(Colon, CA December 9, 2013) – Salvation Army Major Butch Soriano just set a new world record for the longest continuous hand bell-ringing by an individual : 105 hours! Beginning on Giving Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at 9:00 am, Major Soriano stood in rain, wind, sunshine and darkness as he participated in the third annual World Record Bell Ringing Contest seeking to raise awareness for The Salvation Army’s 123rd Red Kettle Campaign. When he put down his bell at 6:00 pm, Soriano was well past the 80-hour record set in 2012.
Soriano says he chose to ring in Colton, California to bring awareness about the great need in that area. As he rang, the Salvation Army pastor prayed with many who stopped at his kettle, including a woman recovering from a stroke and a man undergoing cancer treatment. He posted frequently on Facebook, sharing his excitement as he reached milestones and sharing favorite Bible verses that kept him going, such as this at 5:42 am yesterday, “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1Corinthians 16: 13 – 14 NLT
Soriano also broadcast his ringing live on ustream until a thief stole his laptop as he was moving his things from the breezeway of the store where he stood during the night to lessen the cold. Soriano was sad, not only to lose the laptop but also because he spent 25 precious accumulated break time minutes talking to police officers, time he could have spent resting. But nothing dimmed his spirits! “I feel great!”, he posted around noon today.
Wife, Major Kim Soriano, and daughter, Glory, cheered him on as did dozens of friends, supporters and other Salvation Army officers. Colleagues from divisional headquarters in San Diego where Soriano works as CFO, drove to Colton to support him and even keep him company during the long and bitterly cold nights.
Major Soriano will share the title with two other bell ringers: Captain James Brickson of Albert Lea, MN and Andre Thompson from Tyler, TX.
Every participant was required to follow mentally and physically punishing rules.
1.Contestants must ring a bell continuously.
2.Participants must stand the entire time.
3.No self-playing instruments or other aids may be used during the attempt.
4.Contestants accrue five minutes of rest after each 60 minutes of ringing.
5.Breaks are the only time contestants are permitted to stop ringing, eat, sit or lie down, leave the kettle stand, use the restroom or sleep.
6.Contestants may drink nonalcoholic beverages during the attempt, but that may not disrupt ringing activity.
The 123rd Red Kettle Campaign, the longest-running fundraiser of its kind, was started 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 throughout the country ring bells daily and solicit holiday shoppers’ spare-change donations to the iconic red kettles. In 2010, the campaign collected more than $142 million of the public’s nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars andcredit cards nationwide, a new record. It helped The Salvation Army serve 30 million people in the communities where the money was raised.
More information on the Red Kettle Campaign is available atsalvationarmyusa.org.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.