Memorial Regional Health wins second annual battle of the bells in Craig |

Memorial Regional Health wins second annual battle of the bells in Craig

Rebecca Powell, left, and Linda Olsen ring the bell asking for donations into one of more than 25,000 Red Kettles, found in front of retail stores and on street corners and used to collect funds for the Salvation Army.

CRAIG – Results of a friendly competition to raise funds for the Salvation Army are in, and for the second year in a row, the staff of Colorado Northwestern Community College conceded victory to the staff of Memorial Regional Health.

“I am pleased to announce that, between The Memorial Regional Hospital and CNCC, we raised over $1,300 for the Salvation Army. The difference between what the organizations each raised was a mere $2.30,” said CNCC Craig Campus Vice President Janell Oberlander in an email message to staff.

Volunteers representing MRH worked one-hour bell ringing shifts Tuesday, Dec. 5, outside City Market. The college bell ringers were out Friday, Dec. 8. Both days were sunny and bright, encouraging shoppers to visit and donate coins and bills in the iconic red kettle.

“We have clearly superior bell ringing skills. And we are good at wishing people Merry Christmas,” said MRH Vice President of Operations Jennifer Riley.

The competition between the college and hospital began in 2016.

MRH increased its winning margin from less than a dollar to just a little more than two dollars, and did it without its lead bell ringer, Andy Daniels, who was out of town at a conference in Florida, Riley said.

The prize for winning the ‘Battle of the Bells’ is a decorated cowbell that will remain in MRH possession for another year.

But, the real winner was the nearly 140-year-old Salvation Army — an international evangelical movement that, as part of the universal Christian Church, works to meet human needs in Christ’s name without discrimination — and the more than 25 million Americans who will be helped by the donations collected from individuals and organizations, including the money raised by CNCC and MRH.

“Thanks to all who participated in this worthy competition, which was all for a great cause,” Oberlander said. “ We congratulate them on the second year running and look forward to next year, when CNCC shall overcome and claim the trophy.”

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or

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