GOVERNOR CULVER HELPS U.S. CELLULAR SURPRISE THIRD "CALLING ALL COMMUNITIES" $100,000 CHAMPION
NEWHALL, Iowa, February 11, 2010 –â€“ Governor Chet Culver joined U.S. Cellular CEO John E. Rooney and area associates struck a chord when they ambushed a concert at Central Lutheran School today by delivering a $100,000 surprise. The school was the third winner named in U.S. Cellular's $ 1 million Calling All Communities campaign. Central Lutheran launched into the Top 10 early in the campaign. Community support kept the 133-student school there until the end. While news of their victory may not have been the biggest surprise, the messenger certainly was.
"I'm so glad I could be here today to congratulate Central Lutheran," said Gov. Culver. "As a former teacher myself, I recognize the tremendous value to our communities when schools and teachers receive the support they need."
The Governor kicked off the exciting celebration as U.S. Cellular associates paraded into the gymnasium tossing t-shirts, handing out 100 Grand candy bars and launching confetti. Students, faculty, parents and community leaders attending the concert burst into cheers as the news sank in that the school was $100,000 richer. Central Lutheran will join nine other schools in sharing $1 million. Two other winning schools, Seymour High School in Tennessee and St. Liborius School in Illinois, also were announced this week.
"Although we were in the Top 10 for several weeks, we didn't take any chances," said Principal Jan Doellinger, who was notified of the school's victory but kept it a secret until the surprise announcement. "We pushed for votes all the way through the end of the campaign. Seeing the smiling faces of our students made the journey worthwhile."
Central Lutheran rallied voter support by getting their alumni involved, using facebook and rallying area churches.
This is the second year that U.S. Cellular has awarded $1 million to 10 schools and the second time an Iowa school has earned the prize. Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll was among the 2009 champions.
"Our associates are thrilled to surprise another winner in Iowa," said U.S. Cellular CEO John E. Rooney. "We believe a solid education is the very foundation on which futures are built. These children deserve every opportunity to succeed and we're just proud to be a part of it."
This year's voter participation nearly quadrupled with 430,000 votes cast for 6,800-plus schools nationwide. More than 1,000 schools in Iowa joined the campaign. U.S. Cellular associates will make seven more surprise visits to the remaining schools throughout February. Visit uscellular.com/callingallcommunities or U.S. Cellular's Facebook page to view winning school results.
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 made the commitment to invest more than $5 million in teachers and schools during 2009 and 2010. 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.