Slightly over $15,000 was collected by countless individual and group ringers who labored for over 265 hours ringing the Salvation Army bell this year.  A shorter ringing season and the brutal cold weather probably contributed to the smaller amount of money collected this year, according to Sharon Anderson, bell ringing coordinator.  
Last year’s campaign raised $18,700.  The annual campaign is truly a community and ecumenical endeavor.  Churches that sponsored groups of ringers this year were:  St. John, St. Stephen’s, St. Francis Xavier, Our Savior’s, Journey Church, Calvary Lutheran, Bible Presbyterian, Hillside Fellowship, and Christ Methodist.  Organizations who rang were The St. Vinney Ringers, The Holly Lange Carolers, Boy Scout Pack 503, Troup 599, The River District Development Foundation of Merrill, Bob Hartson’s Bible Study Group, the Octagon Club, XI Alpha Nu Sorority, and Preceptor Alpha Bata Sorority. Although the physical bell ringing is officially over, the campaign remains open until Jan. 20. Those interested in making a donation before that deadline may do so by sending a check to Salvation Army, PO BOX 614, Merrill, WI, 54452.
Groups and individuals who served as Bell-Ringers for the Salvation Army of Merrill in 2013 are invited (and encouraged) to attend a reception in their honor Thursday, Jan. 16, in the Community Room at T.B. Scott Library in Merrill. The event will be held from 6:15-7:30 p.m. and will recognize individuals and organizations that were part of the annual bell ringing campaign. Persons interested in learning more about the Salvation Army in Merrill are also cordially invited to attend. Light refreshments will be provided by First Street Coffee Station and the Checkered Churn. Questions about the event may be directed to bell ringing coordinator Sharon Anderson at 715-536-9166 or e-mailed to anderson1969@frontier.com.