EUSTIS — The Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) is supporting the second anniversary of “Help Them Call Home,” which will be celebrated with a benefit phone ride on Saturday, Oct. 10, beginning at 9 a.m. at AAA Auto Club South, located at 955 Bichara Blvd., The Villages, and traveling to Gator Harley-Davidson, located at 1745 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg.
Lady Lake Police Chief Ed Nathanson, who initiated the “Help Them Call Home” campaign locally, said, “The ride is symbolic. You don’t have to be in a motorcycle to ride with us, you could be in a car or van.”
The Lake County CTST is supporting this worthwhile event by collecting unwanted and unused cell phones at its office at the Lake County Department of Public Works, located at 437 Ardice Ave. in Eustis. Each donated cell phone is worth 250 calling minutes for a soldier.
Other cell phone drop-off locations include: American Legion Post 347, RadioShacks in The Villages, Leesburg and Mount Dora, AAA offices in Lake, Alachua and Marion counties, Gator Harley-Davidson, Stormy Hill Harley-Davidson in Clermont, Beef O’Brady’s in The Villages, All Affordable Cellular in Tavares, Mount Dora and Umatilla, recreation centers in The Villages, Villages Housing Authority, Law Offices of Brent Miller in Clermont, Tavares, Inverness and The Villages, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement offices.
The anniversary celebration continues after the benefit phone ride at Gator Harley-Davidson from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes a live auction, door prizes, vendors, food, beverages and live music by the White Buffalo Band. Speaking at the event will be Jodie Butler, founder and CEO of Help Them Call Home (www.helpthemcallhome.org).
The donated cell phones are recycled and turned into phone cards for troops serving overseas. Since implementing the program locally two years ago, the Lady Lake Police Department and other local partners have helped raise more than one million prepaid calling minutes for soldiers.
For more information, call the Lady Lake Police Chief Ed Nathanson at (352) 751-1585. For more information about the Lake County CTST, call Cheryl Sutherland at (352) 483-9048.