Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
No Music at Walmart
Written By: Joe Melillo
The familiar holiday sounds of Christmas carols and bells are something we've come to expect this time of year.
Painted Post (WENY) - The familiar holiday sounds of Christmas carols and bells are something we've come to expect this time of year. One local bell ringer has been taking that idea to a whole new level, playing music out of his stereo while helping raise money for the salvation army. Now he's being told to stop, by the store he volunteers in front of, Walmart.
John Sherrod has been a staple outside the Walmart in painted post for more than 7 years, using his music to bring more donations in his red kettle. That streak has come to an end.
“Not having any music up here today I kind of feel like a fish out of water,” says Sherrod. “This is personal, I feel like I've been kicked in the backside, that I cant do this here.”
Since 2005 John Sherrod has used his stereo to play holiday music to help bring in donations for the salvation army. He would sing and dance and do whatever it took to raise money.
“People love it they thought it was funny here is a guy who cant carry a tune in a bucket but they thought it was funny.”
You might ask yourself why john would stand in the freezing cold to sing and ring a bell?
“I had no place to live in the middle of the winter and they found me a place to live and paid one months rent and security deposit and set me up in an apartment,” says John “Over the years they have been good to me and I like to give back.”
Despite Johns longstanding relationship with the local Walmart and it's staff, Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling says they have made an agreement with the Salvation Army, banning the music, to make the shopping experience as pleasant as possible.
“Unfortunately as part of the guidelines that we've developed with the salvation army we cannot allow something that could be a potential hazard to people entering or exiting our store.”
John might not be able to play his music anymore, but he wont let that dampen his spirit.
“I can still dance around they can turn off my music but they cant take it out of my soul, that's where it's at.”
John is asking people to write to Walmart corporation to ask the rule be changed back. But no matter what he will still be out there ringing his bell.