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Washington final of 10 winning schools announced in nationwide contest

WASHINGTON, N.C., March 3, 2009 – North Carolina residents were surprised today for the second time in two weeks with a big announcement from U.S. Cellular. Associates from the company delivered the news that Washington High School had claimed the final $100,000 prize in U.S. Cellular's 2009 "Calling All Communities" campaign. The nationwide contest encouraged the community to cast votes for their favorite schools during the holiday season.

"As other winners were being announced and there were only a few spots left, we started to worry that we had been knocked off of the list," said Russell Holloman, principal of Washington High School. "We knew that everyone in the community had come together and worked hard to make this win happen for our school and our students. It's wonderful to know that all of their efforts paid off."

Washington was one of the few schools to hold onto their spot in the Top 10 for most of the contest, based on the sheer power of community support and school spirit. For more than a month, the school's student government association helped spread the word about the contest throughout the community. Regular school announcements kept the momentum going throughout the campaign.

"Washington ran a strong campaign but had lingered in 11th place during the final days," said Karen Ehlers, vice president of public affairs and communications for U.S. Cellular. "We didn't know if they were going to be able to make it into a winning spot. But when the votes were tallied, their incredible community spirit gave them the boost that they needed to rank among the champions."

Early in the contest, students and teachers voted and decide to use the money to fund scholarships if they won, Holloman said. "We wanted to make sure this money benefited the school for many years to come."

Washington joins other winning schools announced in Tennessee, North Carolina, Iowa, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nebraska, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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 $100,000 to non-profit organizations in North Carolina.

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