Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Uncle Sam of Park Street wants to recycle your old cell phones for the troops

American Icons
I was gassing up at the Shell Station on South Park Street the other day and stopped to take a photo of the American Spirit neon sign in the window. Just then Uncle Sam walked by, and I asked him to pose with the sign. Two American icons.

Madison residents will recognize him as the Uncle Sam figure who stands outside Liberty Tax Service across Park Street from the gas station and waves to passing motorists during tax season. We chatted briefly, and I found out that his name is Glenn Unzicker, or as his business card puts it, Glenn "Uncle Sam" Unzicker," Character & Marketing Promotions, Liberty Tax Service.

"Actually, I'll be spending less time outdoors this year, and more time indoors working on marketing," Unzicker said. He's hiring more people to play Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty. If this combination of theater and marketing is your thing and you've always had a hankering to exhibit yourself publicly in a patriotic costume, give him a call at 608-251-4242.

But what he really was excited about was his firm's Cell Phones for Soldiers event, which recycles cell phones to help soldiers overseas call home. They're holding an all-day open house and cell phone drop-off at their east side office at 4102 Milwaukee Avenue on January 19 from 9 to 5.

Actually, it's not the phones they're interested in, but the small amount of gold each phone contains in its electrical contacts. This is reclaimed and the proceeds are used to buy calling cards for the soldiers. If you have some old cell phones gathering dust, this is an opportunity to get them out of the house and do some good at the same time.

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