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C Spire Christmas Wish winners share their inspiring stories of family, faith, hope and love

Telecom, technology company helps three "Big" wishes come true; donates $8,000 to Make-A-Wish charity

Ridgeland, Miss., (December 22, 2016) – As part of its customer inspired philosophy, C Spire asked individuals earlier this month to share their personal stories and explain why their Christmas wish, no matter how big or small, should be granted by the company.

The response was overwhelming. In just six days, hundreds of individuals submitted entries for the C Spire Christmas Wish. No purchase was necessary to participate. The three winning entries all involved inspiring, yet simple stories of family, faith, hope and love in the midst of daunting personal, health and financial challenges that represent some of the best examples of the indomitable human spirit. C Spire is helping each winner make their wish a reality.

"As a company that gets its inspiration from our customers, we were amazed by the incredible stories of everyday hard-working people courageously and valiantly striving to help their families and the people they love," said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire. "When we say that we work for our customers - that extends to serving our communities and the people in them. During the holidays, especially, it's a good time to stop and appreciate the inspiring stories of our customers and the privilege to participate in bringing joy in even this small way."

Mary Benton, a school librarian from Biloxi, sought help to pay the insurance deductible for her 33-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Brumbaugh, a barista at the Island View Casino coffee shop who is battling a rare form of leukemia. The cash will pay for a portion of the chemotherapy treatments her daughter needs to continue the life-and-death struggle with the disease.

"When I learned about the Christmas wish, I didn't even have to think about what I wanted," Benton said, noting that her husband's own battle with cancer limits their ability to help financially. "I just knew that I had to do this for my daughter. She goes to work every day, even when she doesn't feel good. She works really hard and has a tremendous spirit. I believe she'll beat this disease."

Brumbaugh said she was worried about how she was going to pay her medical bills. "I had no way of knowing how I was going to pay for the bills. My Mom certainly couldn't help because of her circumstances. I don't want to ask for help from anybody, but I appreciate C Spire stepping up in this way."

Essence Anthony is a young Southaven woman struggling to make ends meet while supporting two younger sisters and a niece who live with her. She works at her job to put food on the table, pay the rent, keep her car running and the lights on in her home. Her wish? Some cash to help pay the bills and keep creditors at bay.

"I'm not on any public assistance and my family means everything to me," Anthony said. "I work hard and take care of them before myself. The circumstances make it just about impossible to get by. C Spire's help is an answer to prayer and means the world to me. It's the difference between resting at night and crying myself to sleep."

For the friends who nominated Shay and Roosevelt Greenwood and their five children, the wish was simple. A vacation and time away for the entire family to spend quality time together as a respite from the shock and devastation of a recent diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer for the 47-year-old head of their Madison household.

A family who has home-schooled all of their children ranging in age from 5 to 20, the strength and courage the couple have displayed during the cancer battle has inspired friends and co-workers. "Their humility, simple grace and faith in the face of adversity and this huge, life-altering challenge is amazing," said family friend Chelsey Mcmillen, who submitted the wish on behalf of the Greenwoods.

"God has granted me the ability to continue to do the things I love, which is supporting my wife and children and continuing to be involved in their lives," Roosevelt Greenwood said. "Time away with the people I love is precious to me – so C Spire doing something like this for me and my family is truly a blessing."

Based on the level of consumer participation, C Spire also made an $8,000 contribution to Make-A Wish. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish gives hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions by granting them their one true wish. Local chapters in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama grant hundreds of wishes each year.

Richmond said C Spire has produced a special video on the Christmas Wish program and, starting at the close of business on Dec. 24 through Christmas day, the company will pause its promotional advertising to focus on the spirit of the holiday by featuring the inspiring stories of the three winners on all company billboards and its e-commerce website. The video can be viewed at www.cspire.com/wish.

About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class customer-inspired service and a superior comprehensive suite of wireless communications, high-speed Internet access and a range of other telecommunications products and services to consumers and businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.