More than $96,000 raised during Salvation Army red kettle campaign in Douglas County

The ringers spent 1,141 hours ringing bells, which averaged out to about $70.88 per hour raised.

Bell Ringer.jpg
Dick Quitmeyer was a Salvation Army bell ringer at Fleet Farm in Alexandria during the 2022 Red Kettle Campaign.
Contributed photo

DOUGLAS COUNTY — Bell ringers in the Alexandria area raised more than $96,000 for the Salvation Army during the holiday season.

Although the goal of $100,000 was not met, organizers are happy with this year’s campaign and the amount of money raised.

“Bad weather impacted our efforts or we would have exceeded our goal,” said Stu Mackechney, a local service unit member with the Salvation Army of Douglas County.

Results from the campaign were shared and celebrated with ringers on Feb. 2 at a party at First Lutheran Church.

During the event, Mackechney shared that 84% of the $96,016 dollars raised came from the ringers, who he said are “vitally important.” The ringers spent 1,141 hours ringing bells, which averaged out to about $70.88 per hour raised.


He also shared that 88% of the funds stay local.Over the course of the last 10 years, the local bell ringers have raised $883,697. Here’s a look at each year:

  • 2022 – $96,016
  • 2021 – $108,186
  • 2020 – $99,039
  • 2019 – $75,652
  • 2018 – $79,749
  • 2017 – $71,858
  • 2016 – $80,939
  • 2015 – $92,976
  • 2014 – $95,000
  • 2013 – $84,173

Donna Ortendahl, the Salvation Army field representative for this area, said while the bell ringers were out and about raising funds for the Salvation Army, she was assisting clients by helping to pay for rent, deposits, gas, transportation and utilities.

In addition, the Salvation Army hosted an A&W movie night with those who live at Windmill Ponds.

“The residents were awarded prizes and grab bags with all kinds of Salvation Army things in them. We wanted the area elderly residents to know that we have not forgotten about them and that they are very special and an important part of our community,” said Ortendahl. “The residents had a great time and so did our volunteers who helped us from the local Salvation Army service unit. We all had a very enjoyable day.”

The residents enjoyed A&W root beer floats, watched movies, played games and ate popcorn.

The next project for the Douglas County Salvation Army will be at Easter time when they distribute 200 free Easter food boxes. People will be able to register in March for these boxes.

Lastly, Ortendahl shared that the Salvation Army has hired a full-time employee to be in the Douglas County office in Alexandria. Dave Lahr was hired Jan. 11. He will be the new case worker.

“We are so happy to have him join our Salvation Army team,” said Ortendahl.


Lahr can be contacted by mail at The Salvation Army, c/o Viking Towers Office, 805 Fillmore Street, Alexandria, MN 56308; by phone at 651-746-3507; or by email at For more information, visit the Salvation Army website at .

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
What To Read Next
Get Local