Salvation Army bell ringing is a tradition for local company |

Salvation Army bell ringing is a tradition for local company

Jeffrey Begay, paramedic; Dev Kuhze, flight nurse; Coby Brown, pilot; and Reed Clawson, paramedic, all of Classic Air Medical.

The Salvation Army and its team of volunteers are out in force, jingling and ringing away.

As of now, the organization is in need of volunteers to staff each Glenwood location. But for one local air medical provider, serving as Salvation Army bell ringers is becoming a tradition.

Paramedics Reed Clawson and Jeffrey Begay, flight nurse Dev Kuhze and base manager Kerry Evens are part of a Classic Air Medical team who have begun transporting local patients in crises by air to regional hospitals where they can receive further treatment. The group began operations at Valley View Hospital in 2016.

Clawson, a local resident of New Castle and a flight paramedic with Classic, first heard about volunteering as a bell ringer through the community relations department at the hospital and immediately wanted to become involved.

“I had fun with it. It made me realize that hearing the bell at this time of year is just part of what you expect during the holidays. I was also impressed with people’s sincere generosity,” Clawson said.

The team volunteers dressed in their flight suits, wearing crazy hats and holiday-themed attire. Passersby can expect to hear Christmas music playing and the occasional Christmas carol by Clawson. They said their favorite location to ring is at Walmart in Glenwood — “on the south side,” Clawson emphasized. While ringing for donations and spreading holiday cheer, they see friends and familiar faces, hoping to inspire those to bell ring and give back.

Chad Bowdre, director of customer relations at Classic, said this will become a tradition for the Classic Family.

“It seems like everyone during the holidays gets into their own thing and we just want to take time out to help others. We are a community-based air transport company and we like to get involved in the communities we serve. This is one [tradition] that we’d really like to keep up as a company.”

Clawson encourages fellow residents to join in on the bell ringing because, well, anyone can do it. It’s an inexpensive way to give back that doesn’t require a lot of effort or any qualifications or training.

Bowdre encourages residents that if they see a kettle, to donate and for those in need to seek help from The Salvation Army.

They have kettles throughout the valley. The money collected by the bell ringers goes to help our friends and neighbors. Schedule yourself, friends or family by contacting Karen at 970-945-6976. One to two hour shifts are the norm, Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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