A Seventh-day Adventist high school unofficially won $500,000 in a Facebook contest that ended this weekend.
Mount Ellis Academy, received 144,006 votes in the Kohl’s Cares grant competition, which put the boarding academy in 10th place. The 20 schools to receive the most votes would each win the money.
Although the Bozeman, Mont. high school finished in the top 20 vote-getting schools, Kohl’s says they are currently verifying the unofficial winners to make sure they meet all of the contest requirements and will then announce the winners.
MEA Principal Darren Wilkins said the academy wants to use the prize money to reconstruct its water and sewage infrastructure. They needed $600,000 to start the work.
Word spread about MEA’s race to win the half-million dollars through video, emails, and social networking websites. Every few days, Wilkins uploaded video updates and appeals about the contest for supporters to share and churches to show. In an email message, Larry D. Blackmer, vice president of education for the North American Division, also urged people to vote for the school.
Wilkins posted a video recorded the day before the voting ended saying thank you for the support.