KALMIOPSIS SNAGS $100,000 CINDERELLA VICTORY IN U.S. CELLULAR'S CALLING ALL COMMUNITIES CAMPAIGN
Brookings, Ore., February 17, 2010 – Kalmiopsis Elementary School's address is 650 Easy St. How fitting since the faculty and students received news today that they won $100,000 in U.S. Cellular's $1 million Calling All Communities campaign.
"It was one of the hardest secrets I ever had to keep," said Kalmiopsis Principal Helena Chirinian, who was sworn to secrecy after receiving the call a few days ago. "The support of parents and our community really made this win possible. I can't thank them enough."
What started off as a regular school assembly transformed into a surprise takeover by 30 U.S. Cellular associates launching confetti while tossing T-shirts and 100 Grand candy bars into the stands. Reactions varied from screams of excitement to tears of joy as the news was delivered to a gym packed with students, faculty and parents.
"Kalmiopsis has earned a victory that our entire community can celebrate," Brookings Mayor Larry Anderson said. "It's a welcomed boost in funding that will benefit one of our most precious assets – our children."
This is the second year that U.S. Cellular has awarded $1 million to 10 schools. Voter participation more than tripled last year's campaign with 430,000 votes cast for 6,800-plus schools nationwide.
Throughout the campaign, Kalmiopsis never appeared in the top 10 rankings, but support from the Brookings community of 6,200 residents pushed them into the winner's circle in the final stretch.
"It is fantastic to have a winner here in Oregon," said Roberta Winger, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Oregon. "Although Brookings is a small community, the residents have made it clear that they are big supporters of education."
The schools can use the money however they choose. Chirinian said several projects are being considered, including technology upgrades and a new playground.
Other Calling All Communities 2010 champions include Robert Lince Elementary School in Selah, Wash.; Seymour High School in Seymour, Tenn.; St. Liborius Catholic School in Crete, Ill.; and Central Lutheran School in Newhall, Iowa.
U.S. Cellular associates will make spontaneous visits to the five remaining schools throughout February. To view winning school results, visit uscellular.com/callingallcommunities or U.S. Cellular's Facebook page.
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.