Christmas campaign in full swing in Southern California
by Robert Brennan –
When all the counting was done, the Celebrity Bell Ringing Luncheon grossed over $85,000 in a 5-minute race to fill the red kettles.
The Rotary Club of Los Angeles sponsored this year’s Celebrity Bell Ringing event to benefit The Salvation Army’s Southern California Division.
The 2008 Celebrity Bell Ringing event marked a departure from years past. Instead of gathering in an outdoor location, Rotarians, LA Metro Advisory Board members, celebrities and other guests moved into the California Club this year. Rather than soliciting pedestrians and passersby on the streets of Los Angeles, supporters of The Salvation Army were encouraged to sponsor tables of 10 guests. Each guest was in turn asked to contact at least 10 people and encourage them to help fill the red kettle. Twenty-eight tables were “sold out” in this manner.
Fritz Coleman, award-winning local Los Angeles weatherman for KNBC TV, Rotarian, and longtime friend and supporter of The Salvation Army, emceed the event. When he signaled the race was on, a spirit of friendly competition permeated the grand dining room. Guests at each table began filling their kettle with donations. Notables such as Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Stephen Collins, star of the family friendly television show 7th Heaven, added to the excitement during the counting of the kettle contents. A virtual fireworks display heralded the prompt announcement of the day’s total revenues.