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Four gold coins, worth $1,300 each, found in Salvation Army Kettle in Lake Zurich

Three gold coins valued $1536 were dropped familiar red kettles between Dec. 6 Dec. 9 Walmart Round Lake Beach Route

Three gold coins valued at $1,536 were dropped in the familiar red kettles between Dec. 6 and Dec. 9 at the Walmart in Round Lake Beach on Route 83 and the Jewel food store in Grayslake on Belvidere Road. | File photo

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Updated: January 13, 2014 6:16AM

A secretive, generous Santa dropped four gold coins worth $1,300 each into a Salvation Army Red Kettle on Wednesday outside a Wal-Mart in Lake Zurich.

The $50 coins were an ounce of gold each, according to the Salvation Army.

“This time of year, we are reminded of the generosity of our donors, and the needs of our clients,” said Capt. David Martinez of The Salvation Army Des Plaines Corps. “Gold coins are important, not only because of the direct benefit that the additional funds provide to the people that we serve, but also because it provides both our bell ringers and our community with more optimism for the year to come. Even though these gold coins were placed in one particular kettle, all of our bell ringers celebrate together and it really inspires everyone in the community to help their neighbors in need.”

According to the Salvation Army, the philanthropic tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles dates back more than 25 years, first in nearby McHenry County. The Salvation Army has since received more than 400 gold coins from anonymous donors.

The Salvation Army Des Plaines Corps, which includes Lake Zurich, has reported a significant increase in the number of families, individuals and seniors requesting emergency help with rent and utilities this year, which is one of the primary uses for Red Kettle donations.

The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division serves more than 137,000 people during the holiday season, and delivers more than 30,000 food baskets, 56,000 articles of clothing and more than 153,000 toys.

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