The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 8, 2013

Salvation Army ringer sets 105-hour ring record in Calif.

COLTON, Calif. — Salvation Army Maj. Marcelino "Butch" Soriano got a jump on ringing in the New Year this holiday season by ringing a bell for a record 105 consecutive hours outside a Wal-Mart in Colton this week.

The San Diego man's reward: An estimated $2,700 he raised for charity and his name in the Salvation Army's bell-ringing record book alongside those of fellow ringers James Brickson of Albert Lea, Minn., and Andre Thompson of Tyler, Texas, who matched him hour-for-hour.

"I feel a little bit tired, not as tired as I thought I would be," he told UT San Diego (http://bit.ly/1dZ4MYk ) after putting down his ringer at 6 p.m. Saturday. "I'm excited the other people all agreed to stop at the same time, so now we have a three-way tie."

He had originally planned to go for 100 hours, which would have shattered the old mark of 80 that was set last year. After reaching that mark, he considered ringing on until midnight before reaching agreement with his fellow ringers to stop at 6.

There were six contestants when the competition began Tuesday morning.

The rules allowed each ringer a five-minute break every hour that could be rolled over if they chose. Soriano, 46, would save his up so that he could take a 20-minute nap each day.

He said he never considered stopping, not even after someone stole his laptop before dawn Saturday.

"I'm doing great!" he said later Saturday. "People are coming up to me saying, 'I saw you on the news, go for it, we know you can do it.'"

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