OSKALOOSA — Esther Kepenaar donned a red apron and grabbed a bell to ring for the Salvation Army Wednesday afternoon — something she has done for more than 20 years.
Kepenaar, 96, is a big supporter of the Salvation Army and is the oldest bell ringer in the pool of volunteers who has rang a bell for donations.
Kepenaar rang the bell at Hy-Vee for an hour Wednesday. It was her first time to ring bells this holiday season.
“I wanted to do more, but they gave me one hour,” she said. “I generally do it in the morning, but they gave me time in the afternoon today.”
“We couldn’t just let her stay home,” Jerry Morrison of the Salvation Army joked.
Kepenaar said she often sees familiar faces when she is bell ringing.
“I know a lot of people,” she said. “I like to talk.
“I like people. I like to talk to them if I know them or not,” she said.
Kepenaar said she enjoys her time bell ringing.
“I feel good,” she said. “No pains.”
“It ain’t bad today,” she said. “It may rain tomorrow.”
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.