Pickett K-8 wins $50,000 in contest
Pickett County K-8 School Principal Kenny Tompkins (left) is surprised by Jack Brundige (right), director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee, at the Byrdstown school on Oct. 26. Brundige, along with other U.S. Cellular associates, visited the school to share the news that Pickett County K-8 School won $50,000 through the wireless company’s Calling All Communities campaign.
U.S. Cellular associates surprised two Tennessee schools Oct. 26 with news that they are the next winners of the wireless carrier's 2011 Calling All Communities campaign. Pickett County K-8 School in Byrdstown and Capshaw Elementary School in Cookeville each received $50,000, bringing the current total to $500,000 that U.S. Cellular has awarded to Tennessee schools through the campaign since 2009.
The two Tennessee schools are the 11th and 12th of 18 winners that will be announced in the wireless carrier's nationwide $1 million contest this year. The remaining winning schools will be revealed throughout October and November. The schools are planning special Calling All Communities events to celebrate their victories.
"The school spirit in these Tennessee communities is unrivaled. It was inspiring to be part of the excitement at these two schools when we made the surprise announcement that they had won," said Jack Brundige, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee. "This prize money will be used to impact the lives of hundreds of students, and that’s why U.S. Cellular continues to support 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. In past years, four other Tennessee schools have been Calling All Communities champions: Seymour High School in Seymour and A.H. Roberts Elementary School in Livingston in 2010 as well as Bearden High School in Knoxville and Heritage High School in Maryville in 2009.
“We are a small school in a rural community, so $50,000 means everything to us,” said Kenny Tompkins, principal of Pickett County K-8 School. “We have to do our own fundraising. We don’t have a PTA, so it was with tremendous community and staff support that we won.”
A total of 17 schools will receive $50,000 each, and the school with the most votes earns the top prize of $150,000. Winnings can be used any way the school sees fit to enhance students' learning experience.