On Monday, February 24th, The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command lost one of its longest-sitting Board members, Mr. Carlton ‘Gene’ Colley. For over a decade, we served our community with the help of our generous donors, dedicated volunteers, and trusted Advisory Board. For more than a quarter of that decade, Gene Colley diligently served on our Advisory Board. Always fighting for our mission of #DoingTheMostGood, Gene Colley has played an intricate role in advancing our reach into the community by bringing vital resources and strong partnerships.
“Gene Colley was a wonderful person, gentleman, and a great friend of The Salvation Army,” said Gene Daniels, Salvation Army Orlando’s Director of Operations and longtime friend of Gene Colley. “I knew Gene for more than 20 years, and during that time, he was always working to help The Salvation Army and the community through his involvement with the Area Command and the Adult Rehabilitation Center. For a number of years, Gene worked to help people and The Salvation Army as an Advisory Board Member, Advisory Board Chair, coordinator of food drives, fundraisers, volunteer kettle bellringer, and a huge supporter of the Angel Tree. He did it all,” Daniels added. “The Salvation Army and Orlando have lost a great community friend with his passing”.
Every year, Gene Colley would spearhead his Rotary Club’s (East Orlando Winter Park) involvement in our Angel Tree Christmas Program. The group would adopt angels, fulfill their wish list items, and deliver their gifts to our Joy Center. Gene served also as the Chair of our Advisory Board from 1999 to 2000. He joined our board in 1993. In 2014, Gene Colley was named a Life Member for his dedication and work in our community. Since then, Gene Colley has volunteered his time serving meals to the less fortunate during our annual Thanksgiving feast, ringing bells during our iconic Red Kettle season, and rescuing Christmas for children and senior citizens. “Gene was not someone who would beat around the bush! You knew exactly where he stood,” said Danny Pressler, current Salvation Army Orlando Advisory Board member. “He was forthright and always tried to do the right thing on behalf of The Salvation Army. He will be sorely missed as a fellow board member and a friend,” Pressler added.
While the news of his passing leaves many in sorrow, the work and blueprints he left behind will live on. The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command is honored to have worked with Gene Colley and our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they grieve.