COMMUNITY PROJECT Rotary collects used cell phones

A similar collection raised $130,000 in Massachusetts.
AUSTINTOWN -- The Austintown Rotary Club is collecting used cell phones in an effort to raise money for a project for the township.
Club President Lisa Oles, who also is a township trustee, said the club hasn't settled on a project to fund with proceeds from the cell phone collection. She noted, however, that the club paid for the electronic township sign at the intersection of Norquest Boulevard and Mahoning Avenue as part of a past project.
Each used cell phone donated to Rotary will be sold over the Internet for as much as $10, Oles said. The phones are recycled after they are sold.
"It does not matter if they are in working condition or not," she said. "Nowadays, everyone has cell phones, including children. ... I had two cell phones in my drawer; they were worth $10."
The club began collecting used cell phones after hearing about a similar collection in Massachusetts that helped raise $130,000 to buy calling cards for soldiers overseas, Oles said. She said the cell phone collection also is designed to mark the 100th anniversary of Rotary International.
"It's really what Rotary's about, is finding ways to raise funds and do some good things for the community," said club Treasurer Phil Carlon.
Austintown Rotary member Dr. Scott Petrallo added that Rotary members are committed to taking time out of their schedules to help their communities.
"People like Rotary members and other community service organizations, we try to rally around and contribute to our own community and make it better for everybody," he said.
Drop-off points
Those who want to contribute to the collection can drop off their used cell phones at Petrallo's office at 4241 Kirk Road; the office of Dr. Mitchell Dalvin at 1749 South Raccoon Road; Cellular One in Austintown Plaza; and township hall and the township police station on Ohltown Road. Oles said other businesses will be collecting phones for Rotary in the near future.

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