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Worthington's Red Kettle campaign sets new record

Jay Scheidt was one of the 2012 Salvation Army Red Kettle bell ringers.

WORTHINGTON -- Worthington shoppers were in a giving spirit this Christmas season, filling up Salvation Army Red Kettles in the community to the tune of $17,907.36 -- a new local record, according to Red Kettle coordinator Wally Scholten.

He learned of the total Friday morning and was overwhelmed when he saw how much was raised.

"I was so shocked," he said. "I asked the bank teller, 'Are you sure that's right?'"

Salvation Army kettles were staffed by volunteer bell ringers from Nov. 22 through Dec. 24, with kettles placed at Hy-Vee, Shopko, Runnings, Fareway, Ace Hardware and JC Penney.

"We got a lot of good volunteers -- a lot of guys and some ladies, too. They put a lot of hours in," Scholten said. "A lot of them had never done it before and thought it was fun -- they've already volunteered to do it again next year. You get to see people you don't see otherwise."

All of the money raised through the Red Kettle campaign in Worthington stays in Nobles County. Scholten said some of the proceeds help fund a backpack program for students at Prairie Elementary in Worthington. The money is also used to provide gas or room vouchers to people in need. The vouchers are distributed at the discretion of law enforcement.

This year's record-setting collection topped last year's total of $17,446.78 by more than $450. In 2010, the campaign raised $17,278.34; and in 2009, the total was $15,595, Scholten said.

Bell ringers typically volunteered to work at the red kettles from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Anyone interested in volunteering as a bell ringer next year may contact Scholten at 376-5829.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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