If they can climb their way up three more slots in a rank of 646 nationwide schools, Trinity Lutheran School will be the winner of a $50,000 prize via U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities campaign.
As of Wednesday, 15,728 total votes have been cast so far in the race to win $1 million in the company's fourth annual campaign to support education. The company will give out one $150,000 prize and 17 $50,000 prizes. If Trinity Lutheran wins, it won't be the first time a central Missouri school earned the prize - St. Francis Xavier Parish School and Immaculate Conception School previously won $100,000 and $50,000 in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
The Rev. Sam Powell, an associate pastor at Trinity, noted his school has moved from 24th place to 21st since last week. Fewer than 70 votes separate the schools ranked between 20th and 30th.
"We've got a group of parents going above and beyond to get folks to vote," he said, adding two local businesses also are doing their best to spread the word about the contest to their customers. They are even organizing a bus trip for people to socialize while they pick up voting cards.