PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Salvation Army Empty Stocking Fund kicked off on Thursday night, with the first-day total sitting at $17,000.

A good part of that $17,000 came from News 13 and our parent company Nexstar.

WMBB General Manager Terry Cole jump-started the Empty Stocking Fund kick-off tonight with a $10,000 check.

The contribution comes from the Nexstar Foundation Fund.

Cole said he was happy to present the check to a great cause, but he also had a little bit of an incentive.

“Bill Cramer challenged us to donate $10,000 and we met the challenge. It’s a great event. There are a lot of needy families out there and the Salvation Army does a great job of helping those needy families, we’re just glad to be a part of it this year,” Cole said.

If you’d also like to contribute to the Empty Stocking Fund you can drop off donations or mail them directly to the Salvation Army at 1824 West 15th Street in Panama City.