Celebrating Giving Tuesday, The Salvation Army kicked off the third annual World Record Bell Ringing Contest at 12:00 p.m. EST today.
Six individuals at kettle locations in California, Minnesota, Montana, and Texas are attempting to set a new world record for continuous hand bell ringing by an individual at a red kettle, to help raise awareness for The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign.
Contestants must brave the elements – such as weather, fatigue, and hunger – while ringing a bell continuously, and are allowed five minutes of rest for every hour of ringing. Last year, two-year reigning champ Darrell Tureskis of Springfield, IL tied the record at 80 hours along with Jason Perkins of Suisun City, CA and Ryan Gass of Roswell, NM.
Here are this year’s brave contestants:
Captain James Brickson: Albert Lea, MN
Ringing at: Northbridge Mall (2510 Bridge Ave. Albert Lea, Mn 56007)
“For years now we have staffed our kettle locations with 100% volunteer participation, that allows for 100% giving to support the need and it allows for the opportunity to give when a person’s not able to even financially give, volunteer!” said Brickson. “This is not a community that is industrial or flooded with huge factories but we are HUGE with heart, I want to celebrate that.”
Captain Emily Jones: Compton, CA
Ringing at: Walgreens (1344 W. Redondo Beach Blvd. Gardena, CA)
Captain Jones wants everyone to know that she believes in the Army’s mission so much that she will stand as long as she can at a kettle in order to raise awareness for the immense need in her community, and to raise funds so the Army can continue to meet those needs!
Lt. Rob Lawler: Helena, MT
Ringing at: Walmart (2750 Prospect Ave, Helena, MT 59601)
As a Corps officer for the last 2 ½ years, Rob has been with The Salvation Army since he started volunteering in 1995.
“I feel kettles are one of the most important ways that The Salvation Army story can be told,” said Lawler.
Major Marcelino “Butch” Soriano: San Diego, CA
Ringing at: Walmart Supercenter (1120 S Mount Vernon Ave, Colton, CA)
As the Divisional Finance Secretary for the Sierra Del Mar Division of The Salvation Army in California, Soriano was a participant in the World Record Bell Ringing Contest in 2011 and rang for 51 hours at a location in San Francisco. His main purpose for competing is to raise awareness of the mission of The Salvation Army.
He is ringing at a location outside of a metropolitan area this year because The Salvation Army serves in communities that are sometimes forgotten. He loves the Lord and desires to bring honor and glory to His name in all he does.
Andre Thompson: Tyler, TX
Ringing at: Walgreens (5415 South Broadway Ave. Tyler, TX 75703)
Andre Thompson, aka “Exalt”, promotes the gospel of Jesus Christ through Gospel Rap. After taking a tour of The Salvation Army’s facility in Tyler, TX, he was spurred to give back in a larger way by volunteering to participate for this contest. He hopes to help raise awareness and money for The Salvation Army in Tyler, and his only request for participation is that God gets all the glory!
The question is: will he rap during the contest? We hope so!
Quinton Green: Hanford, CA
Ringing at: Walmart Supercenter (250 S. 12 Ave Hanford, CA 93230)
Originally from Phoeniz, AZ, Quinton is a 19-year old student at the College of Sequoias with a passion for Jesus and people. He sees this challenge as an opportunity to learn and help others in need.
You can join in the conversation on Twitter with #RingitOn. Stay tuned here for updates, and check out the conversation on Twitter: www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus. And if you live nearby, we hope you’ll show your support by visiting these contestants at their locations.
**May the best bell ringer win!**