Danville high school student recruits for kettle drive

December 05, 2004|BOBBIE CURD

Danville High School senior Mason Kanapple, 17, is a recruiter. Just ask the Salvation Army.

Last year, he participated in the Army's Kettle Drive with a friend, and apparently the experience had quite an impact on him.

"Me and a buddy, Kyle Huggman, rang the bell last year and we had a good time," he said. "I'd always thought we'd do it again, and I wanted to get others involved in it too."

So far, Kanapple has rounded up 50 to 60 high school students to volunteer, filling three Saturdays in a row in front of Big Lots.


Bell ringing is the main fund raising tool that the organization incorporates this time of year. The money raised goes toward helping families who are less fortunate have a holiday meal and presents for their children.

"I don't know, I just wanted to give back. I wasn't rich growing up, and I know how hard it can be. It was always special to me when people tried to help out," Kanapple says.

If you're thinking he sounds modest, you're right.

A "huddle leader"

Kanapple says he just passed the word along as a "huddle leader" for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a group that was formed back in the 50s to get athletes more involved with community services.

Kanapple says he targeted the FCA, and "when everyone there volunteered, I went to other groups, like the National Honor Society. The other groups helped get the word out around school. The response has been awesome."

Kanapple's humility probably wouldn't like what Liz Cook, an advisory board member with the Salvation Army for seven years, has to say about him.

"Is he a piece of work or what? " Cook asks, barely taking a breather between phrases to describe Kanapple's contribution.

Cook says Kanapple has taken the responsibility seriously, keeping in contact with her at every step along the way.

"We have a hard time finding adults who can give an hour of their time, and here's a kid who just took it upon himself to organize three Saturdays for us," she said.

Saturdays are best

Cook said Saturdays are the best collection days since most people are out and about, but have always been the most difficult days for which to find volunteers.

"Unbelievable. No one is requiring him to do it - he actually contacted us. It's people like Mason that really make a difference. He's an example to all of us," Cook says.

Kanapple thinks all of the students participating are examples.

"We have kids that have practice and some that have a lot of homework. They may even be going through finals, and some of them have really stepped up to the plate and committed themselves to two or three hours on one day," Kanapple says.

He says they simply "want to do it."

Cook says the Salvation Army has always had student organizations volunteer, but has never had anyone come forward and take the kind of responsibility and initiative that Kanapple has.

"It must be something inside of him that's driven him to do this and be so extremely successful. I don't know what it is, but I sure wish more people had it," Cook said.

Kanapple and his crew of student volunteers began bell ringing in front of Big Lots Saturday.

They will continue the Kettle Drive from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., for the next two Saturdays.

Central Kentucky News Articles