12 December 2014

AMERICAN Salvation Army officer Major Marcelino 'Butch' Soriano is taking on a mammoth task to recognise and publicise The Salvation Army's upcoming 150th anniversary. As part of this year's annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign, the major is looking to set a new world record for 'longest continuous handbell-ringing by an individual', with a goal of 150 hours – more than six days! 

He is following a strict set of rules, which were in place for a World Record Bell-Ringing Competition that he and two colleagues won in 2013, when they stopped ringing after 105 hours.

Rules include:  

1.    He must ring a bell continuously.
2.    He must stand the entire time.
3.    No self-playing instruments or other aids may be used during the attempt. 
4.    He accrues five minutes of rest after each 60 minutes of ringing. 
5.    Breaks are the only time he is permitted to stop ringing, eat, sit or lie down, leave the kettle stand, use the restroom or sleep. 
6.    He may consume beverages during the attempt, but this activity must not disrupt ringing activity.


Major Soriano began his bell-ringing at 4 am on Monday 8 December at WalMart in Murrieta, California. He is planning to finish on Sunday 14 December at 10 am. He’ll have help from a corporate sponsor, Pechanga Resort, which is providing a warm jacket and hat, a chair for his rest periods, a heat lamp, a daily massage therapist (if needed), and volunteers to staff the kettle while he takes a break. Pechanga will also match the major's kettle collections, up to $2,000.

Updates from the record attempt are being tweeted from @RingingTo150.

'My goal is set for 150 hours because I’m excited to highlight the Army’s upcoming anniversary in 2015,' says Major Soriano. 'I want to ring the bell for an hour to mark each year that The Salvation Army has been on the march, doing good for people around the world.' He hopes that his endeavours will raise awareness for The Salvation Army’s 124th Red Kettle campaign as well as kicking off a historic year for The Salvation Army, which was founded in London, England, in 1865. Today its ministry has spread to 126 countries.

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign was started by Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee in San Francisco in 1891. Since then, the campaign has grown into one of the most recognisable and important charitable endeavours in the United States – with similar approaches now being used in other countries around the world. More than 25,000 Salvation Army workers and volunteers throughout the USA ring bells daily and hope to persuade shoppers to put their loose change in one of the iconic Red Kettles. The funds raised help The Salvation Army to serve 30 million people in the communities where the money was raised.

From a release by Kathy Lovin
Public Affairs and Communications
The Salvation Army USA Western Territory


Tags: Americas and Caribbean, 150th anniversary