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Mall's ban on Salvation Army bell-ringing saddens shoppers

December 24, 2011 |  8:50 am

Shoppers at Fashion Island in Newport Beach said they are disappointed that Salvation Army workers are no longer ringing their bells as they seek donations at the mall.

Bell ringers at Fashion Island haven't been allowed to use the bells for at least the last few years, officials said, but shoppers have noticed the change this year.

"You expect to hear it around Christmastime," Kent Paul of Costa Mesa told the Daily Pilot as he took a break from some last-minute shopping Friday. "The weather really doesn't change much around here, so it's nice to have a little reminder of the season, and I guess the Salvation Army bell is one of them."

Added Steve Manship of Huntington Beach: "I've always looked at that as a part of Christmas."

The Salvation Army said it's just trying to follow the mall's rules.

"You have to respect store owners, people," said Salvation Army Major Antonio Orta, who oversees the charity's three workers on the property owned by the Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. "We have to comply because we solicit on their premises. We're there to build relationships and let the community know that we work and we're here to serve."

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-- Joseph Serna, Times Community News

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