HASTINGS, NE - For the fourth year in a row, News Channel Nebraska and UnitedHealthcare have proven that Small Towns Matter.

Since 2019, News Channel Nebraska has run a contest throughout the entire state of Nebraska.  Encouraging community members to register their elementary school for the Small Towns Matter prize – bicycle helmets for each student and a $2500 cash donation to the school to use for any of their needs.  Schools have used this money for playground equipment, teacher supplies, technology, etc.

The 2022 Spring winning school has been chosen – Watson Elementary School in Hastings, NE.

News Channel Nebraska will be broadcasting live from Watson Elementary School Wednesday May 18th at 1:00 p.m. to present each student with a bicycle helmet and to present the school with a check for $2500.

“Safety is a high priority at any school, and keeping our students safe at Watson Elementary so that they can concentrate on learning is, and always has been, a major focus for Hastings Public Schools,” said Watson Elementary Principal Dave Barrett. “It is our hope that your gifts of a free helmet for every student along with the $2500.00 will help extend this philosophy of being safe beyond the school and into the daily lives of our children, no matter where they are or what they are doing.”

"UHC greatly appreciates the opportunity to give back to local communities.  We employ more than 750 Nebraskan’s who reside across the state so we are literally part of the community,” said UnitedHealthcare Executive Director Matthew Milam. “We also understand the importance of being physically active.  We encourage the students to use the bicycle helmets to be active and safe.  This will ultimately lead to healthier students who will become future Nebraska leaders.”

”We are excited to partner again with UnitedHealthcare for the Small Towns Matter contest,” said News Channel Nebraska CEO Andy Ruback. “Communities like these are so important to us. And keeping the children safe with the helmets and investing in their future through the school is one way we can show that.”

The event on May 18th is open to the public.  The giveaway and ceremony will be broadcast on News Channel Nebraska, www.newschannelnebraska.com and on our Facebook page.

There will be another contest this fall and we encourage everyone to register their school.