12/31/09 — Three Wayne schools in running for $100,000 prize

View Archive

Three Wayne schools in running for $100,000 prize

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 31, 2009 1:46 PM

Three Wayne County schools are in the running for the $100,000 prize Brogden Primary won last year through U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities campaign.

This week, officials with U.S. Cellular released the Top 100 schools now vying for a share of the $1 million total prize money.

More than 110,000 votes have been cast for 5,400-plus schools around the nation, said Melissa McIntyre, public relations counsel for U.S. Cellular's Carolinas region.

The three local schools on the Top 100 list are Northwest Elementary School in 44th place, Wayne Country Day in the No. 45 spot, and Fremont STARS Elementary in 80th position.

When the campaign concludes, the 10 schools with the most votes will win $100,000 each, said Ms. McIntyre, adding that there is a lot of shifting around of positions as the competition heats up.

Communities can vote for their favorite schools through Jan. 15. There is no purchase required and voters do not need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to participate.

It's not too late to change the campaign's outcome, said Jeff Childs, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for U.S. Cellular.

"Schools in or near the Top 20 are making a strong push to crack the Top 10," he said. "They recognize the significant impact that a $100,000 gift can make and are working hard to be the last ones standing."

Wendy Hooks, principal of Brogden Primary, knows all about the "power of the community" on behalf of students. Her school didn't begin soliciting votes until the start of winter break, but managed to become one of the 2009 Top 10.

Although the Top 100 list will not be released again during the campaign, updates of the Top 20 will continue to be posted at participating U.S. Cellular stores, online at uscellular.com/callingallcommunities and on the company's Facebook page.

"In some instances, only a handful of votes separate schools," said Marcel Bekers, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in eastern North Carolina. "That's why we encourage everyone to keep getting those votes in right up to the deadline."

Anyone 18 or older can visit a U.S. Cellular store to pick up a voting code, which can be used once. Schools of all sizes can participate. Winning schools will be announced in February.

For official rules, visit us.cellular.com/calling allcommunities.