Press release by Salvation Army of Michigan City:

The Salvation Army of Michigan City is pleased to announce that Gene and Linda Simmons will serve as 2023 Christmas Campaign Chairs during the upcoming holiday season.

Gene Simmons currently represents the 6th Ward on the Michigan City Common Council and Linda Simmons serves as Marketing Director for the La Porte County Tourism Bureau. Gene is a Viet-Nam veteran who served in the U.S. Army. Immediately after returning home from service, Gene joined the Michigan City Police Department, where he served as Chief of Police before retiring. Linda started a career with McDonald’s as an office manager with the Lubeznik family in La Porte County before she was owner/operator of the two McDonald’s restaurants in Chicago.

They are proud parents of three children and have seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

“This is our community, and we love our community. We want to give back in whatever way we can,” the Simmons’ said. “We feel that we should all collectively do what we can to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.”

In their role as campaign chairs, Gene and Linda will assist The Salvation Army in raising funds to provide food and toys to more than 600 local families this Christmas. With a goal to raise $230,000 this season, funds raised through the Christmas Campaign will help support additional programs at The Salvation Army of Michigan City including a food pantry, utility assistance, weekend backpack feeding program, free summer camp, free clothing closet, case management, and more.

Majors Dale and Becky Simmons look forward to working with Gene and Linda Simmons this holiday season, saying, “Gene and Linda embody our mission of ‘Doing the Most Good.’ They are committed to serving the Michigan City community and we are so happy to have them represent our efforts this Christmas.”

The Simmons’ will officially be recognized as this year’s Christmas Campaign Chair during the annual Red Kettle Kick Off, set for Wednesday, November 1 at McDonald’s, 3507 Franklin Street, from 7am to 10am.

“We’re encouraging the community to support this annual charitable fundraiser to provide toys for kids, coats for the homeless, and food for the hungry,” they said. “All donations stay local. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in our travels throughout the city during this upcoming holiday season. Let’s have a spirited drive!”

Those interested in volunteering as a red kettle bellringer this year can sign up online at, or contact The Salvation Army at (219) 874-6885 ext. 1003 for more information.