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Gold piece dropped in Spokane bell-ringer’s kettle

It appears likely Ted Morris will be Spokane’s No.1 Salvation Army bell-ringer for the third year in a row after somebody dropped a one-ounce gold piece in his kettle on Tuesday.

“The guy gets out of his car and asked me if my name was Ted,” said Morris, a volunteer bell-ringer outside the Wandermere Fred Meyer store. “He put something in the kettle and said, ‘There is something special in there.’”

Later that evening, the Salvation Army’s regional kettle coordinator, retired Maj. Tom Petersen, called Morris to tell him what that something special was – A $50 Liberty Eagle gold piece minted in 1998.

And it came gift-wrapped in a $100 bill.

The price of gold on Wednesday was about $1,130 an ounce, but Sheila Geraghty, the Salvation Army’s regional business manager, said she would probably wait to see if the value of gold climbs any higher before selling it.

“We do need to cash it out before Dec. 24, when the kettle drive ends,” Geraghty said, adding, “The Salvation Army loves to find those kinds of things in its kettles.”

She attributed the gift to an interview with Morris that appeared in Monday’s Spokesman-Review. Morris said he would recognize the generous donor if he saw him again and was keeping an eye out to thank him.

“I’m on cloud nine,” Morris said of the donation. “Every day is cloud nine out here.”

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