Bell ringers turn out for holiday fund drive

Katie Wilkinson, left, and Milena Carrera of Corona del Sol High School’s Red Kettle Club stand with principal Brent Brown, back left, and Captain Robyn Bridgeo, center, of the Salvation Army, along with club sponsor and CdS English teacher Debbie Gile, back right. Brown and members of the CdS Red Kettle Club will be ringing bells Dec. 3 at Fry’s Marketplace, located on the northwest corner of Rural and Ray roads, to benefit the Salvation Army.

Principal Brent Brown joined Corona del Sol students and teachers Dec. 3 when they rang bells at Fry’s Marketplace to benefit the Salvation Army.

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Katie Wilkinson, a junior at the high school, started a campus Red Kettle Club, believed to be the first official club of its type inAmerica.

“I chose Salvation Army over other organizations because all the money we raise will be used for programs in our own community,” Wilkinson said. 

“Many clubs atCoronabenefit people in other areas of the world, but I think it’s significant to help those less fortunate right here at home.”

The club’s first major effort was the Dec. 3 event at Fry’s, when members “adopted” two kettles and rang bells at the Fry’s Marketplace on the northwest corner of Ray and Rural roads.

“I’d love for the club to have the most amount of money raised in one day inArizona,” Wilkinson said, “but that’s a big wish. I really just want to have fun while helping others and doing the most good.”

Tempecorps officer Robyn Bridgeo said The Salvation Army is greatly appreciative of the school’s effort.

“The Corona del Sol Red Kettle Club is an exciting initiative being launched this year by one remarkable young lady,” Bridgeo said. 

“She has charisma and drive like none I’ve ever seen her age. I believe Katie is living proof that today’s youth are an untapped resource – she isn’t waiting until she is old enough to make a difference. Salvation Army, look out.”

Debbie Gile, Corona English teacher and Red Kettle Club sponsor, has been working with the club to recruit other groups and teams throughout the school to sign up to ring bells.

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