And on Thursday, those bells played a key role at the Greater Hartford Salvation Army’s annual awards luncheon.
Titled “Beyond the Bells,” the event also featured keynote speaker Matt Bevin, president of East Hampton’s Bevin Brothers Mfg. Co, the famed factory that provides the Salvation Army with its signature bells.
The historic factory, known for the array of bells it produces, was destroyed by fire last year, but is in the midst of regrouping and getting the business back to normal.
The event also included the presentation of two awards. Receiving its “Others” Award was Aetna, a longtime supporter of Salvation Army efforts.
“It is all about community support,” said Aetna’s Mark Robitaille who is also a member of the Salvation Army’s advisory board. “Our company has a culture of giving.”
Receiving the Salvation Army’s “Doing The Most Good” award was Canton businessman and entrepreneur Henry Bahre, who for many years has helped with the annual “Holiday Store” drive.
“When I was young, my father, who served in World War I, told me how the Salvation Army provided toiletries and other necessities to the soldiers,” said Bahre who received his award from fellow Holiday Store supporter, WTIC personality Ray Dunaway. “He told me if I ever could do anything for the Salvation Army, to do it,” Bahre continued. “So that’s what I do each year, get donations for the Holiday Store,” he said. “My donors know I am coming and they are ready for me.”