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Salvation Army Wins 'Battle of the Bells'

Red Kettle volunteers win new van for local corps.

Alexandria Salvation Army board chairman Walter Clarke, left, joins Lieutenants Sherri and Trey Jones March 9 in celebrating the acquisition of a new van from Jack Taylor's Toyota. The Corps won the van by logging the most volunteer hours in the DC region during the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign.

Alexandria Salvation Army board chairman Walter Clarke, left, joins Lieutenants Sherri and Trey Jones March 9 in celebrating the acquisition of a new van from Jack Taylor's Toyota. The Corps won the van by logging the most volunteer hours in the DC region during the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign. Photo by Jeanne Theismann.

It was a hard fought fight but in the end, it was the Alexandria Corps of the Salvation Army that emerged triumphant in the “Battle of the Bells,” a competition among 11 Washington regional corps to log the most volunteer hours during the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign. The prize: A new van for the victor.

“We are very grateful to our volunteers for their efforts,” said Lieutenant Trey Jones of the competition sponsored by the Salvation Army National Capital Region Area Command. “If it weren't for the many individuals and organizations throughout the area that donated their time for us, we would not have been able to acquire this much-needed van.”

With the combined bell-ringing efforts of volunteers from organizations such as the American Legion Post 24, the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Clubs of Alexandria and Mount Vernon, the Old Dominion Boat Club and The Dairy Godmother, the Alexandria Corps logged 934 hours during the Red Kettle Campaign to win a new van from a dealer of their choice.

“There was no question where we would go to buy the van,” Jones said. “Jack Taylor has been so generous to us over the years so we didn't hesitate at all to bring our business to him when we won the new van.”

Lieutenant Sherri Jones picked up the new 2012 Toyota Sienna on behalf of the Corps on March 9.

“This is so exciting,” Sherri Jones said. “It's so new it only had five miles on it. Now it has eight,” she added with a laugh, referring to the close proximity of the Corps headquarters to Jack Taylor's Toyota showroom.

The Fairfax Corps of the Salvation Army finished second in the competition with 840 hours.

“This really was a community-wide effort,” Trey Jones said. “There are so many individuals who came out for us. We are so grateful and hope they know just how much their time and support is appreciated.”