Powell Middle School is now more than $2,000 richer thanks to the efforts of students, staff — and online voters — who helped the school become one of 37 to receive a cash prize in a nationwide video contest.
The middle school was one of 30 schools nationwide to win $2,000 in the 2012 Lots2Give video contest — a nationwide competition through Big Lots in which schools submit videos giving their reasons why their school is most in need of additional financial support.
A check presentation will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Big Lots store in Brooksville.
Video cameras then were sent to the schools so students and staff could create a video. Each school was allowed to keep the video camera.
All told, 178 schools nationwide participated in the contest with more than 413,000 online votes cast.
One $20,000 grand prize, two $10,000 prizes and four $5,000 prizes also were granted to top vote getters in the competition.
Toni Fink, a spokeswoman for the competition run by Big Lots, said the company does not release how many votes each school received. However, she said more votes were cast this year than in any other throughout the five years that the contest has run.
Fink said students and staff members should be proud to be one of the 30 schools to win the competition. She said it not only takes a good video, but the school and community support to drive up votes.
"It's a challenge because students and staff have to put these videos together in two months' time around the end of the school year," Fink said. "It really comes down to motivating the community to vote for you. Obviously Powell had some good marketing plans in place."
Winding Waters K-8 was another Hernando County School to compete in the competition.
Although that school didn't win, Fink said both Hernando County schools and 11 others throughout the Tampa Bay areas will receive $470 as part of an in-store donation program.
Meanwhile, all of the submitted videos can still be viewed at www.biglots.com/lots2give. Select videos from Florida to scroll down and select Winding Waters and Powell Middle schools.
Fink said all of the videos will only be available until Saturday, after which only the contest winners will be shown.