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Red Kettle bell roaring

November 10, 2016 GMT

La PORTE — The time has come again — the time to don the red uniforms for the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive.

Usually, the bell ringers throw the Salvation Army red apron around their jackets ad sweatshirts, but on Nov. 5, the uniform tied around the body of a dinosaur, the bell held in the small clawed-hand.

Although snow was nowhere to be found in the 65-degree weather volunteers kick-started the Christmas season drive with a ringing area at Kabelins Ace Hardware, 512 Andrew Ave.

The members of Tri Kappa helped organize the first one, with Dr. Elena Mrozinske in charge of acquiring the volunteers, in an unique way.

Two large inflatable dinosaurs ushered people to the door of the store, their big teeth not scaring people from donating to the drive.

“Tri Kappa organizes with Salvation Army for a community service project,” Mrozinske said. “So I brainstormed. How can we make this fun and get kids involved?”

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The idea came to her Halloween night when she saw the two dinosaurs plodding along the street. After scouring the social media sites and asking the community, she was able to hunt down the large lizards and get them to help out with the drive.

Inside the suits are La Porte High School students Alex Magana and Brayden McAlister.

“It is a community service, helping the local business and has kids involved,” Mrozinske said. “A total win.”

The Red Kettle drive was created to help families who have financial trouble through the holidays. The Salvation Army of La Porte is located at 3240 Monroe Ave. and accepts donations to help the community all year long.

The dinosaurs brought a smile and tilt of the head to the people coming into and out of the hardware store.

“It has been really fun and a good turnout,” Mrozinske said, looking at her dinosaur volunteers. “They have been good sports.”