First Cellular of Southern Illinois celebrated its 10th anniversary this past April, and the local leader in providing quality wireless communication has been a partner with the Rend Lake College Foundation almost since the beginning.
A locally owned and operated company that employs over 150 Southern Illinois residents, First Cellular was again saluted Thursday by the Rend Lake College Foundation for serving as co-sponsor and thus assuring the success of the RLCF Annual Dinner during the past decade.
The holiday event has grown to a festive occasion which attracts almost 400 annually to the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon.
A year ago the company was recognized for reaching the Gold Major Gift level, representing contributions over $50,000-plus.
Terry Addington, Rend Lake College Foundation Board Member and President/Chief Executive Officer for First Cellular of Southern Illinois, "is a community college graduate and a true proponent of Rend Lake College," acknowledged RLC Foundation Executive Director Pat Mitchell at that time.
In 1999, First Cellular also stepped forward with a $10,000 gift to endow an annual scholarship for future Rend Lake College students. Following that lead, Harrisonville Telephone Company, one of the local firms making up First Cellular’s leadership, also donated $5,000 toward the RLC Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus.
First Cellular of Southern Illinois has an annual payroll that exceeds $4 million per year. First Cellular enhances the community by not only being a leader in the cellular field, but also giving back to the area through its support of community college education.
First Cellular is a completely locally owned and operated wireless communications firm whose cellular network includes over 70 cell sites throughout its 24-county coverage area. Its subscriber base has multiplied more than 25 times its original size. In the March 5, 2001 edition of the national publication, RCR Wireless News, First Cellular of S.I. was named 17th largest cellular company in the U.S.
The communications company is made up of a partnership that includes Crossville Telephone Company, Egyptian Telephone Company, Hamilton County Telephone Cooperative, Odin Telephone Exchange Inc., Shawnee Telephone Company, Harrisonville Telephone Company and Wabash Telephone Cooperative Inc.
"First Cellular is unique by allowing Southern Illinois dollars to stay in Southern Illinois," according to Addington. "First Cellular focuses on doing business with its neighbors and taking special pride in providing the best quality of service and technology available to its customers."