KUEMPER CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL WINS $100,000 FROM U.S. CELLULAR'S "CALLING ALL COMMUNITIES" CAMPAIGN
CARROLL, IA, Feb. 19, 2009 - One big dream of Kuemper Catholic High School students and faculty became a reality this morning when U.S. Cellular associates ambushed an assembly to reveal that the school had won $100,000. Kuemper is the third winner to be announced so far in the company's 2009 "Calling All Communities" campaign that will donate a total of $1 million to be shared by 10 schools. The nationwide contest encouraged communities to cast votes for their favorite school during the holiday season.
"There is no question that this is a blessing for our school," said Penny Miller, principal of Kuemper Catholic High School. "Our entire school and parish communities came together and worked really hard to make this happen. We all wanted to believe that we could win, but it is still an amazing surprise. We have so many people to thank!"
More than 6,500 schools vied to be among the winners. Kuemper remained in the top 20 throughout most of the contest, but was powered into the top 10 with the help of a flurry of votes in the final weeks. Miller made announcements at basketball games and sent notes home to parents to rally community support.
"We have witnessed an incredible sense of unity and determination in communities across the country during this contest," said John E. Rooney, president and CEO of U.S. Cellular, who made the big announcement today in the school's gym. "Everyone realizes that times are lean, especially for our schools, many of which are being forced to cut vital programs and teachers. This contest is our effort to play a small role in giving schools some much-needed support."
An estimated six million students attend private schools in the United States, but the Department of Education reports private enrollment has dropped by 120,000 students during the current school year. Miller said that all 457 Kuemper students will feel the impact of the additional funding from U.S. Cellular.
"From the beginning we promised we would earmark a generous portion to recruitment and retention of quality instructors for our students," said Miller, adding that other uses such as additional Promethean Smart Boards, library materials updates, a mobile lab and science lab renovations also have been discussed. "The administrators will definitely take our time to use the funds wisely."
U.S. Cellular presented $100,000 to Heritage High School in Maryville, Tenn. on Friday, Feb. 13. On Wednesday, Brogden Primary School in Dudley, N.C. received the good news. The remaining seven winners will also receive surprise visits within the next few weeks.
Each year U.S. Cellular donates more than $4 million to the United Way and non-profits serving its communities, and last year associates volunteered almost 10,000 hours. In 2008, the company donated more than $300,000 to non-profit organizations in Iowa.
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