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Put through the wringer: 60-hour ring try 1 day shy

After 36 hours of standing on his feet and constantly ringing a bell, Steve Batzka gave up on his attempt to break a world record for ringing a bell beside a Salvation Army bucket.

Batzka, 21, a Homestead High School graduate, began his marathon bell-ringing attempt at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Kroger Marketplace at the Village of Coventry, hoping to ring the bell for 60 hours straight and tie a record set last year by a bell ringer in Indianapolis.

Batzka was one of eight around the country who were trying the same feat.

Batzka appeared to be doing well late Wednesday morning after almost 24 hours, but Salvation Army officials said he began to flag late Wednesday night and quit ringing the bell about 1 a.m. Thursday.

Across the country, of the eight people seeking the same record, only four remained Thursday morning.

Salvation Army officials said Batzka collected $369 in donations during his first day and then $820 on the second.

Overall, officials said, the Salvation Army’s bell-ringing campaign, which has been going on for 22 years, is down this year after retailers asked the organization to delay starting the campaign by 11 days.

fgray@jg.net

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