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A battle of the bells

The chambers' bell-ringing challenge will actually save the Salvation Army money, Nolte said.

"In the past, the Army has had to use paid workers, but we've taken away the pay aspect and have members truly volunteering," he said. "It's saving $40,000 in costs."

One volunteer, Jason Lecuyer from Berkshire Bank, said adding the element of a spirited competition brings an extra dimension of fun to doing some good for the community and help out other chamber members.

"You've got to look past the elements of spending two hours ringing bells and smiling at people," he said. "I'm really excited to go there and do it."

It doesn't hurt that Lecuyer is a sports fan, where competition rules.

With the economy weighing heavily on people's minds this time of year, Nolte said, now is the time to bring a little holiday cheer.

"People are facing an uncertain economy," he said. "It's nice that we've been given the opportunity and direction to do the right thing."

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