As shoppers hurried in an out of Smith’s Thursday afternoon, Dec. 8 they were treated to a wonderful Mesquite tradition. Eddie Gutierrez and Art Hammerschmidt were ringing the Salvation Army bell and dispensing good cheer. These men are two of Mesquite’s most beloved volunteers who are always willing to give their time and talent for a good cause.
When Hammerschmidt came to Mesquite 18 years ago, he quickly became involved in the annual bell ringing fundraiser. “It is one of my favorite charities,” he said. He and his wife organized the volunteer bell ringers for the Salvation Army for several years, making sure that each kettle location was fully staffed through the holiday season. Now participating as one of his church’s group of volunteers, Hammerschmidt continues to shares his brilliant smile with each shopper.
Gutierrez quickly made a name for himself as a remarkable volunteer when he came to Mesquite in 2006, at age 85. He shared his talent as a saxophone player at many charity concerts, and stands watch at the Salvation Army kettle each year. As Hammerschmidt greets shoppers, Gutierrez asks their favorite Christmas tune and breaks into a rendition of “Jingle Bell Rock,” White Christmas,” or whatever the request. He is proud to tell his admiring listeners that he is 95 years old and served in WWII.
Merry Christmas, Art and Eddie! Thank you for sharing your tradition of giving with all of us.
For those who would like to help carry on the bell ringing tradition, please call Capt. Lisa Smith at the Salvation Army, 702-345-5116.