CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- All 18 winners in U.S. Cellular's (NYSE:USM) 2012 Calling All Communities campaign were revealed today in a video from President and CEO Mary N. Dillon that was posted on the company's website (uscellular.com). The school with the most votes is awarded $150,000 and the next 17 schools receive $50,000 each.
For the third year in a row a school in Seymour, Tenn., a suburb of Knoxville with 11,000 residents, has captured the top prize in the wireless carrier's $1 million nationwide campaign to support education. Seymour Middle School rallied the most votes to take home the $150,000. In 2011, Seymour Primary School was the big $150,000 winner and Seymour High School won $100,000 the year before.
Seymour joins three other Tennessee schools in the Top 18, including two from Cookeville. Illinois matched Tennessee's statewide total with four winning schools, Iowa tallied three winners and North Carolina and Oklahoma each had two. Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin had one winner apiece to round out the list of 2012 champions.
More than 180,000 votes were cast during the 2012 campaign for 1,368 schools nationwide. Each week the Top 18 list was reshuffled as new schools rose up the ranks. In the final week of voting, four schools outside of the Top 18 made a strong push and secured enough votes to end up in the money: Big Pasture Elementary School in Randlett, Okla., Hugo Middle School in Hugo, Okla., Isaac Newton Christian Academy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Northeast Elementary School in Cookeville, Tenn.
To get out the vote in Davenport, Iowa, first graders at Trinity Lutheran School put together a YouTube video to tell people they need the money to repair the school's air conditioning. Lori Burns, principal of Monroe Elementary School in Janesville, Wis., promised to spend a night on the school's roof if they won a share of the $1 million prize. The school also took out billboards around the town to direct people to their local U.S. Cellular store.
"We're inspired by the tenacity and spirit of this year's champions, who were able to fire up their friends, families, PTAs, alumni and local businesses to drive voting from the first day through the final weekend," said Carter Elenz, executive vice president of sales and customer service for U.S. Cellular. "We can't wait to hear about how all the schools plan to use the winnings they worked so hard to earn."
Here are the 2012 Calling All Communities Champions:
$150,000 Grand Prize Winning School
Seymour Middle School, Seymour, Tenn.
$50,000 Winning Schools
Aqsa Islamic School, Bridgeview, Ill.
Algood Elementary School, Cookeville, Tenn.
Big Pasture Elementary School, Randlett, Okla.
Columbia Central School, Steger, Ill.
Hugo Middle School, Hugo, Okla.
Iowa Mennonite School, Kalona, Iowa
Isaac Newton Christian Academy, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Monroe Elementary School, Janesville, Wis.
Northeast Elementary School, Cookeville, Tenn.
Norwayne Middle School, Fremont, N.C.
Pickett County High School, Byrdstown, Tenn.
Spring Creek Elementary School, Goldsboro, N.C.
St. Damian Elementary School, Oak Forest, Ill.
St. Gerard Majella School, St. Louis
St. Michael School, Orland Park, Ill.
St. Wenceslaus School South, Omaha, Neb.
Trinity Lutheran School, Davenport, Iowa
U.S. Cellular's ongoing commitment to education through Calling All Communities has brought $4 million in funding to schools across its footprint. Since the campaign began in 2008, more than 2.2 million votes have been cast for thousands of schools. For more information about U.S. Cellular and Calling All Communities, visit uscellular.com or facebook.com/uscellular.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. By the end of 2012, 58 percent of customers will have access to 4G LTE speeds. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Champion in 2012 for the second year in a row. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.
Steve Carlson, U.S. Cellular, firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-217-0606
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