41 gold coins found in Frederick Salvation Army donation kettles

41 gold coins found in Frederick Salvation Army donation kettles

Lt. Chris Raymer, who is with the Salvation Army in Frederick, holds 41 gold coins that were found in two bell ringers’ red kettles Friday. Matt Lerner, owner of the Frederick Coin Exchange, was responsible for the gold donation. The coins are valued at about $130 each.

Like every holiday season, local Salvation Army volunteers have been deployed around Frederick, ringing bells and collecting donations tossed into their iconic red kettles.

The Salvation Army in Frederick was behind in its fundraising goal this year, until a Christmas surprise appeared in two of the kettles.

Salvation Army officers counting donations collected at the Wal-Mart on Monocacy Boulevard found a gold coin in one of their kettles, according to Lt. Chris Raymer.

 They then opened another kettle and found 40 more gold coins.

“I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness,’” Raymer said.

Matt Lerner, owner of the Frederick Coin Exchange, was responsible for the gold donation.

The Salvation Army in Frederick has a long history of receiving gold coins in their red kettles. For years, an anonymous donor dropped a gold coin in one of the kettles each holiday season.

Lerner, who opened the Frederick Coin Exchange in 2009, started donating gold coins in 2010 to the Salvation Army. Ever since, Lerner has donated at least one coin to the season fundraising campaign. In 2011, the business owner donated $9,000 worth of South African gold krugerrand coins.