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Ringing bells mean holiday support for those in-need

Special to Leader-Press 


Some businesses have closed. Masks are required. A lot has changed in 2020 due to the Coronavirus. But, it was still the season for bell ringing with the familiar red kettles still posted outside of Walmart and Walgreens as volunteers, in a repetitive motion, clanked the clackers inside the bells, greeting shoppers and hoping for some loose change. 

According to the national Salvation Army annual report, the organization received nearly $2 million, 59 percent, of its yearly revenue from direct public support including the bell ringing campaign. 

The Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty have been ringing bells since the inception of the pageant in 2014 and this year was no exception. The titleholders traditionally cover both doors of Walmart from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on the last Saturday before Christmas.

“There is nothing more special about Christmas than giving to those who need it most and it warms my heart to know that so very many members of our community feel the same, giving so generously back to those less fortunate,” said Copperas Cove Five Hills Junior Ambassador Hayley Sawyer. “My sister bell ringers and I twirled, sang and rang our bells and people came to give this season. It was the very best way to start the week of Christmas.”

Senior Ms. Five Hills Dawn Hale has participated in the bell ringing campaign for many years. 

“It’s always a joy and honor to ring the bell each year for our community,” Hale said. “The true blessing is to know the funds stay here in our area and help our fellow neighbors.”

Joan Manning heads up the Copperas Cove Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. 

“Every penny that is put in our Salvation Army red kettles stays in Copperas Cove to help our own citizens due to the selfless devotion of our local volunteers who make this special season so successful,” Manning said. “Copperas Cove is truly blessed with people who love and care for others.”

Miniature Mister Five Hills Maddox Tobias and his mother, Jillian, rang the bells despite the rainy weather.

“We hope all the generous donations help everyone have a Merry Christmas,” Jillian Tobias said. “Maddox had so much fun ringing the bell while he danced and greeted the customers that this will become a holiday tradition for our family.”

Preteen Miss Five Hills Romella Spitzer and her twin brother, Noah, had run ringing the bells and greeting shoppers.

“With the pandemic this year, it has been hard on many families in our community,” Spitzer said. “During the holidays, it makes giving even more important.”

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign began in 1981 and takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving through Christmas eve.

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