Mike’s hopes to soak up Bellringer donations

POULSBO — The starting bell hasn’t even been rung and Mike Brooks is off and running.

But you won’t see anyone at the Bellringer Fund complaining.

The owner of Mike’s Car Wash in Poulsbo announced this week that he will be donating a portion of all automatic car washes between Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 to this year’s Bellringer Fund campaign.

This is the 53rd year of the Bellringer Fund, a part of the Raab Foundation administered by the Poulsbo Noon Lions club. Each year, it ensures that hundreds of North Kitsap families receive one-time assistance for things like food, help with household bills, prescriptions and even emergency transportation.

Last year, Bellringer set its sights at $25,000 and the community responded by giving more than $29,500 to support its work. Mike’s Car Wash contributed $1,375 of that through a similar promotion it ran in December 2003.

“We thought it went well,” Brooks said of why he decided to bring back and expand the fund-raiser this holiday season. “I’ve had people already asking about it.”

While the public can begin helping the 53rd annual Bellringer campaign by visiting Mike’s Car Wash anytime after Nov. 1, the actual community drive is still a few weeks away. The Bellringer campaign usually kicks off around Thanksgiving and organizer John Macdonald said he expects this year’s campaign to begin around Nov. 24. But, he noted, Bellringer takes donations year round and he and the rest of the administrators are grateful to have found a community benefactor like Brooks.

“It’s great,” Macdonald said of the Mike’s Car Wash promotion.

Brooks said he is considering having the fund-raiser for Bellringer every holiday season. He said he is also considering picking other charities that will benefit from monthly donations from automatic car wash proceeds during the rest of the year.

“That way, we know it’s administered well and that it goes to the Poulsbo community,” he said.

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