Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Business

September 17, 2012

U.S. Cellular’s Calling All Communities has started

CENTERVILLE — Voting has started in U.S. Cellular’s Calling All Communities campaign. Returning for its fourth year, U.S. Cellular will give communities the opportunity to help improve the education of students at 18 schools by challenging them to rally community support for the chance to win a share of $1 million. The school that garners the most community votes wins $150,000, while the next 17 schools with the most votes receive $50,000. Individuals can visit their local U.S. Cellular store to pick up a code to vote for their favorite school.

Calling All Communities is open to all K-12 schools — big or small, public or private. Voting concludes Oct. 21. To vote, simply visit a local U.S. Cellular store to pick up a voting code, then enter it online at uscellular.com. You can check back to track your school ranking, see the top vote-getting schools, get ideas to rally more votes and post photos. With only one vote per person, it is important to get entire communities involved.

Since the program began in 2008, U.S. Cellular has awarded $3 million to 38 schools across the country for them to use however they see fit to impact the education of students.

Iowa schools have fared well during Calling All Communities campaigns in 2009, 2010 and last year. Carroll Kuemper Catholic High School and Central Lutheran School in Newhall each won $100,000 in 2009 and ’10, respectively. Community Lutheran School in Readlyn, Lutheran Interparish School in Williamsburg and Trinity Lutheran School in Cedar Rapids each won $50,000 a year ago.

Getting off to a strong start in the voting has proven successful for schools in past campaigns. Previous winners got out of the gate early and rallied their community together in fun and innovative ways. Using social networking sites – such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – will help spread the word online, but don’t forget to engage parent teacher organizations, alumni networks, sports teams, the school band or student groups to help get the word out. Some schools also invited local U.S. Cellular associates to speak at meetings to generate participation.

The official rules for the campaign are located at uscellular.com/callingallcommunities.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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