U.S. CELLULAR ANNOUNCES FIRST "CALLING ALL COMMUNITIES" $100,000 CHAMPION
Seymour, Tenn., February 9, 2010 – U.S. Cellular associates surprised the first $100,000 winning school today in its $1 million Calling All Communities campaign. Seymour High School's faculty, students and community members thought they were going to hear a motivational speaker until a parade of about 50 U.S. Cellular associates burst into the gymnasium, tossing t-shirts and launching confetti everywhere. The unexpected but welcomed interruption brought screams of excitement from the more than 1,100 Seymour students filling the gym.
"This is just unbelievable," said Seymour High School Principal Greg Clark, who was notified of the school's victory just days before the surprise announcement. "When I got the call, I was so happy that I had to sit down so I wouldn't fall over. Lots of people really worked hard for this throughout the campaign. This is a good thing for the whole community."
The high school plans to share their winnings with Seymour Primary, Intermediate and Middle schools that played a major role in pushing them to the top. During the campaign, all four schools rallied voter support for the high school by hosting pep rallies, marching in the Christmas parade, creating their own Calling All Communities holiday carol and ornament, and posting signage in local businesses. "Vote for Seymour" flyers were even placed in residents' monthly utility bills.
"It's a great day when a community works together to achieve a goal that directly benefits our children's education," said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters. "The students' school spirit was contagious and spread throughout our community. They should be very proud that their hard work paid off for the hundreds of students who will benefit now and in the future from this victory."
This is the second year that U.S. Cellular is awarding $1 million to 10 schools to use however they choose. The Knoxville area is home to two 2009 Calling All Communities champions. Bearden High School and Heritage High School took home $100,000 each last year.
"We love that the first 2010 champion was announced right here in Knoxville," said Tom Catani, regional vice president of U.S. Cellular. "Our local associates are thrilled to surprise the happy students today. There is nothing like being able to see their excitement first-hand and know that we were a part of making a real difference for these kids."
Voter participation was almost four times last year's campaign with 430,000 votes cast for 6,800-plus schools nationwide. Seymour High School's final tally was enough to land them in the winner's circle alongside nine other Calling All Communities 2010 Champions. U.S. Cellular associates will make random, spontaneous visits to the remaining schools throughout February. Winning school results will be posted throughout the month at uscellular.com/callingallcommunities and on 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.