Gurganus Elementary wins money for new playground in contest


Gurganus Elementary School students react as they learn the school won enough votes in a U.S. Cellular contest to receive $25,000 toward the purchase of new playground equipment.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 05:28 PM.

Joyous screams echoed through the hallways of W.J. Gurganus Elementary School Tuesday morning as students learned that they would be getting new playground equipment.

The Havelock school got enough votes in U.S. Cellular’s 2013 Calling all Communities Campaign to receive $25,000 from the company for the project.

Principal Debbie Hurst said the old playground was constructed in 1991. On particularly hot days, the playground can’t be used because it could pose a safety threat to the students.

“What it means for us is we get a new set of playground equipment,” Hurst said of the contest.

The top 20 schools receiving the most votes in the online contest received funds. Though initially outside of the top 20 early in the contest, a late push to get out the vote propelled the Gurganus into the winning position.

 “The students took out flyers and our parents were the biggest drivers behind this,” Hurst said.

On Tuesday, a national linkup at 11:30 a.m. listed all of the winning schools, and Gurganus students cheered as they saw their school’s name in the list. The linkup happened simultaneously as representatives from U.S. Cellular walked around the school with balloons from classroom to classroom.

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