Tis the Salvation Army season in Pierce County
Friday marked the beginning of another holiday tradition in Pierce County as the local Salvation Army had kettles at various locations throughout the county.
Customers at Hinck's Economart in Ellsworth and the First National Bank in Prescott will now be seeing the red kettle through Christmas Eve.
Visitors to Hinck's will see the bell ringers the next three weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Just like this past weekend, this upcoming one will feature members of the Ellsworth Lions Club ringing the bell. The following weekend will be members of John and Karen Woehrle's ninth grade St. Francis CCD class.
Patti Ingli, coordinator for the Salvation Army in Ellsworth, explained they're still looking for volunteers the weekends of Dec. 16-17 and 23-24. Traditionally, she said, they've usually never had someone the weekend before Christmas, but if people want to volunteer, go right ahead.
If interested in volunteering, call Richard Harp at 273-3448 at home or (715) 821-3448. Ingli said that, if clubs are interested, they could work a late afternoon shift as well.
"You feel so much better after volunteering," Ingli said.
In Prescott, the kettle will be set up in the bank foyer to accept cash or check donations all the hours the bank is open, which are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
According to John Carlson, who works at First National and is the director for the Salvation Army in Prescott, volunteers aren't needed due to lack of traffic.
"It's kind of nice to have it in the bank," Carlson said. "It works out well because it's always here," he added, believing it has been for well over 20 years.
"The city's been generous and appreciative, so that's quite nice," he said.
Besides Hinck's and First National Bank, River Falls also has three Salvation Army locations at ShopKo, Econofoods and Dick's Fresh Market.
Ed Paulson, Pierce County spokesman for the Salvation Army, said 85 percent of the money collected this holiday season will be spent locally on low-income families to help pay for their food, clothing, rent, utility bills, transportation or other housing costs, for example. He said this year the goal for the local Salvation Army is to raise $35,000, which was above last year's total of $32,000.