The first gold coin of the Salvation Army bell ringing season was dropped in a bucket outside a Naperville grocery store Tuesday where the organization’s Aurora Corps Community Center was collecting donations.
The coin — a 1-ounce South African Krugerrand valued at $1,278 — was anonymously dropped in the red kettle at Casey’s Foods, 124 W. Gartner Road, a news release from the Salvation Army said. It was coupled with a 1-ounce silver bar valued at $17.
Proceeds from the special coin donation will go to the Aurora Corps Community Center to ensure the center “continues to provide emergency assistance, a food pantry, and holiday meals this year,” the release said.
“Knowing that there are people in our community with the means to generate excitement around the joy of giving is a true blessing,” Aurora Salvation Army Capt. Rich Forney said.
Dan Casey, owner of Casey’s Food, was also excited to learn about Tuesday’s donation.
“Someone here in Naperville is very generous and they are supporting a great cause,” Casey said. “Hopefully, it will start the trend of many more showing up in the kettles around the Chicago area.”
Bell ringing at Casey’s began Nov. 10, making it pretty early in the season for the first gold coins to be donated in the Chicagoland area, said Shanna Schwarze, director of communications for the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division.
“The coin donations are anonymous, and we believe there are probably people around town that like to do it every year,” Schwarze said.
South African Krugerrand gold coin,
A 1-ounce South African Krugerrand gold coin, valued at $1,278, and a 1-ounce silver bar, valued at $17, were anonymously dropped in a Salvation Army red kettle Tuesday outside Casey’s Foods in Naperville. (Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan)
Bucket donations are counted at the end of the night, which was when the gold coin and silver bar were found.
“It’s very exciting for everyone, and the anticipation always builds to see who will get it,” Schwarze said. “It’s like hitting the jackpot basically, and everyone is so excited about it.”
The Chicago metro area usually sees anywhere from six to 10 gold coins donated each year, she said.