11/15/09 — U.S. Cellular offers educational funds through campaign contest

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U.S. Cellular offers educational funds through campaign contest

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 15, 2009 1:50 AM

Last year, Brogden Primary School was one of 10 schools in the country to win $100,000 to spend as they saw fit.

Today, a state-of-the-art playground adorns the grounds, courtesy of U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities campaign.

The school is not eligible to enter again this year, clearing the path for others in the county to participate.

According to U.S. Cellular, more than 19 schools from Wayne County, public and private, had been in the running for the grassroots campaign.

One of them may come away the winner this year.

The contest is simple, explained Melissa McIntyre, public relations counsel for U.S. Cellular, Carolinas region.

"All residents have to do is go into a U.S. Cellular store and grab a voting card with an online registration number," she said. "No purchase is necessary ... vote online for your favorite school to help them win $100,000."

It doesn't take many votes, she said, which accounts for how small communities like Humphrey, Neb. -- population 790 -- was among last year's winners.

Two schools in North Carolina each won $100,000, both in the eastern region -- Brogden Primary in Dudley and Washington High School in Washington.

What it does take, Ms. McIntyre pointed out, is community support.

"We did not think we could win because we are a small rural community in North Carolina," said Wendy Hooks, Brogden principal. "What we lacked in financial support, we more than made up for in spirit and hope."

Because of its win, Brogden will be featured in U.S. Cellular's national advertising campaign, airing soon.

Beyond the money and the playground equipment, though, it was still a worthwhile effort, Mrs. Hooks said.

"Calling All Communities taught our kids that if you come together as a team, you can make things happen," she said. "Even if we hadn't won, they learned that being a team is a reward in itself."

For more information on the contest, visit the Web site uscellular.com/calling allcommunities.