TDS Telecom donates antique phones to help raise funds to fight hunger and prevent homelessness

TDS Telecom (TDS®) is proud to take part in the 14th annual FCI Art Show & Auction for the Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM), which serves West Madison, Middleton, and Cross Plains, Wisconsin. TDS donated 24 antique phones ranging from wooden crank phones to rotary phones as well as collector plates. The Madison-based telecommunications company purchased the collection from the family of former TDS Telecom associate and MOM Executive Director Al Ripp who passed away unexpectedly in 2017.

“Al was an incredible person whose passion for the telecommunications industry and its history was only surpassed by his desire to help others,” said TDS President and CEO Jim Butman. “It seems fitting that his phones will raise money for a cause that he cared so deeply about.”

Ripp was an associate at TDS for 37 years and took the helm of MOM shortly after his retirement. When MOM wrote about his sudden death four years ago on its website, the organization called Ripp, “Mr. Middleton. The very best of the community. The right Dad for MOM. Role model. A community hero, and friend.”

“Al was a valued associate at TDS; people remember him as a compassionate and caring person,” said Butman. “This donation allows his legacy to live on, and for more charitable works to be done in his name. We encourage everyone to explore all of the antiques and artwork in this auction.”

Online bidding for the FCI Art & Auction begins Oct. 9. The in-person event occurs Thursday, Oct. 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at FCI, 2551 Parmenter Street, Middleton, Wisconsin. All proceeds will benefit MOM’s effort to prevent homelessness and end hunger. 



Media Contact: Missy Kellor, Associate Manager-Communications | TDS | 608-664-4836 |

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom/TDS®) delivers high-speed internet, TV entertainment, and phone services to a mix of small to mid-sized urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the U.S. With 1.2 million connections, TDS is a rapidly growing technology company. Powered by fiber-optics and new industry-leading technologies, TDS delivers up to 8 Gigabit internet speeds and offers internet-protocol based TV entertainment solutions along with traditional phone services. TDS also offers businesses VoIP advanced communications solutions, dedicated internet service, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit

TDS Telecom, headquartered in Madison, Wis., employs 3,400 people and is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS]. Founded in 1969, Telephone and Data Systems provides wireless, broadband, video and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately 6 million connections nationwide through its businesses: UScellular, TDS Telecom, and OneNeck IT Solutions. Visit

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