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Schools to share in $1 million donation

Farragut and West Knoxville schools are eligible to win $100,000 with no strings attached in U.S. Cellular’s “Calling All Communities” program, in which local communities will decide which 10 schools around the country will share in $1 million.

Between now and Jan. 15, 2009, Knoxville school supporters can come in to any U.S. Cellular store and vote for the school of their choice. While voting, U.S. Cellular customers may activate, renew or add additional lines, but no purchase is necessary to vote.

The program comes at a time when school districts across the country, including Knox County, are feeling the pinch in a slowing economy. Knox County Schools Superinten-dent Dr. Jim McIntyre recently implemented an expense reduction plan in anticipation of a $1 million shortfall.

“We recognize that funding for education is falling short across the country and this is an important issue for our customers. We hope this opportunity will empower our communities to rally around our schools and our children,” said Tom Catani, regional vice president for U.S. Cellular in the east region, headquartered here in Knoxville.

All schools in the United States, public and private, serving kindergarten through high school are eligible.

Schools receiving the donation will be announced in February 2009 and each school can choose how it will use the money.

“This is a great opportunity for Farragut High School and other Farragut schools. Our high school can make good use of the money so we need to get out the vote,” said Ann Slagle, president of the Farragut High School Parents, Teachers and Students Organization.

“I hope our parents, students and educators will get out the vote for Knox County schools,” said Dan Murphy, Knox County School Board member and past chairman. “One of our schools could be a $100,000 winner. It’s always the right time to invest in our children.”

West Knoxville eligible schools include (and are not limited to) Farragut Primary, Intermediate, Middle and High School; Bearden Elementary, Middle and High school; Hardin Valley Academy, A.L. Lotts Elementary School, Bluegrass Elementary School, West Valley Elementary School, Webb School, Christian Academy of Knoxville, St. John Neumann Catholic School, Knoxville Catholic High School and the Episcopal School of Knoxville.

Nationwide, U.S. Cellular has donated more than $4 million to not-for-profit organizations serving youth, families and seniors, and associates have volunteered more than 8,000 hours so far in 2008.

“We’ve got the most loyal customers in the industry because we listen to them and care about what they care about,” Catani said.

“We are in the business of connecting people and the schools that can successfully connect their parents, teachers and communities will ultimately generate the most support.”

Visit for official rules. You must be 18 to vote and only one vote per person.


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