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BARBARA BUSH GIVES BOOST TO BELL RINGERS

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Barbara Bush, giving a plug for the Salvation Army as several local shopping malls shut it out this holiday season, said all shopping centers should welcome the annual bell ringers.

"It just wouldn't be Christmas without that bell ringing," the first lady said Tuesday as she dropped $10 into the Salvation Army kettle inside the entrance to the upscale Mazza Gallerie mall.She decided to lend her support when she read a newspaper story about a large number of local shopping malls that are excluding the annual solicitation on the grounds that they bar all groups from soliciting.

"I am a great fan of the Salvation Army, so I wanted to come out and tell you what great work I think you do," she told Salvation Army volunteers.