Bell ringers collect more than $54,000 |

Bell ringers collect more than $54,000

Amanda Holt MillerPost Independent Staff

People were in a giving spirit this holiday season. The local Salvation Army raised $54,184. That’s almost $13,000 more than the community gave last year and about $8,000 more than the record in this valley.Volunteers stood in cold weather at strategic locations between Aspen and Battlement Mesa ringing bells to draw attention to their red kettles. As people passed into City Markets, malls and even gas stations throughout the valley, they put money into the kettles to support community members in need. Most of the money the Salvation Army raised with its kettle drives, which run from Nov. 25 to Dec. 24, stays within the community where its collected. It’s used for a number of different programs, including rent eviction prevention, utility shut-off prevention, emergency lodging, emergency transportation and gas vouchers, among other things.Randol said he wasn’t sure why the results were so much better this year than they have been in the past.”I think people have given generously all year,” Randol said. “They gave to the tsunami victims, and they gave to hurricane victims.”In Carbondale, the Rotary Club nearly doubled its collections at City Market this year. The club took in $2,207 for the Salvation Army last year and $4,344 this year.”The club has increased in its numbers,” said Ed Perregaux, who organizes the bell-ringing effort for the Carbondale Rotary Club. “We went around and asked our friends and neighbors to help, and we had more people to ring the bell. We were just fortunate people were so generous.”On the last day of collections, Christmas Eve, someone dropped a $100 bill into the kettle.Silt nearly quadrupled its fundraising this year. Dave Moore used to ring the bell mostly on his own. He had help from the local Lion’s Club last year. But this year there was one man who made a big difference. Moore said Ralph Fruetel dedicated a tremendous amount of time to ringing the bell.”And that’s what it takes, someone to give it the time,” Moore said.Moore noticed one man who gave him a dollar every time he passed at either Kum & Go or Go-fer Foods, the only two places where bell ringers could really stand in the tiny town of Silt. The man told Moore that the Salvation Army had helped his family through a catastrophe.”It’s really been a wonderful year for us, and we’re excited we might outdo ourselves next year,” Moore said. “It’s cold when we’re out there ringing that bell. But people are so giving, it just warms up the whole environment.”

Location20042005Aspen City Market$5,667$9,862Snowmass Business Center$3,281$2,531El Jebel City Market$1,751$344Carbondale City Market$2,207$4,344Glenwood Springs Wal-Mart$5,610$4,046Glenwood Springs City Market$7,217$10,188Glenwood Springs Mall main$443$731Glenwood Springs Mall K-Mart$2,257$3,913Glenwood Springs Safeway$2,645$2,580New Castle City Market$2,078$2,175Silt gas stations$366$1,207Rifle City Market$3,585$5,498Battlement Mesa City Market$4,375$5,716Total$41,481$53,137

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