GODFREY - Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick and his wife, Linda McCormick, are dedicating large parts of this holiday season encouraging people to donate to the bell-ringers stationed outside several Riverbend retail locations. 

The McCormicks were chosen by the Alton Salvation Army Advisory Board to chair this year's Red Kettle Campaign. As the honorary chairs, Mike McCormick said he and his wife have been volunteering to ring bells while going to awareness luncheons and meeting with members of the community. He said the real work has been done by Alton Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Greg Gelzinnis and the rest of the lieutenants working for the Salvation Army

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"Our goal is to convince our friends and everyone we know to throw something into the kettle every time they walk by one," he said. "If they don't have any cash on hand, I encourage them to write a check and send it to the Salvation Army." 

This year is the second time the McCormicks have chaired the kettle campaign. When they first accepted the role in 2005, Mike McCormick also served as the chairperson of the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club. He described himself as "wearing two hats" during the 2005 Tree of Lights lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square

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"It's my second time doing it," McCormick said. "I did it in 2005, and when they asked us to do it again this year, we did not hesitate a second. Of all the organizations out there, in my mind, the Salvation Army does one of the best job. All the money raised stays around here, and there is definitely a need for it." 

During their time as chairs of the campaign, the McCormicks have volunteered to ring bells several times at two locations. Mike McCormick said he took a shift at the Alton Square Mall, but took a few shifts at the Godfrey Schnuck's

"As the Mayor of Godfrey, I think it's pretty appropriate for me to ring bells at the Godfrey Schnuck's," he said. 

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