1220 Bell Ringers 2.jpg

Cliff Williams / The Outlook Judy Hughes, left, and Ildi Andrews of Dadeville play the ukulele as the campagin for donations for The Salvation Army at Renfroes in Dadeville. The ladies are part of a group called Ukuladies of Dadeville.

Two local women played to the beat of their own drum — or ukuleles — while volunteering this week.

Instead of ringing only the bell for The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign, Judy Hughes and Ildi Andrews changed things up a bit by playing their ukuleles Thursday morning at Renfroe’s Market in Dadeville.

“Why ring the bell?” Hughes said. “Everybody does that. We kicked it up a notch.”

The Salvation Army’s red kettle is synonymous for Christmas and bell ringing as volunteers help the organization raise funds every holiday season.

Hughes and Andrews are no strangers around town having taken part in events around Dadeville as part of a group called “Ukuleladies.”

“We play for gatherings,” Andrews said. “We play at nursing homes, at homes and private events. We even play at divorce parties.”

Some of the Christmas music the pair played Thursday required a third set of hands on the tambourine. But Andrews held it between her knees and jingle to “Jingle Bell Rock” until a random volunteer, Bonnie DeNegre of Dadeville, took over for a moment or two on the percussion device.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Andrews said. “Let’s get moving again and play some more. I’m cold.”

Salvation Army volunteers will continue to ring the bell outside of Walmart and Winn-Dixie in Alexander City and Renfroe’s in Dadeville until Christmas. For those wanting to volunteer, check in with The Salvation Army in Alexander by calling 256-215-3730 or visit its location at 1725 Highway 22 West.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.