By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – An anonymous donor deposited three gold coins into Salvation Army volunteer bellringer Bob Arzadon’s red kettle on his birthday, Dec. 2, at the Southgate Kroger, 16705 Fort St.
The donation was made at the same site where last year’s gold coin was donated.
Arzadon, a vocalist who often sings while manning his station, said he had no idea that someone had slipped the Walking Liberty gold dollar coins into his kettle before the counting crew shared the good news with him.
Lt. Shawn Sutter of the Salvation Army, 1258 Biddle Ave. in Wyandotte, said one of the gold coins is a one-ounce coin, while the other two are half-ounce coins.
After doing an online search, Sutter said he believes the one-ounce coin is worth about $2,000, while the half-ounce coins are worth about $1,100 each.
“It is a blessing to know that people out there will give something that is a treasure to them,” he said.
The counting crew grew more and more excited as the volunteer pulled each of the three gold coins out of the kettle, one at a time.
Sutter said Arzadon, who is not part of the counting crew, was overjoyed when he learned through a phone call about the gold coins dropped in his kettle. He said he could not recall any donor who acted differently or who stood out in his mind as a possible benefactor.
Lt. Audrey Sutter said discovering the three gold coins was exciting.
“I just couldn’t believe that we were fortunate enough to have those in our bucket,” she said. “Last year we had one, and we thought it was amazing then, and then to get three in one bucket in a night was totally amazing. We felt like we were on cloud nine.”
Audrey Sutter said the counting crew experienced a natural high Friday night when the windfall was discovered.
“We are so grateful to the generous people of the Downriver community,” she said.
Shawn Sutter said the kettle campaign helps to keep their building running and it helps support their youth programs, camps, meal share program, social services and other specialized ministries.
“It helps us be able to serve the community in multiple ways,” he said. “The Salvation Army has been Downriver for over 125 years.”