Transportation Agencies Show support for U. S. Troops

RMV's Call Home Campaign expanded to MBTA, Turnpike, MassHighway

Boston, Mass (November 8, 2007)-Citing the success of the RMV's contribution to "Cell Phones for Soldiers," today Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen announced that other transit agencies will participate in the charity effort and the drive will get underway for Veteran's Day.

"The Registry's program has been such a success," said Secretary Cohen. "In the spirit of the new Massachusetts Mobility Compact, we are pleased to expand the program across more transportation agencies."

Two Norwell teenagers, Robbie and Brittany Bergquist founded the charity with $21 of their own money. They partnered with a recycling company which pays for each cell phone-enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad.

The RMV joined the campaign on Memorial Day setting up 30 branches and the executive office as drop-off points until Labor Day. RMV customers and employees donated 1,150 cell phones which will buy $57,500 pre-paid calling cards for the troops.

"I am thrilled and proud of the enthusiasm our workers and customers showed the campaign," said Registrar Anne L. Collins. "The Bergquist's gave us a novel opportunity to show our support for American soldiers and at the same time help clean the environment of e-waste."

"MassHighway is pleased to be joining our sister transportation agencies in helping Massachusetts troops stay in touch with their loved ones," said MassHighway Commissioner Luisa Paiewonsky. "The hard work of Robbie and Brittany Bergquist takes on even greater value as we enter the holiday season."

The campaign kicks off during today's afternoon rush hour. Mass Pike toll booth collectors will hand out cell phone collection envelopes at the exit 18, 19 and 20 toll plaza-the gateway into Boston and at the Route 128 toll plaza beginning at 3:00 PM. Motorists will be able to donate a single cell phone by just dropping the pre-addressed and pre-paid envelope in the mail.

Welcoming the opportunity to be part of the "Cell Phones for Soldiers" effort, MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas announced the placement of drop off boxes at MBTA core stations including Park Street, Downtown Crossing, Government Center, and North, South, and Back Bay Stations. "This is a great opportunity for all of us to participate in an effort that helps our soldiers remain connected with their family and friends," said Grabauskas. "Many thanks to Robbie and Brittany Bergquist for sharing their great idea with us." Additional drop off locations can be found at www.mbta.com.

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