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U.S. CELLULAR'S CALLING ALL COMMUNITIES: Competition Stiffens, School Rankings Shuffle

Top 100 Schools List Released for the Last Time

CHICAGO, December 24, 2009 – Two weeks ago, U.S. Cellular officials made the exciting decision to release the Top 100 schools vying for a share of $1 million in the company’s Calling All Communities campaign. It appears that sharing this coveted information inspired many schools to mobilize droves of voters putting pressure on the frontrunners to hold their ground.

As promised, the Top 100 list has been released once more. The latest rankings show several schools moving up at a rapid pace with some significant shuffling in the Top 20 and Top 10 positions. More than 110,000 votes have been cast for 5,400-plus schools. Those ranking in the Top 100 have earned at least 180 votes. About 450 votes mark the threshold for the Top 50, and approximately 2,000 votes are needed to make the Top 10.

Central Lutheran School in Newhall, Iowa, has captured the #1 spot previously held for the past four weeks by Seymour High School in Seymour, Tenn. Schools like Kalmiopsis Elementary School in Brookings, Ore., and Lewis Nettlehorst Elementary School in Chicago have entered the Top 20 for the first time. Other schools have either moved up or dropped down by as many as 15 spots.

This constant movement in rank makes the final campaign outcome anybody’s guess. Last year, Brogden Elementary School in Dudley, N.C., didn’t begin soliciting votes until the start of winter break but still went on to become a 2009 CAC Champion.

"In some instances, only a handful of votes separate schools," said Jeff Childs, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for U.S. Cellular. "That’s why we encourage everyone to keep getting those votes in right up to the deadline."

Communities can vote for their favorite schools now through January 15, 2010. The ten schools with the most votes will win $100,000 each to use however they choose.

"Schools in or near the Top 20 are making a strong push to crack the Top 10," said Childs. "They recognize the significant impact that a $100,000 gift can make and are working hard to be the last ones standing."

Although the Top 100 list will not be released again during the campaign, updates of the Top 20 will continue to be posted at participating U.S. Cellular stores, at uscellular.com/callingallcommunities and on U.S. Cellular’s facebook page. Click here to check out the current leaderboard.

Anyone 18 or older can visit any U.S. Cellular store to pick up a voting code, and each voting code can only be used once. Schools of all sizes, public, private, urban and rural, K- 12 have a chance to become a Calling All Communities champion. Winning schools will be announced in February 2010. No purchase is necessary to vote. See official rules at uscellular.com/callingallcommunities.

About U.S. Cellular
The 9,000 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® Tour and the touch-screen LG Tritan and HTC Touch Pro 2, which offer e-mail and Web access. U.S. Cellular believes in the power of the community and has made a commitment to invest more than $4.5 million in teachers and schools during 2009 and 2010. Based in Chicago, the company is the nation's sixth-largest 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. You can also check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook.