11/1/12 – St. Gerard Majella Wins $50,000 in U.S. Cellular’s Calling All Communities Campaign

ST. LOUIS, November 1, 2012… Students, teachers and administrators at St. Gerard Majella in Kirkwood, Mo. are $50,000 richer today after being named a 2012 Champion in U.S. Cellular’s (NYSE: USM) Calling All Communities campaign. The contest awards $150,000 to the school that garners the most online votes and the next 17 schools receive $50,000 each.

All 18 winners in the 2012 campaign were revealed today in a video from U.S. Cellular’s president and CEO, Mary N. Dillon, which was posted on the company’s website (uscellular.com).

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.

St. Gerard Majella first showed up on the Top 100 list on Sept. 25 at number 96, and as excited parents rallied the community in support of their cause, the school made a massive jump to number 51 by October 2nd. When the last list was released on October 16, St. Gerard had climbed all the way to number 8 among all the schools across the country competing for the money, but continued to rally votes during the final week of voting in the hope that they could hold onto a spot in the top 18.

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 town to direct people to their local U.S. Cellular store.

“We’re inspired by the tenacity and spirit of this year’s winners, who harnessed the support from their friends, families, PTAs, alumni and local businesses to encourage voting from the first day to the final weekend,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Missouri. “We can’t wait to hear about how 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.

For more information, contact:

Sara Randolph,  The Hauser Group, (314) 436-9090

Kelly Harfoot, U.S. Cellular, (773) 355-3697