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Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Cell Phones for Soldiers

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Corrections and Lake Murray ABATE on Friday, September 27 donated 300 cellular telephones and a check in the amount of $200 to Bob and Gail Berquist, who serve as the directors of Cell Phones for Soldiers.

Earlier this month, Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said the Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Corrections Department and Lake Murray ABATE donated 7,753 used cellular telephones and 2,300 used chargers to Cell Phones for Soldiers. Cell Phones for Soldiers sells used cellular telephones and telephone accessories to a recycling company and utilizes the proceeds to buy pre-paid telephone calling cards that are issued to members of the United States armed forces who are serving our nation outside the United States.

Since 2010, the Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Corrections Department and Lake Murray ABATE has donated more than 25,000 cellular telephones and accessories to Cell Phones for Soldiers, Metts said. As a result of the donation, Cell Phones for Soldiers provided more than 828,000 minutes of free telephone talk time to members of the United States armed forces who are deployed overseas. Telephone minutes from the sale of cellular telephones that the Sheriff’s Department donates are provided to members of the armed forces from the Midlands.

Bob and Gail Berquist on Friday presented certificates of appreciation to the Sheriff’s Department, state Department of Corrections and Sgt. David Amick, who coordinated the participation of the Sheriff’s Department in efforts to collect cellular telephones for donation to Cell Phones for Soldiers, Metts said.

“We are honored to be here. We rely upon people like you to promote our organization,” Bob Berquist said. “All of you are angels for the soldiers who are protecting us. The phone cards give the soldiers a little bit of heaven in the middle of war.”

The children of Bob and Gail Berquist, Brittany and Robbie, founded Cell Phones for Soldiers in 2004 after learning that a soldier had a cellular telephone bill for $8,000 for calls that the soldier made while deployed overseas, Gail Berquist said. Since 2004, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided members of the armed forces with 192 million minutes of free talk time and recycled more than 11 million cellular telephones.


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08/07/2014 - Aviation Unit Recovers Stolen Vehicle During National Night Out  
08/04/2014 - Man Arrested for Attempted Murder and Heroin Trafficking  
07/31/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Two Deputies  
07/28/2014 - Homeland Protection Certification  
07/25/2014 - Two Men Arrested in Convenience Store Robbery  
07/24/2014 - Explorer Post Wins National Award  
07/23/2014 - Law Enforcement Re-Accreditation  
07/23/2014 - Job Fair and Open House  
07/23/2014 - Deputy Receives Distinguished Graduate Award  
07/18/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Deputies  
07/19/2014 - Detectives Charge Man with Restaurant Robbery  
07/19/2014 - Deputies Arrest Two Women and One Man for Breaking Into Home at Gunpoint  
07/16/2014 - Reserve Deputy Training  
07/12/2014 - Detention Center Enhances Visitation With Inmates  
07/11/2014 - Deputies Arrest Teen-Ager for Breaking Into Home  
07/09/2014 - More than 70 Units of Blood Donated to Red Cross  
07/08/2014 - More than 500 Eyeglasses Donated to South Carolina Lions Charitable Services  
07/06/2014 - Investigators Arrest Three Additional Persons for Illegally Operating Gaming House  
07/04/2014 - Investigators Arrest Man for Illegally Operating Gaming House  
07/04/2014 - Inspection Results in Arrests of Two Men for Selling Counterfeit Items  
07/03/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Deputies  
07/03/2014 - Book Sale  
07/03/2014 - 5th Annual Catfish Tournament  
07/03/2014 - Deputies Arrest Man for Impersonating Law Enforcement Officer and Kidnapping Women at Motel  


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