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Springfield wins $10K grant again

POSTED: June 23, 2011 7:17 p.m.

Springfield was once again awarded a $10,000 grant for its annual Fourth of July fireworks display from Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Bring Back the 4th contest.

“I was kind of surprised,” said Springfield City Manager Brett Bennett, “because I figured once other cities saw that this was real and that people were actually getting money last year, a lot more cities would come out and a lot more people would participate and that our chances were much slimmer to get it this year than it was last year. So I was really surprised that we got it again.”

The contest, which went from May 4-June 14, asked people to go online and take a brief U.S. history quiz at www.BringBackThe4th.com, featuring questions about people and events that helped shape our nation and inspire others. Each completed quiz counted as one credit toward a Web site visitor’s town, and the 10 U.S. municipalities with the most completed quizzes won grants.

“As an insurance company with offices in cities and towns across America, we know how important local Fourth of July celebrations are to our neighbors and our customers, simply because we grew up with these patriotic traditions, ourselves,” said Paul Alexander, senior vice president for communications for Liberty Mutual Group.  “In fact, we created Bring Back the 4th with our own July 4th memories in mind; be it a festival capped with nighttime fireworks or a decades-old parade where residents get to thank servicemen and women who sacrificed all for our nation.”

Bennett said that they don’t receive any information about participation or if more voted this year than last year. Springfield was one of 10 winners and also won the grant last year as well, but was not the only repeat winner in the 2011 contest. Springfield, Ill., won the grant for its fireworks display as well.

The fireworks display in Springfield costs just under $18,000. In addition to the $10,000 grant, the city of Springfield received donations from local businesses, as well the City of Guyton, which gave $500, the Effingham County Board of Commissioners, donating up to $4,000, and EFACEC, bringing in $2,000.

“We have a lot of repeats who have helped us every year,” said Bennett, who also expressed his gratitude to those who have supported the fireworks. “And we appreciate those who have contributed this year as well as other years, and we’ll probably need it in the future as well.”

Springfield’s fireworks show will begin just after dark July 2 at Effingham County High School. Get there early for a good seat in the stands and time to tailgate with family and friends in the parking lot.

“To me, it’s one of the few things that we have entertainment-wise inside the county and that’s why we have such a big turnout,” Bennett said. “… It’s nice to have something right here in your backyard.

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