The red kettles and cheerful teenagers have become a familiar sight in Putnam.  For the past 19 years,  members of the Putnam Regional Interact Club, their siblings, friends and schoolmates brave the cold and spend hours ringing, singing and dancing (sometimes just to keep warm) to raise money for the Salvation Army.  Despite the economy, this was a record breaking year with 253 students from 13 area schools volunteering 1063 hours to raise $18,062.03.  From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, volunteers spend every Saturday (and some school vacation days) ringing the bell for the Salvation Army in front of Sears Essentials, Stop and Shop, Wal Mart, Price Chopper and Putnam Supermarket. 

Marianapolis Prep won the “Ring-a-Ding Challenge” with 60 volunteers providing 317 hours, thus stealing the coveted trophy from last year’s winners.   Putnam Science Academy, the 2010 Ring-a Ding champs, came in second with 258 hours and Woodstock Academy was third with 239 hours.  Top bell ringers were Caroline Kenney, Jamie Barrette, Anna Werge and Seth Aubin for the high school division and Alexandra Lamontagne, Abby Poirier and Rebecca Pempek for the middle school division.  Volunteers celebrated with pizza and high fives.