FIRST WINNING SCHOOL WILL BE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK IN U.S. CELLULAR'S $1 MILLION "CALLING ALL COMMUNITIES" CAMPAIGN
CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2009 - On Friday, February 13, U.S. Cellular will surprise one lucky school when the company kicks off its nationwide tour to announce the 10 winners in its $1 million "Calling All Communities" campaign. The schools that received the most votes from the general public during the holidays will be awarded $100,000. More than 120,000 votes were cast for approximately 6,500 different schools.
The first stop on the tour is in the southeast part of the United States.
"Only the principal knows we're coming," said Karen Ehlers, vice president of public affairs and communications for U.S. Cellular. "She was floored when we told her the good news. She said they have a great school but right now they're struggling and this couldn't be coming at a better time. She didn't believe they had a chance to win."
The nine other winners will be announced in the next few weeks and will also include some big surprises and upsets. During the contest U.S. Cellular posted the weekly rankings of the top 20 schools on its Web site and with each update there was movement in and out of the top 10. A big push for votes in the last week of the contest dramatically changed the final list. Two winning schools had never been listed in the top 20.
The $100,000 comes with no strings attached. Across the country schools are facing tough budget cuts due to shrinking government funding, which is jeopardizing vital academic programs and extracurricular activities. A nationwide survey of superintendents revealed that two-thirds of all districts are "inadequately funded."
This is U.S. Cellular's first "Calling All Communities" campaign but the company has been supporting non-profits for many years. In 2008 U.S. Cellular donated more than $4 million to the United Way and charitable organizations that serve its communities. Last year U.S. Cellular associates volunteered more than 10,000 hours.
About U.S. Cellular
The 8,700 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people's lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Pearl and Curve, and the touch-screen Samsung Delve, which offer e-mail and Web access. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation's fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com