Longtime Mission bell ringer may set record for Salvation Army - KCTV5

Longtime Mission bell ringer may set record for Salvation Army

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MISSION, KS (KCTV) -

One volunteer has continued to serve the community for nearly two decades, and his efforts could soon land him in the record books.

David Perryman has become a fixture at a Kansas grocery store, despite five brain operations and being confined to a wheelchair.

The sound of bells ringing is a familiar sound for shoppers during the holiday season, but for the people at Missions's Hy-Vee it is also a familiar, smiling face ringing the Salvation Army bells.

Even though Perryman is wheelchair-bound, that hasn't stopped him from volunteering for the Salvation Army at the store for the past 17 years.

"I've been coming here 11 years, and this wonderful young man is always here. I want to help support the cause," said Donna Sokol, who recently donated money.

But Wednesday was special, as Perryman was striving to break the record for the most money collected in a single day, $2,354.02.

By mid-afternoon he was well on his way, with people lining up to drop off their donations.

Perryman has a tough time speaking and uses a device to help him communicate. He has been at the store so long that children who used to drop money in the bucket are now in college or married.

And that sense of loyalty to a familiar face might be the secret to his success.

"He has been here as long as I can remember. Every time I am here, I give what we have left," Mission resident Brooke Rangel said.

But Perryman is more than a volunteer. Many say he is an inspiration.

"He is a true believer. He is a leader. He has overcome so much; people believe in him. That is what people need. It is good we can put our faith into someone like that who an overcome barriers and boundaries," H-Vee manager Robert Gutierrez said.

"I think a lot of people hold onto crutches. They don't move forward when they should. He is a rock star," Sokol said.

Now, Perryman is hoping another long day of service will be enough for a spot in the record books.

That record was set back on Christmas Eve in 2005 at the same location. It will not be known until Friday if he was able to break it.

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