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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nearly 150 nonprofit agencies will participate in the region’s first-ever 24-hour online giving day during the Community Foundation of the Ozarks' Give Ozarks event May 5. The City of Springfield, with its Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park along College Street, is one of the agencies participating in Give Ozarks. About the Roadside Park Project
Springfield is officially recognized as the birthplace of what became known as the iconic "Mother Road." It was on April 30, 1926 at Park Central Square where officials first proposed U.S. 66 as the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway. Route 66 meandered across Springfield from Kearney to Glenstone to St. Louis Street, through Park Central Square to Olive and College streets, then headed west along what is now Chestnut Expressway. Springfield is currently redeveloping the College Street portion of Route 66 through Springfield. The City broke ground May 22, 2014 for the Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park near the intersection of College Street and Fort Avenue. Plans for the park include incorporating memories of local Route 66 landmarks, sculptures, a filling station replica, a motor court sign replica and a history plaza. The first phase of the park includes the replica of the Red’s Giant Hamburg sign; park driveway and parallel parking; and landscaping and sidewalk improvements along College Street. The estimated cost for the Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park is about $1 million. While the City will provide funding to implement certain infrastructure improvements along the College Street stretch of Historic Route 66 between Grant Avenue and Kansas Expressway, it must leverage its investment in the project with private donations and other sources of funding. A larger plan to revitalize Historic Route 66 through other parts of Springfield could roll out in phases, as the City gauges interest and potential funding. "We hope to make Springfield THE stop along the famed, historic byway," says City Manager Greg Burris. About Give Ozarks
The Community Foundation of the Ozarks and BKD Wealth Advisors are presenting this region-wide effort to raise awareness of philanthropy, encourage online donations to participating nonprofits and offer prizes and matching funds. These nonprofit agencies will work to raise online donations from midnight to midnight on May 5 at giveozarks.org for a variety of needs that will improve services and opportunities for Ozarks residents. Nonprofits also will be eligible for $92,950 in prize money raised from generous sponsors; prizes are based on both their success raising funds and also the number of supporters who make online donations on May 5. Through a competitive application process, 24 nonprofits were selected to receive matching grants from the CFO for up to $5,000 each to raise money for endowment funds that help build long-term financial stability. Collectively, nonprofits will be eligible for about $220,000 in these bonus funds and non-cash prizes. The CFO will host a free, community event from 4-7 p.m., May 5, at Jordan Valley Park. Kids’ activities, Cinco de Mayo dances, food and other entertainment will take place as nonprofit agencies share their projects and goals for Give Ozarks. The Springfield Cardinals, a Give Ozarks sponsor, will give away Cardinals/Give Ozarks T-shirts to the first 3,500 fans attending the 6:30 p.m. game that evening against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Making a secure donation is simple. From midnight to midnight on May 5, donors can log onto giveozarks.org and search for a specific nonprofit or a cause they support to complete a basic credit-card donation. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS. “Although philanthropy and charitable giving know no season, we are very excited for the opportunity to focus on a day to emphasize giving,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “The dollar benefits might accrue only for a day, but the possibility of new awareness of our non-profits, a new understanding of the good things they do, and an appreciation of charitable support should grow throughout the year.” May 5 is Give Local America Day when community foundations across the country, including the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, will be holding similar online fundraising events to boost resources for their local nonprofits, encourage new donors and raise awareness of philanthropy in general. Online giving days, a growing movement in the field of philanthropy, have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations over the past six years. The Give Ozarks site was created by Mostly Serious, a Springfield-based web development firm. Along with the CFO and BKD Wealth Advisors, the platinum sponsors include The Musgrave Foundation, The Commerce Trust Co./Coover Charitable Foundation and Ron and Janice Penney along with a host of Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors detailed at giveozarks.org. Media partners include KY3, 105.9 KGBX, the News-Leader, and Ozarks Public Broadcasting. The CFO is a regional public charitable foundation, founded in 1973, which includes 46 affiliate foundations and nearly 600 nonprofit partners and schools. ### For more information about Give Ozarks, please contact Louise Knauer at 417-864-6199 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Matt Lemmon, 417-864-6199 or email@example.com. For more information about the Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park, please contact Cora Scott Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement for the City of Springfield, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org.