Bell ringing record broken in LaPorte
By STAN MADDUX
South Bend Tribune correspondent
2:26 PM EST, December 3, 2012
LAPORTE – Toward the end of a sleepless record-breaking 60 hours, Billy Nickrand didn't know where he was at or what he was doing.
He even suffered chest pains from his body's response to extreme fatique, and the big toes on his feet were still numb two days later.
The 28-year-old Nickrand is glad he spent two-and-a-half days on his feet ringing a bell for the Salvation Army kettle drive in La Porte but has no plans to do it a second time.
''I don't think there's enough money in the world to get me to do this again,'' said Nickrand.
Nickrand started at noon Thursday at Kroger, but at 4 p.m. Saturday, he broke down in tears on the brink of throwing in the towel.
A friend and even strangers rallied behind Nickrand offering words of
encouragement to help keep him going until he surpassed the 60-hour mark set last year by 5 minutes.
Nickrand said he was so out of it toward the end, he doesn't remember breaking the record or being driven home and escorted to bed.
''I was there. I was ringing the bell, but I just wasn't there,'' said Nickrand.
He was in such a haze during the final hours, he only remembers waking up
eight hours after breaking the record and stumbling into the shower to get ready for church services.
Nickrand is pastor at Door Village United Methodist Church outside La Porte.
Nickrand said his doctor on call during the entire time came down and
stayed with him during the final three hours as a precaution.
Rest and plenty of fluids are now being prescribed to help Nickrand rebound.
''I'm expected to have a full recovery,'' said Nickrand.
His goal was to raise $5,000 for the Salvation Army but wound up collecting
$6,300 with donations on Monday still trickling in.
Rev. Dennis Meyer of Bethany Lutheran Church in La Porte said the bell ringing
marathon reveals the true spirit of the Christmas season.
''When you see positive things like that, you really realize that people are trying to do something good for our community and for the people around us,'' said Meyer.
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