10/23/11 — Five area schools bring home U.S. Cellular $50K grants

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Five area schools bring home U.S. Cellular $50K grants

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 23, 2011 1:50 AM

Five area schools will receive $50,000 each as winners in the national U.S. Cellular 2011 Calling All Communities contest.

Representatives from the wireless carrier made surprise stops earlier last week to Fremont STARS, North Drive and Tommy's Drive elementary schools and Wayne Christian School to make the announcement. Hobbton Middle School in Sampson County, where the brother of Tommy's Road principal Wendy Hooks is principal, also received the $50,000 prize.

The schools are among 18 winners being awarded a portion of the $1 million prize, officials said. An estimated $650,000 will be awarded to North Carolina schools through the call-in campaign, to be used for projects or programs as the school deems fit.

Other winning schools will be announced through October and November, with celebration events planned at each.

"The dedication and commitment of these schools and the community is why we were able to travel around today and give $200,000 to schools in Wayne County. It was wonderful to see the excitement at each school when we were able to share the good news," said Kimberly Sebastian, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in eastern North Carolina. "We know this money will help make a difference, which is why U.S. Cellular continues its commitment to education. It's one of the reasons we have the happiest customers in wireless."

This is the third year that U.S. Cellular has awarded $1 million to schools through Calling All Communities. The campaign continues to grow with more than 1.5 million votes being cast this year for 2,700 schools nationwide. So far, Wayne County schools have produced a Calling All Communities champion each year -- Brogden Primary School won $100,000 in 2009 and Wayne Country Day School won $100,000 in 2010.

"Wayne County Public Schools greatly appreciates U.S. Cellular's continued efforts to help schools enhance education through its annual Calling All Communities campaign," said Dr. Steven Taylor, WCPS superintendent. "Our district is excited to have local schools win $50,000 in this national competition. We are grateful for the support of the many parents, WCPS staff, community members, and countless friends and relatives who cast their votes."