Royal donation found amid Red Kettle booty |

Royal donation found amid Red Kettle booty

Kelley Cox Post Independent

NEW CASTLE, Colorado – It wasn’t quite the $1,400 South African Krugerrand that was dropped into one of the Salvation Army Red Kettles in Broomfield over the holidays, but organizers of the Inter-Valley Red Kettle campaign learned of a unique gift of their own recently.

Amy Barr, business manager for the Salvation Army in Glenwood Springs, said she was still collecting donations from local groups last month when she was told of a gold coin that had been anonymously dropped into a kettle at the New Castle City Market store sometime during the 2010 holiday fund drive.

“The donor left a note with the plastic sleeve containing the coin, explaining what was now in their possession,” Barr said. “The donor claimed the coin was worth $325 to collectors.”

New Castle coordinator Lesley Morse, of the New Castle Lions Club, and some of her fellow workers at Alpine Bank looked up the coin’s information online and confirmed the value, Barr said.

The 1919 British gold sovereign, which is about the size of a U.S. nickel, boasts the profile of King George V, who was King of the United Kingdom from 1910-1936. He was father of King George VI, “Bertie,” who is the protagonist in the current Oscar-winning movie, “The King’s Speech.”

“It’s not like it’s a 1983 South African gold Krugerrand that was dropped into a Broomfield kettle this year, or a similar one that was found in a Boulder kettle the year before,” Barr said.

Those coins turned out to be worth $1,400 and $1,200, respectively.

“We like to think that we’re kind of special, too,” Barr said, adding it was the first time she knew of that something other than the usual U.S. coins and bills have been dropped in the local kettles. The local campaign covers the area from Aspen to Parachute.

Barr said they hope to find a local collector, or “benevolent coin buyer,” as she phrased it, who would be willing to pay the collector’s price for the coin.

“Maybe we’ll get a bidding war going,” she said.

Meanwhile, the final report for the 2010 Inter-Valley Red Kettle campaign shows that bell-ringers brought in nearly as much locally as in the record year 2007, when $74,300 was raised for the Salvation Army’s poverty assistance and outreach programs in the area.

The tally for the 2010 campaign was $73,600, compared to $70,200 in 2009 and $68,700 in 2008.

“We were very pleased with that,” Barr said. “The groups in Glenwood Springs really rolled it out this year, and Aspen came on strong for us.”

In Glenwood Springs, the three local Rotary clubs coordinated the kettle drive at Wal-Mart, the Glenwood Springs Kiwanis Club handled City Market, and the Glenwood Lions Club coordinated the Safeway location.

Anyone wishing to inquire about purchasing the British coin should call Amy Barr at the Salvation Army office, 945-6976 ext. 11.

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