’Tis the season for giving — and friendly competition.
After Hillsdale College won its first bell-ringing competition with Hillsdale Hospital in 2015, the businesses are facing off again to raise money for the Salvation Army. The hospital kicked off this year’s contest Saturday at the Kroger on W. Carleton, and the college will do its part Dec. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..
“They are the two biggest employers in the county, and both exist to serve others,” Brock Lutz, the college’s director of health services and a member of the Hillsdale County Salvation Army’s advisory board said in an email. “Great success last year, people told me they loved doing it, so let’s do it again.”
In total, the college raised $1,595.84 to the hospital’s $1,298.24. This amount doesn’t include the money raised by students ringing the bell for the Salvation Army by Mossey Library through the on-campus GOAL Program.
The totals earned the college and hospital Bell Ringer Awards, being the second and third business to raise the most money in the county.
The No. 1 spot went to WCSR Radio, which raised more than $10,000 in just six hours last year at the Market House on W. Carleton as it broadcasted live.
“It’s the generosity of the our listeners,” said Bob Flynn, the afternoon host who will be ringing bells with Juli Morgan on Dec. 16 from noon to 6 p.m. “They bring buckets full of coins or very large checks and everything in between.”
WCSR has corporate sponsors to match the funds, allowing the station to double whatever people put in the bucket.
The Salvation Army returns all the donations to the community, supporting its efforts to provide a meal four days a week, fill its food pantry, provide fresh produce weekly, and fund activities for county children, Salvation Army Administrative Assistant Kathryn Stump said.
That’s what Flynn said it is all about: “We just hope we can make it the merriest Christmas for everyone in the county.”