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Gold rush for Salvation Army

SalvatiArmy CaptaHeather Holman holds Canadian 1/10th ounce gold co United State 1 ounce double eagle gold cothwere dropped kettles Lake

Salvation Army Captain Heather Holman holds a Canadian 1/10th ounce gold coin and a United State 1 ounce double eagle gold coin that were dropped in kettles in Lake County. | Thomas Delany Jr.~ Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 6, 2012 1:39PM

WAUKEGAN — Anonymous donors have dropped 10 gold coins worth more than $4,680 into Salvation Army kettles at four Lake County locations, officials said Wednesday.

The coins, which were dropped in kettles from Dec. 1-3, include seven Swiss gold francs, two Canadian Maple Leafs and an American Eagle.

The seven Swiss gold francs containing .19-ounces of gold each were gift wrapped and dropped in a kettle on Dec. 1 the Red Top Jewel in Libertyville. The coins are worth $2,400.

The package included a hand-written note addressed to Salvation Army national leaders, Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts, stating: “Thank you for all that you do continuously to minister to, and do for, the least of these brothers of mine. What an inspiration you are to us all,” and contained several verses of scripture.

On Dec. 3, a .1-ounce Canadian gold coin was found in kettle outside a Hobby Lobby in Mundelein and another in a kettle at the Hunt Club Jewel in Gurnee, each valued at $190. A one-ounce American Double Eagle gold coin was also dropped Dec. 3 in a kettle at the Round Lake Beach Wal-Mart.

“Times are extremely tough right now and poverty has grown in suburban communities in Lake County,” said Capt. William Holman of the Salvation Army Waukegan Corps, whose service area includes much of Lake County.

“We are seeing a record number of people living in poverty and experiencing sustained unemployment and our Corps is seeing more people seeking assistance this year, most often asking for groceries,” Holman said. “Families are in dire need of help this Christmas and these gold coins are a wonderful gift and will go a long way to help the people we serve.”

Gold coins found in Salvation Army Red Kettles have become a much-anticipated holiday tradition of giving in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

The philanthropic tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles actually began right here in our area and dates back 25 years, when the first gold coin was deposited in McHenry County. Since then, The Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins of every type and description from anonymous donors.

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