Denver kicks off kettle campaign; breaks bell ringing record
More than 18,000 ring bells simultaneously at hockey game, breaking Guinness Book World Record.
by Stephanie Gustafson –
The Denver Salvation Army teamed up with the Colorado Avalanche to kick off the Christmas Red Kettle Campaign and set a world record on Nov. 21, 2005, at the Colorado Avalanche NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames.
After the first period, the three Avalanche coaches, Colorado Lt. Governor Jane Norton, Intermountain Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Raymond Peacock, and Red Shield Director Lt. Ron McKinney were on the ice to kick off the event. The announcer counted down, “5-4-3-2-1- ring your bells!” Avs’ fans cheered and rang 18,007 bells with fervor and broke the Guinness Book of World Records for simultaneous bell ringing.
“The Salvation Army is pleased to announce that together with the Colorado Avalanche we have broken a world record for bells being rung simultaneously,” said McKinney. “The previous record of 5,000 bells [set in 1998 at the Phoenix NHL hockey game] was eclipsed…fans thanked two respected organizations for working together to alleviate a little suffering and pain.”
All of the 18,007 bells were donated by Kroenke Sports Charities and over 75 volunteers placed bells on each cup holder that morning; this is the third year that Kroenke Sports helped the Denver Salvation Army kick off its kettle campaign. Also, 20 kettles were placed outside the stadium and collected more than $6,000.
During a pre-event before the game, the band played Christmas music as fans poured into the stadium; Peacock presented a plaque to Scott Schoelzel, the grandson of Charles W. Schoelzel, Kiwanis Club, the first service group to ring for the Army. Scott also gave The Salvation Army a check for $1,000 during the presentation.
The following day, several radio and TV stations in Denver Metro rang Salvation Army bells during their live morning shows, which also helped promote the kettle campaign.