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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Representatives from nine registered Springfield neighborhood associations who cheered on participants in the Nov. 2 Bass Pro Marathon learned which groups had the most “Springfield spirit” at last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council meeting. As a way to show off its hometown spirit, Bass Pro committed $10,000 this year to fund a contest for neighborhood cheering sections, and partnered with the City’s Great Neighborhoods Program to issue a “neighborhood challenge” to registered neighborhoods across the City. The winnings, which range from $500 to a $2,000 grand prize, must go toward neighborhood initiatives such as community gardens, additions to a park or other neighborhood improvements, and will be awarded at the annual Community Partnership of the Ozarks Neighborhood Association Volunteer Awards (NOVA) in December. Bass Pro surveyed marathon participants and awarded points to each neighborhood association based on amounts of visibility and motivation provided. Grant Beach Neighborhood Association, whose representatives dressed as Renaissance cheerleaders, will take home the $2,000 grand prize. In second place and winning $1,000 was Robberson Neighborhood Association, who dressed as nuns and cheered on the runners with rulers. Tom Watkins Neighborhood Association, whose members entertained and motivated runners with live music, placed third and will bring home $1,000. Rountree Neighborhood Association’s owl theme, along with their food, music and décor along the route, won them fourth place and $1,000, which they plan to donate to Rountree Elementary. Westside Neighborhood Association won fifth place and $1,000 with its “tortoise and hare”-themed costumes. Sixth place and $1,000 will go to both Bradford Park Neighborhood Association and Woodland Heights Association. Bissett Neighborhood Association placed seventh and will win $500. Oak Grove Neighborhood Association placed eighth and will bring home $500. Ninth place went to West Central Neighborhood Association, which will bring home $500 for its Route 66 theme. Senior City Planner Randall Whitman, who organized the Neighborhood Challenge with Bass Pro, said the challenge offered neighborhood association members a way to get involved with each other and partner with neighborhood churches and schools. “We love any event that promotes interaction among citizens and their community and – even better – one that rewards neighborhood associations with neighborhood improvement funds for their involvement,” Whitman says. “We so appreciated this opportunity to get involved with the Bass Pro Marathon this year and hope to make the Neighborhood Challenge an annual event.” # # # For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org.