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Winners Determined by Local Community Votes

ROANOKE/CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Jan. 18, 2016)– To help celebrate Martin Luther King Day, U.S. Cellular and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Southwest Virginia are kicking off the 9h annual Black History Month Art Contest, which honors the many contributions of African-Americans and encourages young people to learn more about these current and historic influencers.

Boys & Girls Club members are encouraged to research and learn more about African-American role models and their important contributions to society. They are then invited to create and submit an original 8.5 x 11 portrait representing the figure of their choice using any art medium from any point in history, including present day.

"Once again, we are looking forward to seeing the great art projects from the Boys & Girls Club members. The level of creativity and talent is always amazing," said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in the Mid-South. "U.S. Cellular's commitment to education gives us the opportunity to partner with organizations here in Roanoke, Christiansburg and across the country. This contest showcases the creativity and talents of our kids as they honor African-American leaders while celebrating our rich history of diversity."

The top 10 finalists' entries will be chosen by a panel from the Southwest Boys & Girls Club and then displayed at local U.S. Cellular stores. The public is invited to view and vote on the artwork from February 1 to 29, and the top three artists - as determined by the number of votes - will receive prizes:

  • $150 for 3rd Place
  • $200 for 2nd Place
  • $500 for 1st Place

"Our kids get excited and start asking about the contest every year, and they always learn something new as they are researching," said Laurie Gibbons, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs. "You never know which project may inspire and have a life-long impact on one of our members."

To vote (starting February 1) visit U.S. Cellular stores:

Roanoke — Valley View, U.S. Cellular
4760 Valley View Blvd # 30, Roanoke, VA 24012
(540) 362-9774

Roanoke — Electric Road, U.S. Cellular
3260 Electric Road Suite 503, Roanoke, VA 24018
(540) 725-5887

Christiansburg — U.S. Cellular
103 Conston Ave, Christiansburg, VA 24073
(540) 382-2656

Salem — U.S. Cellular
1420 West Main Street, Salem, VA 24153
(540) 375-6760

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia (BGCSWVA) enables all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Since its inception in 1997, the BGCSWVA has positively impacted the lives of approximately 17,000 young people. BGCSWVA is part of a nationwide affiliation of local autonomous organizations of Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) that provides afterschool and summer programming in five core areas: Character and Leadership Development; Education and Career Development; Health and Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness and Recreation.

The BGCSWVA currently supports three Club sites: one stand-alone Club on 9th Street in southeast Roanoke City and two Clubs in Montgomery County Public Schools. Each year we serve approximately 450 young people that predominantly come from low-income and single parent households. Any child between the ages of 6-18 is eligible for membership into our organization and our annual membership fee is only $15 per child and no child is turned away for inability to pay. All BGCSWVA programs build self confidence and self-esteem to foster a sense of belonging, competence, usefulness, and influence.

About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage 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 a high-quality network in big and small cities and rural communities, and currently, 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. 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

For more information, contact:
Melissa Watkins, PR Counsel
Cell: 804-402-5316

Katie Frey, Comm. Mgr., U.S. Cellular
Office: 773-355-3275