Rotary Salvation Army Day

The Warsaw Rotary Club at the recommendation of N. Bruce Howe established "Brice's Day" to honor Brigadier Brice Phillipson by collecting monies for The Salvation Army's "Tree Of Lights" Campaign in December 1965. Brigadier Brice Phillipson and his wife retired to Winona Lake in 1948 after many years of service as Salvation Army Officers. Phillipson was one of the first officers of The Salvation Army who became a Rotarian in the early 1920's in West Virginia and was instrumental in the campaign to build a permanent facility for The Salvation Army at 501 E. Arthur St. in Warsaw, dedicated in 1957. After the initial "Brice's Day" which collected just under $1,000 the club continued the tradition each year to raise funds for the Army. In 1974 Brigadier Phillipson was "Promoted To Glory" and the event was changed to "Brice Phillipson Day" with "Angels" Howe continuing to chair the event each year. In 1990 then President Don Clemens, with the approval of the Board Of Directors, changed the fund-raiser to "Phillipson/Howe Day" in honor of the many years that Bruce had served as the chairman of this effort. Since 1990 the club has raised over $20,000 each year for the Army with John Hall serving as Co-Chairman. Though records have not been kept over the years it is estimated that the Warsaw Rotary Club had collected over $1M for The Salvation Army to continue it's service to those in need in Warsaw and Kosciusko County. At the recommendation of Bruce Howe during Phillipson/Howe Day in 2004 the name of the event was changed to "Warsaw Rotary/Salvation Army Day" to honor John Hall for his many years as Co-Chairman along with Phillipson and himself. This annual day helps The Salvation Army reach out to "others" at Christmas & throughout the year.

"Need Knows No Season"

N. Bruce "Angels" Howe

50 Anniversary Celebration - Friday December 18th, 2015

The Warsaw Rotary Club met on Friday, December 18th for the 50th Annual Warsaw Rotary Salvation Army Day.  The club collected $42,103.96 to support the outreach of the Army in Kosciusko.  The originator and chairman of the event for 49 years, however was not present and was honored for his efforts in the spirit of Rotary International’s motto, “Service Above Self”.

71 years ago N. Bruce Howe Jr. was serving in Europe in the United States Army.  Going into France on the day after D-Day he found himself and his unit in the midst of the now famous Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.  Allied forces pushed the Germans back he was awarded a field promotion to First Sergeant and five battle stars by 1945.  He returned to his beloved Winona Lake after the war and continued a career in Gospel Music publishing with the famous Homer Rodeheaver and later Word Publishing.

Bruce was inducted into the Warsaw Rotary Club as a member on April 11, 1952 and met Brigadier Brice Phillipson of The Salvation Army beginning a close relationship between the two men.  He served as President of the club from July 1959 to June 1960.

In December 1965, Bruce decided to honor his friend with “Brice’s Day” to raise funds for the SA’s “Tree of Lights” campaign.  That year was the 100th Anniversary of The Salvation Army’s founding in 1865 in the east end of London, England.  Howe loved to call Brice “the General” and was deeply moved by this man’s faith and love for Jesus and his service to “Others”.  A little over $800 was raised that first year and Brice was deeply moved by the efforts of the Warsaw Rotary Club.  Brice was “Promoted To Glory” in 1974 but Bruce never forgot his friend changing the event to “Brice Phillipson Day”.

The Warsaw Rotary Club has had a long time relationship with The Salvation Army with members serving on its Advisory Board since it “invaded” Warsaw in 1921.  The first “Rotary Toy Day” was held in 1927 collecting toys for the Christmas outreach of this “Army without guns” that has continued to this day.  

“Brice Phillipson Day” continued to grow over the years until 1990 when it was decided to change the name of the event to “Phillipson-Howe Day” in honor of Bruce’s 25th Anniversary of chairing the event.  Rotarian John Hall, Life Member of The Salvation Army Advisory Board, joined “Angels” as the Co-Chair of the fund raiser that was eventually changed in 2004 to “Warsaw Rotary/ Salvation Army Day” as it is known today.

The December 1999 event was highlighted with N. Bruce Howe Jr. being presented with the highest award that can be bestowed to a volunteer of The Salvation Army.  He humbly accepted the “William Booth Award” with his wife Ann looking on in front of the club.  He is the only person to receive this award in Kosciusko County.  Howe had also been presented with the “Others” Award years earlier from the Army.

December 2011 the Warsaw Rotary Club passed a significant mark when it was estimated that the club had raised over $1 Million for The Salvation Army over those 46 years (an average of $21,800 per year).

“Angels” was looking forward to the 50th Anniversary of supporting The Salvation Army that is celebrating 150 years of service around the World and 94 years in Warsaw.  He went on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC in September and noted, “Being a 63 year Rotarian and supporting The Salvation Army, serving in the U.S. Army, volunteering with the Fire Department and many other efforts in Winona Lake have meant so much to me.  Ann and I are looking forward to this December and the 50th Anniversary of Salvation Army Day.”  

But God had other plans.  “Angels” responded to his “last call” on October 9th, 2015.  “He gave to so many different causes and who knows how many $2 bills and $1 coins he has given to others, especially children over the years,” noted John Hall, Chairman of the event.   “Remember when you pass Center Lake Park in December the beautiful display began with the generous donation of Bruce and Ann of their lights and decorations that used to adorn their beloved “Dream Lake” that thousands went to see each Christmas season,” Ken Locke, Co-Chairman. “Bruce loved to tell others, “I love life.”  Warsaw Rotary/Salvation Army Day is one example of one of the Greatest Generation driven to leave the world a little better place than he found.”

Commissioner Ken Baillie attended the meeting representing The Salvation Army Headquarters in Indianapolis that helps oversee the operation of the Corps and Community Center.  “I commend the Warsaw Rotary Club for their support of the mission of The Salvation Army.  Your giving has insured all these years and today that we can reach out to those in need, not only at Christmas but throughout the year.”


Brigadier Brice Phillipson