For thirty years, Oakmont Kiwanis has partnered with the Salvation Army to ring the bells at the Salvation Army red kettle donation sites during the holidays. The need continues in 2020, so the Kiwanis Club of Oakmont rang the bells for the Salvation Army outside Oliver’s Market on December 12, 2020.

With such a history of bell-ringing, Kiwanis members have many stories to share about their years as bell ringers. Tricia Shindledecker invites high school Key Club students and sings Christmas songs to encourage donations. “One year, we had someone jokingly make a generous donation if we would stop singing,” she says. “At least I think they were joking.” Anne Isaacs, Charlie Ensley, and Jim Stewart have rung the bells for multiple Kiwanis clubs as they have moved during their lifetimes. “It is one of my favorite activities”, says Anne Isaacs.

Charlie Ensley has been a bell ringer for forty-one consecutive years. In his first year in Kiwanis, before cell phones, his wife was nine months pregnant. He devised a plan to receive word if she went into labor. Wife Peggy was to call a shop owner across the street from the grocery store where Charlie was ringing the bells. The shop owner would get Charlie if needed.

The Kiwanis Club of Oakmont is a service and social organization, and new members are welcome to attend current meetings held via Zoom on Thursday mornings at 8:00 am. Call Tricia Shindledecker at (707) 888-7446 or email tshin7446@gmail.com for a Zoom invite.

Lessons learned from ringing the bells for Salvation Army?…our kettle runneth over.

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