The Salvation Army of Augusta hopes to be saved by the bell – or at least by one of its ringers – for Christmas.
The organization is $83,600 short of its $250,000 goal for its annual Red Kettle fundraiser with less than one week remaining in the campaign, so it’s staging its inaugural “Battle of the Bell” to see which ringer can shake a small brass bell for the longest time.
The competition begins at noon Wednesday as six bell ringers compete to outlast the others. Contestants must remain standing and continue ringing their bells even while eating or drinking. A 15-minute break will be given every few hours, and kettles will be emptied every six hours.
Battle of the Bell kettles will be at Walmart on Bobby Jones Expressway and Knox Avenue in North Augusta and at Kroger at 2801 Washington Road.
The competition continues until one bell ringer remains, or Saturday, whichever comes first.
Last year, the Red Kettle campaign raised $216,000. Donations support holiday programs and year-round services, including a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and a job skills program.