Bell Ringer’s in Cass County collected more than $8,240 during the campaign held this year at three sites in Atlantic. According to Bell Ringing Chair Mark Wedemeyer, the donations, which benefit the Salvation Army’s local chapter, amounted to $8,241.91. Donations were down more than $2,360 from last year. Bell Ringing Co-Chair Teresa Kanning said donations in 2012 amounted to $10,608. In 2011, they were $8,605. Donations in 2010 amounted to $5,827 and in 2009, $5,264. Kanning said residents of Cass County have always been very supportive of the Salvation Army, and they are always grateful for every penny and dollar they receive.
Mark Wedemeyer told KJAN News he really doesn’t know why donations are down, except to say that there was one less weekend for fundraising this year, and that farmers may have been less inclined to contribute due to the decline in the price they are getting for their corn. Two years ago, corn was selling for about $7 per bushel. This year, it’s down to $4 per bushel. Kanning added that colder weather may also have contributed to the reduced number of people getting out to drop funds into the kettles.
Bell Ringing Chair Mark Wedemeyer (right) and a volunteer bell ringer. (Teresa Kanning/photo)
She said they had plenty of volunteers to ring bells this year, and several brought unique aspects to their shifts, bringing smiles to many people. Last year’s donations were used to: Aid stranded motorists with their basic needs; Assist low income families with the purchase of athletic shoes; Donate money to the Shop with a Cop and Family Dream Christmas programs, and donate supplies to the Parents as Teachers program.