Ringing in a world record for a good cause - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Ringing in a world record for a good cause

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That bell is the symbol of a lifelong dream for Andre Thompson. That bell is the symbol of a lifelong dream for Andre Thompson.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Less than two hours remain until the world record for the Salvation Army bell ringing is broken. The current record stands at 80 hours and after more than 78 hours East Texas bell ringer Andre Thompson is one of three left in the competition.

That bell is the symbol of a lifelong dream for Andre Thompson.

“I’ve always wanted to help people and impact the world in some way and helping the homeless people and helping kids at Christmas, I think, there’s no better way than to give back to the community,” he said.

Thompson has been a part of this community since his first breath. He was born in Quitman and has raised three daughters and a son in Tyler. Two grandchildren live here, too, and a third is on the way.

“I think he’s the greatest man in the world,” Rebecca Hoggard, Thompson’s fiancé, said.

He’ll be marrying her in East Texas soon.

“There’s a lot of love in the city of Tyler, and you don’t expect that from a big city like this,” Thompson said, “but there’s a lot of love in the [here] and I’m just glad to be a part of this.”

Over the past 78 hours, that love has been measured in hot chocolates, hugs, a pat on the shoulder, and donations. There have been enough donations to beat last year’s record of $4,000.

“Just yesterday in our pot we got $5,500 and they haven’t even counted the pots today,” he said.

That dream of helping people is rooted deep in East Texas.

“I think it’s sending a message to just keep going and not quit even when times get tough, it’s still, you know, you have to put your faith in God and just keep going,” said Hoggard.

Other competitors are ringing in Minnesota and California. Even if Thompson passes the 80 hour mark, he must keep ringing his bell until all other contestants are out to hold in order to hold the title of Salvation Army bell ringer world record.

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