WYSOX - Clang, clang, clang.

The familiar sound of bell ringing by The Salvation Army returned Friday in the Towanda area as The Salvation Army of Towanda kicked off this year's Red Kettle Campaign.

At the Wysox Tops, volunteer Bob Cooper had his bell in hand as The Salvation Army looked forward to another year of fundraising to benefit charitable causes.

Those attending the kick-off included volunteer Monte Hughey; Jan Russell, a caseworker/facilitator with The Salvation Army; volunteer Wilma Sullivan; and county commissioner Doug McLinko. They thanked everyone who has supported The Salvation Army over the years.

McLinko - who Hughey said has been a big supporter of The Salvation Army - commented that people in the area are "joyous givers."

Last year, the Towanda branch of the organization raised more than $57,000, and it hopes to surpass that amount this year.

The bell ringers in the Towanda area can be found this year from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, at the Tops in Wysox, the K-mart in Wysox, and Hurley's Supermarket in North Towanda Township. In addition, a bell ringer will be at Connie's Market on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in Wyalusing during the campaign.

Hughey said bell ringers are needed. Those interested can call Russell, who is in the office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The office is at the rear entrance of the Towanda Methodist Church on Main Street. The phone number is (570) 265-5932.

Also, people are needed to do phone work, which involves calling potential bell ringers.

Hughey noted that The Salvation Army in Towanda is a separate entity from the one in the Valley; the one in Towanda is based out of Philadelphia while the one in the Valley is based out of New York.

According to Hughey, the money raised by The Salvation Army stays local, and benefits needy people in the area who request help in paying such things as rent and utility bills. The organization also has given out Christmas baskets and helped 120 children this year with the purchase of back-to-school supplies.

Those wanting to donate to the online Red Kettle campaign can visit www.onlineredkettle.org.