Highland Village bell ringing

Highland Village Councilmen Daniel Jaworski (left), Jon Kixmiller (second from left) and Mike Lombardo (right) join Mayor Charlotte Wilcox on Dec. 21 in ringing the Salvation Army bell at Walmart.

Lewisville Mayor Rudy Durham issued the challenge, and two of his mayoral counterparts answered the call.

Durham, along with Highland Village Mayor Charlotte Wilcox and Flower Mound Mayor Steve Dixon, teamed up to raise $8,594 during this year’s Salvation Army Red Kettle Challenge.

On Dec. 21 each mayor, with help from their fellow elected officials and city/town staff members, picked a location to ring the Salvation Army bell to raise money for the organization.

For the second year in a row, Wilcox and her staff raised the most money. Highland Village collected $1,968 from the kettle site, plus $1,250 in online donations for a total of $3,218. Wilcox and members of the City Council took turns bell ringing outside the Walmart on FM 2499 and FM 407.

“We have some very giving people in not only Highland Village but also Flower Mound, Lantana and the whole surrounding area,” Wilcox said. All together we raised more than $8,000 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. So that’s awesome.”

Wilcox said the city did a good job of promoting the option of donating online as well.

The Lewisville team, which consisted of Durham and Lewisville staff members and council members, raised $1,811 onsite and $1,055 online for a total of $2,866. They set up a site at Sam's Club.

“All three of our cities did a great job for the community,” Durham said. “All of us can be happy with the service we provided.”

Flower Mound’s team, which rang the bell outside of Kroger, finished with $2,510 total ($1,335 onsite and $1,175 online).

“Town employees and elected officials were happy to help support the good work of the Salvation Army and appreciate the generous support of the residents in all three communities,” Dixon said.

Wilcox and her team raised the most last year as well.

“We may have won, but the real winners were the Salvation Army and the people they serve,” Wilcox said. “It was real close. We’re fortunate to live in the area that we live in.”

Stephen Thomas, executive director of Salvation Army of Denton County, said raising money this year was a challenge because the holiday season was a week shorter since Thanksgiving came a week later.

“Because of the shortened season we have shortfall with our bell ringing,” Thomas said. “The donations brought in with this challenge are very much appreciated and help support individuals in the communities we serve. We are better together – neighbors helping neighbors. The real winners are the clients we support as we strive to bring them out of their struggles in a sustainable way. This additional $8,000 plus incremental donations will directly help those in need.”

The Red Kettle campaign, which began in 1891, helps raise money for those who need it most in communities nationwide – providing toys for children, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round, according to The Salvation Army’s website.

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