salvation army kettles hit gold

Thursday, December 21, 2017 14:49 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

More Salvation Army kettles in northwest Indiana have struck gold.

This time it was in Michigan City.

Two gold coins worth over $900 combined were found Wednesday night in kettles at Wal-Mart and Big R.

This came four days after a gold coin emerged from a kettle in Highland outside the Strack & VanTil store on Cline Ave.

Capt. Johnny Bartsch with the Salvation Army in Michigan City said each coin was wrapped in a small piece of paper containing different handwritten messages related to Christmas.

''Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings'' from the classic holiday movie 'It's a Wonderful Life' and ''What if Christmas doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas means a little bit more?'' from 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' were inscribed.

Who deposited the gold coins is not known but the handwriting appears to be from the same person.

Bell ringers had no idea until the kettles were emptied.

''We were able to look at those and say oh my goodness these are really gold,'' Bartsch said.

One coin contains a half-ounce of gold while the other is made from a quarter-ounce of the precious metal.

The coins helped move this year's kettle drive total of nearly $70,000 closer to the $100,000 goal.

''This definitely made for an exciting Christmas surprise for us,'' Bartsch said.

Bartsch said a gold tooth was dropped into one of the Michigan City kettles last year.

In 2014, a set of gold teeth rolled out of a kettle outside Wal Mart in LaPorte.

Capt. Justin Windell came to the Salvation Army in LaPorte several months later but has heard enough stories about it to consider the find sort of legendary and something he practically craves to experience himself.

''It almost has turned into a white whale for me. That's just something I've never seen before. I've only heard about it,'' Windell said.