likes to have fun and he’s kind of like a big kid at heart,” she said.
She said her son eyed up the red kettle during warm-ups and wondered if he would be fined if he jumped into the kettle. Elliott has not been fined.
The Salvation Army is extremely pleased with Elliott’s actions because donations increased in the hours after the celebration. The local division of the Salvation Army tells us they are 17 percent behind last year’s pace and hope donors will be inspired to give.
“We’re not where we want to be. We need donations to be up. We need to collect more money because the money we raise during the Christmas campaign isn’t just for what we do at Christmas,” said the Salvation Army’s Lt. Col. Dan Jennings.
Dawn Elliott said her family has no connection to the Salvation Army other than donating to red kettles outside stores. She said her son’s celebration was “awesome” and hopes it helps the Salvation Army meet its fundraising goal.
Donations help fund a variety of programs including a warming center in St. Louis County that opened Monday night as temperatures remained well below freezing. The center will remain open 24 hours a day through March and can accommodate 48 people. The center is located at 10740 Page Ave., St. Louis, MO 63132.
Donations to the Salvation Army can made through virtual kettles for FOX 2 and KPLR 11 personalities.