We Hear You America Winners
Congratulations to these communities: Their townspeople cast the most votes, winning our prizing and promotional support necessary to fund local, civic initiatives. Meet the people and passion behind the cheers.
1. Lake City, IA
The determined folks of tiny Lake City gave it their all for the sake of the town’s kids, including members of the swim team, seen here. Residents rallied to win $50,000 for a desperately needed new swimming pool.
“I was fortunate to be raised in Lake City, Iowa,” wrote resident Cindy Paintner as part of the We Hear You America campaign. “Small town kids need to be able to stay in their communities, and experience the fun of summer by riding their bikes to a facility that is updated—but also safe.”
Earning over 4.7 million of the 30+ million total votes cast, Lake City may soon realize that dream.
2. Higginsville, MO
Higginsville residents came together to save the Davis Theater on Main Street, which faces an uncertain future due to the cost of upgrading its screen to newer digital projection technology.
“Even a cool rainy winter evening is brightened by the lights from the Davis Theater,” wrote resident James Sheehan. Hopefully, the theater can continue providing local entertainment and cheer.
3. Minot, ND
Severe floods left thousands homeless in the town of Minot in June 2011, but the disaster hardly dampened the community spirit.
“Where can you have 12,000 people homeless and only 275 in the shelter?” wrote resident Mary Barker. “People care about each other here. We opened up our homes and rolled up our sleeves to help the valley evacuate.”
With winnings from We Hear You America, Minot plans to rebuild the local zoo, which was devastated by the flooding.
4. El Paso, IL
El Paso is home to a library that was financed by Andrew Carnegie. Residents are proud of the enduring landmark, but they say it’s grown too small for the town. They aim to change that with funds from We Hear You America.
“The library in El Paso has a great staff, great books, audios, DVDs, and even Wii games. What we don’t have is room,” wrote resident Renee Griffith. “We want to offer even more to our community.”
5. Lake Andes, SD
Residents say Lake Andes has the oldest playground in the state, and they’re excited to use We Hear You America funds to bring it into the 21st century.
“I bet you can remember going to a park and playing on your favorite piece, like swinging, soaring like a bird through the sky,” wrote resident Brandi Ronfeldt. “Give our children smiles for a lifetime.”
6. Weaubleau, MO
This small town’s got big spirit. Community members are rallying around Friends of Weaubleau Park, an organization that’s working to improve the area’s beloved outdoor space.
“The group has already seen and felt the community coming together for this cause,” wrote resident Susan Barger. “I am very proud to be a part of this cause for present and future residents of our town.”
7. Beavertown, PA
The people of Beavertown rang in 2012 with a “Beaver Drop,” an event highlighted by the Beavertown Rescue Fire Company lowering a fake critter named Bucky from one of its trucks.
“The New Year’s celebration has become a sensation in the borough of Beavertown, so named because of the critters that once populated habitats in nearby streams,” wrote resident Karen Burns. Now, one of the town’s resolutions—to refurbish an historic building—is a one step closer to completion thanks to its We Hear You America cheers.
8. Rossville, KS
Rossville residents are a proud force of change within their community. Over the years, they’ve banded together to create the Rossville Community Swimming Pool, and a new playground. Now they’re looking to revitalize Main Street.
“It is a town that believes in itself and that the impossible can be accomplished with dedication and perseverance,” wrote resident Christi McKenzie.
9. Joplin, MO
Joplin changed forever in May 2011, when a powerful tornado ripped through the town. Still, residents never gave up on each other.
“Even in the midst of all the the pain, all the chaos, all the loss, I have never before seen such an immediate hope in people. People from all over came to help. Even those who had just lost everything were helping to dig their neighbors out of the rubble,” wrote resident Amanda Cooper.
We Hear You America funds are slated to be put toward Parr Hill Park, a leafy recreational area that was devastated by the disaster.
10. Ericson, NE
Ericson is the smallest town that earned funds from We Hear You America, which speaks to the passion of its townspeople. They want to restore Lake Ericson, which was significantly damaged by flooding in 2010.
“Not only is Lake Ericson a community that is filled with wonderful people, it is a beautiful area to hike, camp, and when we get it fixed, to fish and swim again,” wrote resident Jennifer Wurtz.