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Salvation Army Bell ringers to Attempt World Record with National Bell Ringing Contest

24 Participants Across America Will Seek to Ring For More Than 36 Hours Straight

Contest Celebrates 120th Anniversary of Nation’s Longest Running Fundraiser

Alexandria, VA (December 14, 2011) /PRNewswire/ — On Thursday, December 15 at noon (ET), 24 Salvation Army volunteer bell ringers in cities across America will compete against one another in an attempt to set a world record for the longest continuous hand bell ringing by an individual. The contestants will seek to raise awareness for The Salvation Army’s 120th Red Kettle Campaign and support the Mission of The Salvation Army in serving people in need. Bell ringers will set an official Salvation Army record for 2011 when they surpass the 36 hour record set in 2010, and many hope to ring for as many as 60 hours.

“The world record attempt is a truly unified effort by The Salvation Army to raise awareness of the Red Kettle Campaign and encourage Americans to ring a bell or give this Christmas to help their neighbor,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army. “For the past several years, we’ve seen increased demand for assistance due to the recession, and we hope this sacrifice by our volunteers will inspire others to dig deep.”

Bell ringers, which include Salvation Army officers, staff and community members, will volunteer their time as they ring a bell for the 120th annual Red Kettle Campaign. The bell ringers participating in the world record contest will be stationed from coast to coast, as well as in Alaska and Hawaii, at a red kettle located at a destination of their choosing. Each participant must follow several rules that could push them mentally and physically during their attempt.

Rules include:
1. Participants must stand the entire time.
2. Participants may not eat.
3. Participants may drink hydration products only such as water, Gatorade or juice.
4. Participants must ring a bell at all times.
5. Participants only may use a bathroom once every 4 hours, during a ten minute break.

A previous benchmark was established in 2010 by a 2011 participant, Salvation Army Captain Kyle Smith in Spokane, WA. Captain Smith stood outside, ringing a bell for 36 hours with no food or sleep. Already this year, Salvation Army bell ringers are shooting to surpass 40 hours of bell ringing and encourage Americans to support the iconic red kettles.

“This is an exciting challenge that not only tests participants, but also challenges the American public to support people in need. Each bell ringer has already become a part of something big, that will have a lasting impact in their local communities,” said Major Hood.

Contestants participating in the Bell Ringing World Record Contest include:

The Red Kettle Campaign is the longest-running fundraiser of its kind and was started as a fundraiser by Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee in San Francisco in 1891. Since that time, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army workers and volunteers spread throughout the country to ring bells daily and solicit spare change donations to the iconic red kettles from holiday shoppers. In 2010, the campaign collected more than $142 million nationwide, a new record supported by the public’s nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars, and credit cards and helped The Salvation Army serve 30 million people in communities where the money was raised.

For updates on the world record contest as it takes place, please visit or

More information on the Red Kettle Campaign is available at

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to


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A Salvation Army bell ringer stands by a red kettle.
A Salvation Army bell ringer stands by a red kettle.
A Salvation Army bell ringer stands by a red kettle.
A Salvation Army bell ringer stands by a red kettle.
A Salvation Army officer receives a red kettle donation from a young girl.
A Salvation Army officer receives a red kettle donation from a young girl.

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2011 Salvation Army World Record Bell Ringers

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