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updated: 12/23/2013 2:59 PM

$750 coin found in Arlington Heights Salvation Army kettle

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Daily Herald report

A gold coin worth $750 was dropped in a Salvation Army kettle in Arlington Heights over the weekend, officials said.

The coin, a $10 piece from 1898 now estimated to be worth $750, was dropped in a red kettle at Mariano's, 802 E. Northwest Highway, on Saturday, according to the Salvation Army.

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The coin brings the total number of gold coins found in the area this season to 20, with the total cumulative value at $11,242.56.

The donations are part of the annual Red Kettle Campaign through the Salvation Army. Donated money goes to food, housing and other assistance for the needy, officials said.

"Gold coins found in Salvation Army Red Kettles have become a much-anticipated holiday tradition of giving in Chicago and surrounding suburbs," the organization stated in a news release. "The philanthropic tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles actually began right here and dates back more than 25 years, when the first gold coin was deposited in McHenry County." Over the last 25 years The Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins of various type and worth, all from anonymous donors, the release said.

As of Friday, the Salvation Army was about halfway toward it's $13 million goal for the year, with about $6.5 million collected in donations so far, according to the news release.

However, donations are down about 4 percent compared to this time last year, partly due to a shorter holiday season since Thanksgiving was so late in November.

The red kettles will disappear from the streets on Tuesday, but the campaign will continue online at www.salarmychicago.org through Jan. 31, 2014.

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