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The Kate and Laurel Team Rings Red Kettle Bell

by Catherine Bell |

Peppy bell ringing, an occasional Christmas carol and lots of big smiles met shoppers at the Waunakee Walgreens on Wednesday compliments of the Kate and Laurel team. This year, our team went all out and covered 10 hours of continuous bell ringing. The team members set out to challenge each other to get the most attention and to fill the kettle with lots of donations on their watch.

“My plan is to charm them with good cheer and maybe a candy cane,” laughed Stephanie Stringer, Product Development Lead. “It was a lot of fun and it’s great that we were able to help out as a group.”

"Our bell-ringing volunteers ARE the Red Kettle Campaign. Without them, we would not be able to provide the programs and services we do year-round," said Kaitlyn Novotny, Special Events & Marketing Asst. for the Dane County Salvation Army. "They are also vital to the process of making Christmas happen for families and individuals across Dane County."

There’s no doubt that the red kettle is an iconic symbol of the Salvation Army. Smiling, greeting people, expressing gratitude are key skills for successful ringers and luckily, the Kate and Laurel team were up to the challenge! The bell ringing started at 8 am and went all the way through the working day. The weather was kind to the team this year. A winter coat and hat were enough to keep everyone warm through their shift.

According to officials at the local chapter, all the money raised stays local. Each year, the Dane County Salvation Army helps thousands of people in the area within their emergency family shelters, serving 4,704 hot meals and providing shelter to more than 29,922.

They also offer the only single women's shelter in Dane County as well as an after-school care program that serves meals and they offer a day camp during the summer to kids in need. The Dane Country Salvation Army partners with More Smiles Wisconsin and the UW MEDiC clinic right inside the shelter on East Washington Ave. to serve those who are under or non-insured with most dental and medical needs.

To volunteer this year or any year, go to



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