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Gold coins deposited in Libertyville Jewel’s red kettle

Updated: February 21, 2014 4:15AM

More than $10,000 in gold coins have showered Salvation Army kettles in Lake County this holiday season, the latest being a deposit that included a personalized note outside of the Jewel store in Libertyville.

For the third year in a row, an anonymous donor has dropped a package of seven gold Swiss Francs in a red kettle at the Jewel in Libertyville.

The Swiss gold francs, each containing .19 ounces of gold, were gift-wrapped and droppe d anonymously in the kettle on Dec. 18. The coins are worth $1,960.

“Enclosed is a gift of appreciation to the entire Salvation Army team for all the wonderful work you all do in providing for the less fortunate,” said a handwritten note included with the package. “Furthermore, it is indeed appropriate to give special recognition to all the faithful and inspirational bell-ringer soldiers who brave frigid weather as they deliver their big smiles, wonderful greeting, and their ‘God bless yous.’”

The seven Swiss francs bring the total number of gold coins found in Lake County this season to 19, with a cumulative value of approximately $10,493.56.

Based on the note, Scripture references and type of coin, it is believed that the same donor also dropped a package of seven Swiss gold francs worth $2,170 in the same Libertyville red kettle in 2012 as well as two packages of seven Swiss gold francs each in 2011, worth $6,930. Those coins were also gift-wrapped in a note thanking The Salvation Army for its work and ministry to the needy.

“This is the third year in a row that our Guardian Angel has given to our Corps and his gifts mean everything to the people we serve during the Christmas season,” said Major William Holman of The Salvation Army Waukegan Corps, whose service area includes much of Lake County. “The more money we are able to raise through generous gifts like this, the more people we are able to help, not only during Christmas, but throughout the entire year. All of Lake County is extremely grateful to this generous donor.”

The Salvation Army is reporting that it has received almost $6 million in donations so far this season toward its Red Kettle Campaign, or 46 percent of its $13 million goal. Donations are down by about 4 percent overall compared to this time last year, largely due to there being fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The familiar Red Kettles will disappear from the streets on Tuesday. However, the campaign will continue through Jan. 31, 2014.

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