Salvation Army Bell Ringers Set New World Record At More Than 60 Hours
Springfield, IL Man and Two Competitors From Indianapolis Outlast 21 Competitors
Darrell Tureskis, 49, from Springfield, IL, rang until a few minutes past midnight Saturday in his bid to set the new world record for the longest continuous hand bell ringing at a Salvation Army Red Kettle. Two volunteers from Indianapolis Caleb Stokes and Leilan McNally, also rang for 60 hours until midnight, far surpassing the previous record of 36 hours set in 2010.
Tureskis, a small business owner, outlasted the field of Salvation Army volunteer bell ringers who stood at kettle stands in cities across America to raise awareness for The Salvation Army’s 120th Red Kettle Campaign to support people in need. As volunteer bell ringesr in the contest, Tureskis, Stokes and McNally, along with all the other contestants, endured fatigue and hunger, among other challenges.
Bell ringers, which included nine Salvation Army officers, as well as staff members, former residents and others from the community, rang from coast to coast and even in Alaska. Many stood in front of Walmart Stores or in areas with high foot traffic in their cities.
Participants were bound by several rules that tested their endurance during their attempt.
1. Participants must stand the entire time.
2. Participants may not eat.
3. Participants may drink hydration products only such as water, Gatorade or juice.
4. Participants must ring a bell at all times.
5. Participants only may use a bathroom once every 4 hours, during a ten minute break.
In addition, some battled cold and snow while they rang. Others competed and supported each other face-to-face as they rang, such as Stokes and McNally. Both men rang together for 60 hours nonstop at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, IN.
One participant in Louisville, KY, Ryan Althaus bounced on a trampoline for the majority of his 36-hour attempt which he broadcast live on the Internet. Many people cheered the contestants on, some driving long distances to donate and show their support. The ringers were inspired by acts of kindness including, small children who donated the contents of their piggy bank, onlookers who provided soft mats to stand on and calf massages as the contest wore on. Many people followed the contest online through social media including on Twitter at thehashtag, #RingItOn.
The top five contestants participating in the Bell Ringing World Record contest included
- Darrell Tureskis; Springfield, IL – 60 Hours
- Leilan McNally; Indianapolis, IN – 60 Hours
- Caleb Stokes; Indianapolis, IN – 60 Hours
- Jason Perkins; Suisun, City, CA – 57 Hours
- Saundra Shearon; Cleburne, TX – 57 Hours
The Red Kettle Campaign is the longest-running fundraiser of its kind and was started as a fundraiser by Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee in San Francisco in 1891. Since that time, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army workers and volunteers spread throughout the country to ring bells daily and solicit spare change donations to the iconic red kettles from holiday shoppers. In 2010, the campaign collected more than $142 million nationwide, a new record supported by the public’s nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars, and credit cards and helped The Salvation Army serve 30 million people in communities where the money was raised.