LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It’s the season of giving, and Dec. 14, the mayors of Lake Charles, Sulphur and Westlake came out to help.
"Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas," one Sulphur firefighter said.
The bells were ringing, all in the hopes of raising money for the Salvation Army.
“It makes me so happy to see that people have a giving heart because without them, we would just suffer so much,” Lieutenant Thomas Marian said. “This goes to a big portion of our budget every year, so this six week push from a week before Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.”
The first ‘Battle of the Bells’ competition between Lake Charles, Sulphur, and Westlake.
“We wanted to get our community leaders more involved with our bell ringing,” Marian said. “It was an easy way to go around and everybody loves competition.”
In Sulphur, the donations were coming in fast as Mayor Mike Danahay was joined by the fire department.
“We’ve gotten very excited about it because we feel like in the Sulphur community, we got such a giving community,” Danahay said. “We think we are going to be very successful in this Battle of the Bells.”
In Westlake, Mayor Bob Hardey decided to have somewhat of a party.
“All my fireman came. Half of them were dressed up as little bears and other stuff, so it was kinda fun. My chief of police is here,naturally, Chief Wilrye,” Hardey said.
While bringing in big donations...
“We just had Isle of Capris come in, you saw that. He put a thousand dollars in the bell just to help,” Hardey said.
Though it was just Mayor Nic Hunter in Lake Charles, it didn’t stop people from donating.
“The citizens of SWLA care about their brothers and sisters, especially around the Christmas season, and everyone deserves to have a Merry Christmas,” Hunter said.
This was the first year for the competition, but the Salvation Army said they will be looking to expand next year.
“Hopefully, next year, we can add Jennings, DeRidder, Iowa,” Marian said.
As for where the donations go:
“It helps with our homeless shelter, our soup kitchen. It helps with our character building classes for our youth,” Marian said.
Really, the possibilities are endless. The competition continues until 7 p.m. on Dec. 14. Battle of the Bells donations are being accepted at the following locations:
Lake Charles - Walmart at 3451 Nelson Rd.
Sulphur- Walmart at 525 N Cities Service Hwy.
Westlake - Market Basket at 2013 Sampson St.