ALTON - East Alton First United Methodist Church appears to be a magnet for gold coins in the Alton Salvation Army campaign.

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Kettle Coordinator, Greg Gelzinnis, announced today, “A second gold coin was found by Kettle Counter, Fran Steward, when this week’s count was done.

“This newest coin was a 1955 Cinco Peso and contains .1205 Troy Ounces of gold.”

The second gold coin was found in the kettle being manned by a team from the East Alton First United Methodist Church on Friday, Dec. 8, at the Wood River Wal-Mart. While this in and of itself doesn’t seem like that big a deal, the East Alton Methodist members have laid claim to having at least one gold coin show up during their watch over the last four or five years.

Corps officer, Lt. Stephen Reinier said with a smile, “I need to have Greg schedule this group at least once a week next year.” Reinier added, “This certainly is a very generous donation and I hope that it will inspire others who have the resources to do likewise.”

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Gelzinnis said he was incorrect when he said the value of last weeks' coin that was discovered was valued at $5.

"At the current price of gold, each of the donated coins is valued between $120 and $150," he said. "Certainly the gold coins are a most generous donation."

The Red Kettle Campaign has nine bell ringing days left and presently stands at just over $50,000 as of Thursday. While Kettle Coordinator Gelzinnis is confident that the Alton Corps will once again be able to Light Their Star, he certainly encourages everyone to please give generously over this next week and a half.

“You never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at you”, Gelzinnis said. “A snow or ice storm can really throw a wrench into kettle donations in a hurry.”

If you would like to be a part of the Red Kettle Bell Ringing Team, you can go to and register today. More than 300 time slots still remain to be filled.

Donations may also be made in person at the Alton Corps office at 525 Alby St.

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