Ute Meadows tops them all in box-top contest

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School captures $75,000 grand prize

By Ramsey Scott

Saving thousands of cereal box tops has paid off big time for Ute Meadows Elementary School.

Last month the school received $75,000 as the grand-prize winner in the Super Cool School Contest Boxtops for Education, a fund-raising program started by General Mills. 

The school will use the money to update its playground with disabled-accessible equipment, said principal Steve Weigum.

“We have a new challenge program in our building. It serves multiple handicapped children, with anything from Down syndrome to cerebral palsy,” Weigum said. “We have a dozen kids in the program now, but some of the kids don’t have good access to the playground equipment.”

Para-educator and Ute parent Cindy Monroe runs the school’s box-top program and entered the school in the contest. Usually by clipping box tops and sending them in, the school can make about $1,000 to $1,500 a year, Weigum said. 

Monroe wrote 200 words about the school using the fund to provide disabled-accessible playground equipment for its challenge program. Ute Meadows bested about 30,500 other schools that entered the contest. 

“Lo and behold, she won,” Weigum said. “We’ve formed a committee that is looking at modifications we can make, different material we could put down to give the kids an opportunity to get down there and play with their general education friends.”