On the day after thanksgiving, John Turner headed for the Panama City Mall to ring his bell for the Salvation Army
“No, its not the first time, I've done it a few times. Every time I say it’s going to be the last, but next time I'm ready again.”
Next time has turned into 13 years for Mr. Turner.
Just across the way, Adam Hudson has traded in his bell for a baritone.
“I've been doing this since I was about 13 years old, since my father was a Salvation Army officer, and it’s just something I like to do.”
For well over 60 years, bell ringers like Adam and John have camped out at local malls and stores, trying to raise money to help out the less fortunate. In that time, some familiar faces have even taken up the cause like Newschannel 7's own Joe Moore with his phrase, "Ho, ho, ho, give me the dough."
Salvation Army officials hope to raise $105,000 this year. As of Monday, bell ringers have pulled in nearly $82,000 despite some pretty cold days.
Salvation Army bell ringers will be at the Panama City Mall, local Wal-Mart’s, and other stores until Christmas eve. However, they will not be at area Target stores. Target has banned the Salvation Army nationwide as part of a "no solicitation" policy.