What started as a fundraising campaign with world-record implications turned somber Friday after a mass shooting at a Connecticut school.
Jason Perkins, director of the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center in Suisun City, entered this year’s bell-ringing challenge not to break the world record that was set last year, but to build awareness about the needs of so many Solano County residents, and to raise money to feed the poor.
The campaign started with eight designated bell ringers. Perkins and two others from different parts of the country easily broke the 60-hour mark, then the three-day mark Friday morning.
As the day wore on and the extent of the tragedy in Connecticut unfolded, a decision was made to end the bell-ringing campaign at precisely 6 p.m. Friday our time – 80 hours after participants started their body-battering and mind-numbing journey.
Perkins silenced his bell at 5:33 p.m. for the final 27 minutes to honor the 27 innocents who died Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a related crime scene.
No fanfare. Just silence.
The bell-ringing campaign was never about glory for those taking part, but about building compassion for our fellow man. The realities of being cold and hungry here in Solano County clearly illustrate the need for human compassion. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary drives that point home.