Ringing the bell for Salvation Army

Delores Richards and I, Dennis Ozmun1, are the two volunteer coordinators for the Lyon County Salvation Army.

What a roll-a-coaster ride this has been. Looking over the last few years in 2020, we had $40,348.

In 2021 we were just over $50,000. 2022 brought in just over $44,000, and 2023 we are at $42,706.

Between the economy and the multitude of variables that we all have we are fortunate and very thankful for what we receive. That said, a huge “Thank You” to all who participated and/or contributed to this year’s success. A special thank you to Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative for their generous donation.

About 88% of what is collected stays right here in Lyon County.

A special recognition to the Marshall Independent and KMHL. You guys are great. Thank you.

Thank you to Hy-Vee, Runnings, Ace Hardware and El Rancho Mexican Restaurant for allowing us to ring our bell in your business. Thank you to the locations that allow us to place our kettles in their business. In Marshall, La Tapatia Grocery Store, Hy-Vee Gas, Perkins. In Minneota, Ag Plus Convenience Store and Brad’s Market and in Cottonwood the Cottonwood Co-op Convenience Store.

For the fourth year in a row, the Marshall Fire Department and First Independent Bank each took one location for the entire day. Thank you. For the fourth year in a row the Marshall Honor Society rang for us and this year they took a total of 24 hours. Fantastic, thank you. We also had the Marshall High football team that rang for the second year in a row and two students from Tracy who rang for the first time. Thank you.

Our Special Olympians were there for us again this year, Thank You. This year we were fortunate to have some of the junior hockey teams ringing the bell. Thank you.

A special thank you to Santa for taking his time to ring the bell for a whole day and Mrs. Santa Claus showed up for a portion of that day. Thanks to Hy-Vee for matching funds up to $1,000. A special treat was when the Grinch showed up and brought smiles to the young and old. Thank you Grinch (whoever you are). Our Realtor day was once again filled with ringers from Full Circle Realty, Edina Realty, Marshall Area Homes, Wilson O’Brien, Keller Williams, and Minnesota Land and Homes. Thank you.

One of our bell ringers has not been able to ring for a few years due to some health issues. Out of admiration and respect for all that Jack Hennen has done for the Salvation Army, he is the very first call that I make every year. This year, unannounced, Jack showed up at Hy-Vee to ring the bell. He was not scheduled and my daughter happened to be the one ringing. Jack looked at her and said “You are in my place.” Jack and my daughter rang the bell together that day. I know it was not easy for Jack to do this and seeing him there warmed my heart as it was so very special. Thank you Jack Hennen for all the years and everything you have done for the Salvation Army and the people of Lyon County. God bless you my friend.

We had two new bell ringers this year. Jack Hennen’s wife Terri was the first bell ringer of the year and Father Paul Schumacher rang the bell for the first time. I mention this as he is only 87 years young which shows you that regardless of age, you can ring the bell. Our ringers once again were drastically down.

Please, people, you can volunteer for as little as one hour out of the 8,760 hours in a year. It is a very rewarding and a fun thing to do.

Finally, it is with sadness that I will be resigning as scheduling coordinator for the Salvation Army. I have enjoyed and absolutely loved what I do, however it is very time consuming and I am missing some of my grandchildren’ s events. With the job I had before I retired I missed so very much of my children’s and grandchildren’s events and I just don’t want to do that anymore. My wife and I will still ring the bell as it is such a worthwhile cause and we really enjoy it. We are proud to be a part of this community family of Lyon County and we thank you for your donations and time spent to further the mission of the Lyon Com1ty Salvation Army. Thank you and God bless each and everyone of you.

— Dennis Ozmun is scheduling coordinator for the Salvation Army red kettle campaign


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