LEE COUNTY, Fla - A record fifth gold coin has been discovered in a Salvation Army kettle in Lee County. The 1980 South African Krugerrand was dropped into a kettle at the Winn Dixie on Pine Island and discovered by a volunteer late Monday.
Major Tom Louden says this is the first time he has heard of five gold coins being donated in one location anywhere in the country. “We are extremely grateful and truly amazed by the generosity of the community this year, “ Louden says.
Four other gold coins have already been discovered in Lee County kettles this holiday season. They include a 1975, 1976 and 1978 South African Krugerrand as well as a $20 Liberty Eagle gold coin which was donated for the sixth year in a row. It was wrapped in a note that reads “In loving memory of Mimi.” Three of the Krugerrands were wrapped in notes that quote bible verses. The Pine Island coin was accompanied by a note that reads, “Happy Birthday Jesus.” The identity of all the donors remains a mystery.
The Salvation Army is in the final stretch of its Red Kettle Campaign and has raised just $375,000 of the $550,000 goal. However Major Louden has faith the community will continue to help The Salvation Army during the last three days of the signature fund raising campaign.