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U.S. Cellular Encourages Communities to Rally Support for Schools

August, 29, 2011
Wireless Provider Shares Strategies for Success From Past Calling All Communities Champions

CHICAGO, Aug 29, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) --

Voting officially begins for U.S. Cellular's (NYSE:USM) Calling All Communities Campaign on Sept. 9, but it's not too early for people to start rallying and organizing their community to support their favorite schools. With a wider winner's circle this year -- 18 schools will win a share of $1 million as opposed to 10 in previous years -- there is even more incentive to spread the word before the campaign begins. The top vote-receiving school will win $150,000, and the next 17 will each receive $50,000.

"Start spreading the word to friends, families and neighbors that Calling All Communities is coming back," said Carter S. Elenz, executive vice president of sales and customer service for U.S. Cellular. "We also invite everyone to stop by any U.S. Cellular store and talk to our associates about the upcoming campaign and learn about our cutting-edge devices and unique benefits. Our associates are proud of this program and love to hear the creative ways communities come together to support their schools."

U.S. Cellular's commitment to supporting schools through Calling All Communities is just one of the reasons consumers who switch to U.S. Cellular join the happiest customers in wireless. The grassroots effort and lasting community benefits fostered by the campaign resonates with many past champions.

"The contest did more for our school in terms of rallying interest and support than anything I can remember," said Jan Doellinger, principal of Central Lutheran School in Newhall, Iowa, a winning school in 2010. "At some point, it became less about winning and more about everyone pitching in and doing their part. The unique thing about the contest is that anyone could help."

Between Sept. 9 and Oct. 6, anyone 18 years or older* can visit any U.S. Cellular store and ask an associate for a code to vote for their favorite school at Each voting code gives people the opportunity to vote online once daily until the campaign ends. The voting cards will feature a peel-off sticker that gives thousands of lucky supporters a chance to cast two votes a day or be one of 18 people to win one year of free U.S. Cellular wireless service. In addition, 2,000 randomly-selected voters will be awarded a $25 U.S. Cellular debit card simply for supporting their schools.

Previous winners have used a number of effective strategies to engage voters. Here are a few examples of what schools from U.S. Cellular's past campaigns have done to build excitement in their communities:

 -- Formed committees to generate community support. -- Hosted community rallies. -- Posted information on the school's website and published information in the school newsletter to encourage voting. Some created a link to the Calling All Communities page at for updates to keep the momentum going. -- Engaged sports teams, the school band or student groups and armed them with campaign flyers that can be found at to spread the word. -- Asked local businesses to share campaign flyers with their customers or hang flyers on their premises. -- Used social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to talk about the campaign. -- Engaged alumni across the country. 

Public and private schools, kindergarten through high school, are eligible to win a share of $1 million that can be used any way the schools see fit. No purchase is necessary and you don't have to be a U.S. Cellular customer to vote. The winning schools will be announced in October and November. For more information about U.S. Cellular, its cutting-edge device lineup, high-speed nationwide network and Calling All Communities, visit or U.S. Cellular's Facebook page.


* Must be 19 years or older in Nebraska and Alabama

About Calling All Communities

Since Calling All Communities began in 2008, U.S. Cellular has awarded $2 million to 20 schools throughout the nation. Voter participation in the 2010 Calling All Communities campaign reached 430,000 votes cast for 6,800-plus schools. Last year's champions included six public and four private schools from small rural and large urban communities in Iowa, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, Tennessee and North Carolina. Past Calling All Communities champions have used their winnings in a variety of ways from outfitting their classrooms with new computers, Promethean boards or other technological advancements to renovating gymnasiums, school kitchens and science labs. Others have used the donation to make building infrastructure improvements, such as replacing outdated electrical systems. A few even paid portions of their proceeds forward, giving college scholarships to graduating students and donating to nonprofits around the world.

LaTrina Shepherd, U.S. Cellular,, 773-355-3364

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. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Customer Service Champion and received PC Magazine's 2011 Readers' Choice Award. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on, and

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire,

SOURCE: U.S. Cellular

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