Mayor David Cook was encouraged by the generosity of people who dropped money Saturday into red kettles at Wal-Mart and Sam’s.
“I’ve seen some $100 bills and multiple zeroes on several checks,” Cook said.
With a $15,000 goal for his 8 a.m.-to-8 p.m. bell-ringing shift in this year’s Salvation Army Red Kettle Challenge, Cook was determined to outperform the mayors of Arlington, Kennedale and Pantego, as he has done three of the last four years. Arlington’s Robert Cluck unseated him last year, but Cook was optimistic about regaining his title despite rainy weather that drove him and his helpers into the stores’ foyers.
The mayor’s office manager, Lindsey Anderson, said there were a lot of helpers.
The gang of people coming out to ring bells or help entertain donors on the mayor’s behalf included not only the cheerleaders from at least a couple of Mansfield schools, but also the school district’s superintendent, Dr. Jim Vaszauskas.
Also among the dignitaries on the stores’ doorsteps were a couple of Mansfield City Council members, Santa Claus and the Chick-fil-A Cow, Anderson said.
People came to the stores specifically to donate during Cook’s shift, and to get their pictures taken with the mayor or one of his more famous associates — Santa and the Cow, for instance, Anderson said.
“We posted this on Facebook, and lots of people said they saw the post,” Anderson said.
Cook said he didn’t care what inspired people to brave the rain and help the Salvation Army, but he was proud that they did.
“It’s been great,” Cook said. “People have been very giving.”