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More than 250,000 votes cast for 6,400-plus schools

CHICAGO, January 13, 2010 – With a record quarter of a million votes cast, some schools are less than 100 votes away from jumping in to the winners circle. That's how close U.S. Cellular officials say their Calling All Communities race has become.

Voting spikes over the past few weeks propelled four new schools into the Top 10. A flood of school spirit continues to shatter voting records in the final days of the campaign. Vote totals topped 250,000 this week, more than double the 120,000 cast last year.

"We knew schools would make a final push for votes this week, but this is incredible," said Karen Ehlers, vice president of public affairs and communications for U.S. Cellular. "Some communities' creativity adds hundreds of votes each day."

The influx of community support also led to the largest one-day voting total ever, with nearly 27,000 cast in a 24-hour period. Ten schools with the most votes when the campaign ends at 11:59 p.m. central time this Friday will share $1 million.

"The unprecedented voter participation leaves no doubt that our communities care about schools," said Jeff Childs, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for U.S. Cellular. "We can't wait to see who wins."

Schools will find out if all of their hard work paid off when the champions are revealed in February. One lucky school's celebration will be featured on the popular morning show "The Balancing Act," airing on Lifetime TV. Their camera crew will be onsite to capture the winning school's excitement.

Anyone 18 or older can visit any U.S. Cellular store to pick up a voting code to use online. Only one vote is counted per person and each code is valid once. Schools of all sizes, public, private, urban and rural, K- 12 are eligible. No purchase is necessary to vote. See official rules at

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 has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Tour and Pearl Flip, and the touch-screen LG Tritan, 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