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A film crew from Target Corp. works with students at Northside Elementary School in Benson to produce a video promoting the Give with Target program. The school won $10,000 in the promotion when it reached 10,000 votes on Wednesday. (Submitted photo)

Benson school wins $10K in Target's national competition

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BENSON — Northside Elementary School in Benson has won a national competition sponsored by Target.

When the school became the first school in the country to reach 10,000 votes in the Give with Target, it won a $10,000 prize and also a celebration including several celebrities. The celebrities include Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan, Olympic medal winner Gabrielle Douglas and Green Bay Packers player Donald Driver.

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Northside reached 10,000 votes Wednesday afternoon, beating its closest competitor by about 350 votes.

After finishing third in the nation a year ago, Northside Elementary launched an all-out effort to win it all this year. An aggressive Facebook and email campaign kept reminding people to vote, and word spread in other ways, too.

Last week, when the Tribune first wrote about the drive, Northside had fewer than 5,000 votes, and they mounted quickly earlier this week.

Second-grade teacher Roger Ebnet spearheaded the drive, which urged people to bring the prize to rural Minnesota. The second-highest school was from Staten Island, N.Y.

Now that Northside has reached its goal, people may continue to vote for other schools, raising $1 for them with each vote. Go to Target's website to vote.

Northside has reached its goal, but voting for other schools will continue until Sept. 21 at givewith.target.com. One vote is accepted each week, with a new week starting each Sunday. Target will donate $1 per vote until it reaches a total of $5 million.

The site includes videos from the top schools last year, including one about Northside. To see that, go to http://bit.ly/17mxRao.

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Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340
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