Donate through Dec. 22

Aiming for No. 2.

That is what the local contingent of Salvation Army bell-ringers is after this holiday season.

Last year, the Port St. Joe collections finished third in the area behind those who set up outside the WalMart on 23rd Street in Panama City and the Panama City Rotary Club.

This year, the Port St. Joe sponsors are after that Rotary Club and second place.

“We encourage people to come out and give, to come out and support the effort on behalf of the Salvation Army,” said Diana Burkett.

The kettle and ringers are already set up outside the Piggly Wiggly store and will remain there, on a rotational basis, of course, through Dec. 22.

So far, a host of organizations are signed up to participate, from the Christian Community Development Fund to the Port St. Joe Lions Club to the Knights of Pythias.

“Everybody has really chipped in,” Burkett said. “It’s been great.”

Burkett did note two factors in the quest for two: first, collections at the WalMart, one of the busiest spots in Bay County all year round, are not going to be topped.

Two, that Rotary Club started a week before things rolled out in Port St. Joe, so the playing field was a tad tilted.

“The Lions Club, those guys are pretty competitive,” Burkett noted.

All proceeds benefit the Salvation Army’s various missions, which typically arise in the wake of natural disasters.

The Army provides a host of services, large and small and, Burkett noted, they do so while keeping administrative costs low.

“We just encourage everybody when they are going to the grocery store to bring some change or an extra dollar or two and put it in the kettle,” Burkett said.