FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
When Erin Danastasio attended an event in 2021 showcasing many of the amenities Springfield has to offer, she was blown away. A lifelong Springfieldian, she knew that Springfield had great parks, greenway trails and easy access to nature within a short distance from the city, but she said she had no idea the extent of the fun things families could do, right here in her backyard.
She was so moved that she started talking to friends and colleagues around the city and went on a mission to create an opportunity for all Springfieldians to experience what she had experienced.
“I want to remove barriers so Springfieldians can truly experience Springfield and to celebrate our accomplishments,” said the executive director of the Hatch Foundation. Hatch is a family foundation rooted in the community. The six founding members of Hatch have been members of the Springfield community for most of their lives, and all possess a dedicated love for it. With their family business of 40 years selling in November 2019, the family knew they wanted to give back to the community--the community that supported them for so many years.
“The family wanted their contribution to the community to play a unique role in the issues that affect Springfield's communities,” Danastasio said. “So, we have posed the question: ‘How can we build on the inherent attributes of the community and help Springfield achieve its full potential?’ And that's when Hatch, well…Hatched.”
Celebrate Springfield is a series of events focusing on the theme of Outdoors Everywhere this first year. The partnering events and activities are offered for free or at discounted prices, throughout the month of September, with a large celebration culminating at Jordan Valley Park on the first Sunday in October, 2022.
“Celebrate Springfield is bringing together the best our city has to offer. It’s a service, in that it helps locals connect to activities and events, and it’s also a declaration: Springfield has evolved in amazing ways over the past ten years and the best is yet to come,” she said.
Partners include, but are not limited to: Community Foundation of the Ozarks; City of Springfield; Springfield-Greene County Park Board; Ozark Greenways; Springfield Sculpture Walk; Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ozark Mountain Paddlers; Downtown Springfield Association; Springfield Regional Arts Council.
Special activities will take place at the following locations: trails; parks; Fellows Lake; Dickerson Park Zoo; downtown Springfield; Fantastic Caverns; and much more.
“It can be intimidating for a family who is unsure where some of these amenities are and/or how to access the activities, or for those without transportation. An important part of Celebrate Springfield will be addressing those barriers, including any costs associated with participating,” Danastasio said.
“We are so thankful to the Hatch Foundation and for Erin, for recognizing this opportunity and having a kind heart for others. We have a lot to be proud of in Springfield and her work to ensure that all citizens are aware of our outdoor amenities and can take advantage of them, is very commendable,” said Mayor Ken McClure. “I look forward to celebrating with everyone on Sunday, Oct. 2 and hope we pack the Jordan Valley Park.”
Expect more information to be made public over the coming months and watch the website: Celebratesgf.com for additional details. Businesses interested in participating or supporting this effort, may contact Danastasio at [email protected].
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For media information, contact Cora Scott at 417-380-3352 or [email protected] or Erin Danastasio at 417-872-2382 or [email protected].