Defending champion wins bell ringing contest

June 4, 2008 9:23:38 AM PDT
Leonard Oats walked home today with a trophy for a contest that epitomizes San Francisco and celebrates an art form found nowhere else.

The 46th Annual Muni Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest was held at Union Square at noon, with the defending champion taking top honors.

Oats, this year's world champion bell ringer, also came in first last year, according to Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Judson True. Today's contest included two divisions: one for cable car gripmen and conductors and one for local media representatives.

The other cable car crew winners were Ken Lunardi in second place and Byron Cobb in third place. According to True, Lunardi has won the contest three times and Cobb has won a total of five times.

Scottie B of KOIT took first place for the amateur division, with the winnings going to the AIDS Research Institute. Aaron Jones of KBLIX got second place for Feed the Children and third place went to Janelle Wang of ABC Channel 7 for the Asian American Donor Program.

Both first place winners received $1,000, True said. The second place winners got $750 and the third place winners got $500.

True said prizes of hotel stays, dinners and other gift certificates were also given.


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