Fleet Farm to keep Salvation Army ringers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Fleet Farm to keep Salvation Army ringers

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Mills Fleet Farm has reversed a decision to ban Salvation Army bell ringers from outside its stores.

Newsline 9 first reported Monday that the company had decided not to allow the red kettles starting this year. Fleet Farm officials said doing so would open the floodgates to anyone wanting to use the company's property.

But on Tuesday, Fleet Farm changed its decision. The company vice president, Stewart Mills III, released the following statement:

"Mills Fleet Farm recently made an unfortunate decision.  In an attempt to continue our long time support of the Salvation Army we decided this year to make direct donations instead of allowing bell ringers on our property to conduct their Red Kettle fundraising drives.  We felt that this would immediately benefit the local Salvation Army chapters in the communities we operate stores. We were wrong.  Our customers have spoken and in addition to the money that we donated, they feel the Red Kettles and Ringing Bells raise awareness of those in need in our community. 

"The Salvation Army and their mission is an integral part of the Christmas season.  In an attempt to do something positive we alienated the communities that we serve, for that we apologize.  We are reversing our decision and will be happy to see the Salvation Army volunteers in front of our stores soon.  We are in the process of informing the Salvation Army of our decision to change course."

Stay tuned to Newsline 9 for updates.

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