Eastern Iowa schools score big for safe driving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa schools score big for safe driving

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Cascade students react to The Band Perry announcing their grand prize win Cascade students react to The Band Perry announcing their grand prize win
Cascade students made dozens of signs for the event Cascade students made dozens of signs for the event
The check for $100,000 was revealed after nearlly 35 minutes of presentations The check for $100,000 was revealed after nearlly 35 minutes of presentations
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CASCADE (KWWL) -

It felt like a homecoming pep rally in the Cascade Junior-Senior High School Tuesday.

High-pitched screams resonated from what seemed like every corner of the gym.

Yet, the students of Cascade weren't here to pump up their football team. They were here to find out if they had won some big money for their school.

They were part of State Farm's Celebrate My Drive program, which encourages people to be safe drivers. They spent 10 days in October collecting as many pledges as they could. 

The top two winners of the contest win $100,000 for their school and a private concert from the country music group The Band Perry. Ten schools win a $100,000 grant, and 90 schools win a $25,000 grant.

Students listened as a parade of school administrators, teachers and community members said a few words about the hard-working spirit of Cascade. They even got to see a number of their teachers in re-makes of State Farm's commercials.

And after nearly 35 minutes, they revealed a $100,000 check made out to Cascade.

The roar for the check was pretty impressive.

But one last commercial was set to air, and when The Band Perry showed up on the screen, the school went into a frenzy. Students were screaming, jumping up and down, and high-fiving as they celebrated their grand-prize win.

"The money is great and is going to help our school. But the private concert -- that's just going to be awesome," Nolan Weber, a senior at Cascade, said.

Everyone involved said the project was really a city-wide effort.

"It just shows how strong this community in Cascade is," Devin Green, a junior at Cascade, said.

Jeff Vander Lugt, principal of Cascade, said they'll use the money towards improving furniture in the classroom and getting new lockers as well.

He said the classroom upgrades will be ongoing throughout the spring, and the new lockers will be added during the summer.

South Tama High School also won $100,000. Western Dubuque and Beckman Catholic High Schools won $25,000 each.

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