UPDATE: Fleet Farm officials will allow bell ringers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Fleet Farm officials reverse decision, will allow bell ringers

UPDATE: Mills Fleet Farm has reversed its decision and will now allow bell ringers at all 31 locations. Read the company's statement here:


Here is Newsline 9's original story:

WAUSAU (WAOW)--Shoppers won't hear a familiar sound of the season outside Fleet Farm stores this year. That's because the company decided not to allow Salvation Army bell ringers to ring in donations at store locations.

Co-President Stewart Mills told Newsline 9 the company still plans to make a donation to the Salvation Army, but allowing bell ringers will open the floodgates to anyone else who wanted to use the company's property.

Captain Brian Goodwill of the Wausau Salvation Army branch said the loss will impact money brought in this year. "It will be a bit of a challenge for us this year. Last year this location was one of our best so to lose it was kind of a heartache for us." He estimated the loss could set the Salvation Army back tens of thousands of dollars in donations.

Mills said in a phone interview that he doesn't like the decision to get rid of bell ringers, but it was necessary. Some shoppers said they understand the move, and will still make an effort to give at other stores where bell ringers are collecting for the cause.

"I usually give once or twice. I don't give every time I walk by, but, occasionally," said one shopper outside Pick N Save, a company that allows the Salvation Army to solicit donations outside its doors.

Mills said the Salvation Army is one of the lead organizations that Fleet Farm has supported over the years, and the company will continue to do so through donations.

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