MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — A Salvation Army major is attempting to set a new record for the longest continuous bell-ringing by an individual – 150 hours – at a Walmart in Murrieta this week.
Maj. Marcelino "Butch" Soriano, 47, set up his kettle and took up his bell at 4 a.m. Monday and will go for the record in celebration of the Salvation Army's 150 years in existence and its 124th annual Red Kettle Campaign, during which bell-ringers seek donations outside stores throughout the holiday season.
"My goal is set for 150 hours because I'm excited to highlight the army's upcoming anniversary in 2015," he said. "I want to ring the bell for an hour to mark each year that the Salvation Army has been on the march, doing good for people around the world."
Soriano plans to man his kettle at Walmart, 41200 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, for 150 hours, or 6.25 days, and plans to stop at 10 a.m. Sunday, spokeswoman Kathy Lovin said.
The Pechange Resort & Casino in Temecula is supporting the effort and will match all of Soriano's kettle collections, up to $2,000, according to the Salvation Army. Pechanga is also providing him with a hat, coat, chair, heat lamp – and massage therapist, if he needs one.
Soriano took part in a similar event last year, when he and two other Salvation Army workers – one in Minnesota, the other in Texas, jointly stayed on bell-ringing duty for 105 hours.
According to the Salvation Army's contest rules, Soriano accrues five minutes of rest for every hour he rings his bell, which must be continuous. Organizers said he has to stand the entire time, and he can only eat, sit down, use the restroom or take a nap during his five-minute breaks. He can take a drink whenever he needs one, as long as it doesn't interfere with bell ringing.
Volunteers will step in and take over the bell whenever Soriano is on hiatus, according to the Salvation Army. Lovin said there will be no formal documentation of the record-setting attempt.
"There's no national competition," she said. "He's just doing this on his own."
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