You Can Now Take a Selfie with Zeke's Red Salvation Army Kettle | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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You Can Now Take a Selfie with Zeke's Red Salvation Army Kettle

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The red Salvation Army kettle made famous by Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is now available for selfies and donations at NorthPark Center in Dallas. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016)

    The red Salvation Army kettle made famous by Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is now available for selfies and donations at NorthPark Center in Dallas.

    "People drop in diamond rings and gold coins, and you hear stories like that, but, by far, this has been the biggest traffic day I've ever seen," 17-year veteran bell ringer Gary Isett said.

    During Sunday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Elliott celebrated a touchdown by jumping into the oversized kettle near the stands. The move became an instant fan and social media favorite, but he was hit with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for "using a prop."

    Elliott said he would match any potential fine for the celebration with a donation to the Salvation Army. The NFL ultimately decided not to fine him, but he donated $21,000 to the charity anyway.

    Since the kettle hop, the Salvation Army has seen $850,000 in donations — a $250,000 increase from last week, according to the Cowboys' website. 

    "It was good for the fans and it was, obviously, good for the Salvation Army," said Chris Aldarama, after taking a photo with the kettle.

    Crowds gathered throughout the day Thursday at the kettle to take photos and make donations. Isett said the publicity has breathed new life into the annual tradition.

    "It's a new birth because this is going to happen every year," he said. "This big kettle, I guarantee, is probably going to be at NorthPark every year from now on."

    The kettle, which includes a cardboard cutout of Elliott, is on display at NorthPark Center until Christmas Eve. The Salvation Army is asking people to make a suggested $21 donation, in honor of Elliott's jersey number, when taking photos with the kettle. 

    Cowboys fans hope the team's star rookie just started a new holiday tradition.

    "I think it could kind of turn into a holiday tradition, kind of like the Lambeau Leap," said Patrick Forbin. "You just jump into the pot during the holiday season."

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