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Carolers support Fishline to tune of $2,500

POULSBO — The sweet sounds of the season’s harmonious greetings filled the air on Front Street Saturday during the second annual Sleigh Bells Caroling competition, which raised nearly $2,500 for North Kitsap Fishline.

Giving those along Liberty Bay a little something extra to listen to, nine caroling, dancing and instrumental groups held posts along the busy Little Norway thoroughfare, dishing out delightful earfuls of holiday tunes. Melodies of Frosty the Snow Man, ringing bells and that beloved, red-nosed Rudolph could be heard through the afternoon as passersby voted for their favorite by dropping donations in the boxes of those whose sounds they appreciated most.

A grand total of $2,463.76 was raised for Fishline — $1,000 more than last year’s contributions — and event organizer Carol Ostheller said with the support of the singers, donators and local contributing businesses, the event was once again a success.

“That’s way more than last year,” she said.

The Kitsap Pines Sweet Adelines took home the first place prize once again for raising the largest amount of money for the area food bank. The group brought an initial donation of $532.97, and earned $35.21 more during the day. Its performance drew onlookers as the Santa hat and red scarf wearing women released their symphony of sounds at the corner of Front Street and Jensen Way, even at times ringing bells and adding dance moves to the joyful lyrics of the season.

The People’s Choice award went to the Sons of Norway Leikkaringen Children’s Dance group, which danced to and sang American and Norwegian renditions of holiday favorites in the Havne Veien Walkway.

“They’ve had such fun with this,” said Sons youth director Joanne Graves.

Each of the nine caroling groups entered the contest with an initial donation, then took further donations on the street as they sang Christmastime favorites to the passing crowds. The Leikkarringen group brought in $243, the most any group has ever brought in from the street. Street donations alone totaled a whopping $910. Nilsen’s Appliance Center also contributed another $500 to the cause, and the Internet Auction Company provided the headquarters for the event.

The event was started by Ostheller to not only raise Fishline funding but to bring the sounds of the holidays to downtown Poulsbo, and it certainly attained both goals

“It’s cozy,” said Seattle resident Connie Shafer, who was taking in the sounds of the day while on a Front Street excursion with friends.

Thirty-six area restaurants also donated gifts to the carolers. Ostheller said though the day was a cold one, each singing group did wonderfully.

“I just love it and I think the people loved hearing the caroling,” she said. “I think it adds to the Christmas spirit.”

Second place for the day went to Sound Wave, a group that brought in an $80 donation and nearly $80 more on the street. Suzuki Strings took third, with an initial $65 donation and $159 earned during their crowd-pleasing performance.

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