A bell-ringing tradition that started with the Minot Board of Realtors years ago has spread this year to 19 states, said Michael McEown, associate executive for the Minot Board of Realtors.
McEown said that local Realtors designate a day to volunteer as bell-ringers for the Salvation Army. Realtor Ring Day was on Dec. 7 this year and 80 percent of bell ringers at the nine Minot locations were local Realtors or people affiliated with the organization. The total raised that day was a record of $5,238.45.
McEown said the North Dakota Realtor Association decided to make it a state function in 2010 and that other organizations across the state have also designated a day to be bell ringers. The next year it expanded nationwide and Realtor associations in 19 other states have also designated days to be bell ringers for the Salvation Army.
McEown said Realtors want to help raise money for the needy at Christmas.
"We're just really happy with the program," he said. "Every year it's been getting better."
The Minot Board of Realtors is also donating funds from its Christmas social and silent auction, which will be held today at the Grand International. McEown said the association set a record with charitable giving last year of $13,500 and he hopes to top that this year.
Over the past 10 years, the association has given more than $74,000 to the Salvation Army, not counting what is raised this month.