Watch Punxsutawney Phil live at breakfast

NASHUA – New developments that promise to make the ninth annual Salvation Army Groundhog Gathering more entertaining than ever have fallen into place in the past week or so, organizers said this week.

This year, the event, a local observance of the pseudo-holiday that raises vital funds for various Salvation Army programs, will benefit the agency’s Emergency Disaster Services, a program made up largely of volunteers who respond to fires, major accidents and other disasters 24 hours a day in greater Nashua.

It takes place Monday, Feb. 2, from 6:45-8:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Some individual tickets, which are $50 each, are still available, and if any remain, they will be for sale at the door.

In addition to the speaking program, which will be anchored by Yankee magazine publisher Jamie Trowbridge and feature Melissa Ploucha, whose father Ron is the Stump Warden with the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s prestigious Inner Circle, guests will get to witness the moment that famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil makes his appearance at daybreak up in Gobbler’s Knob, Pa.

Both financial and technological support from Nashua’s BAE Systems has made it possible to arrange a video hookup that will transmit the event live from Gobbler’s Knob to a big screen at the breakfast. A grant from St. Joseph Hospital and Rockingham Ambulance is allowing Nashua’s community channel, TV13, to record the program and broadcast it on later dates.

A raffle will take place during the program, with a number of prizes to be awarded.