The Route 66 Roadside Park project was announced this past August by local officials, “Bringing New Life to an Old Street“. The Springfield, Missouri,project claimed to be the first municipality to fund a project like this. Now the crowdfunding platform which hosted the project, CrowdIt, has announced they have raised $8000 in just two hours and now stand at over $10,000 raised. The funding was aided by a live, kick-off event where about 100 people celebrated the launch and enjoyed craft beer at Mother’s Brewing Company, located along the historic route. Funds raised will cover construction costs for a re-creation of the iconic Red’s Giant Hamburg sign, a major landmark along the historic Route 66 Highway.
Two large donations last night helped the fund grow quickly. Business owner and classic car collector Guy Mace and his wife Gloria presented City of Springfield Director of Planning & Development Ralph Rognstad with a check for $2,500. Urban Districts Alliance Director Rusty Worley presented Rognstad with a $3,000 check on behalf of the West Central Neighborhood Association.
Grocery store chain HyVee donated $1,000 to the project during a week of fundraising for the project in June. Attendees at the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in August donated around $500 to the effort.
“We are thrilled to receive such a positive response, both locally and nationally, to renovate a key portion of the world-famous Route 66 highway,” explained Cora Scott, director of Public Information and Civic Engagement for the City of Springfield. “We look forward to continuing our fundraising efforts with CrowdIt and are excited about the possibilities.”
As the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield is the first municipality to use crowdfunding to help renovate the renowned national highway. CrowdIt was selected because of its local Springfield roots and early success in the crowdfunding market.
Upcoming projects include a filling station replica, vending machines and visitor information; a relocated motor court cottage, with restrooms, and sign replica; a Birthplace of Route 66 sculpture; and, a Lily-Tulip/Solo Cup sculpture.
“Civic crowdfunding is an opportunistic way for municipalities to leverage financial support for a myriad of infrastructure projects,” explained Jason Graf, CEO of CrowdIt. “Our great city of Springfield and its Route 66 project is just the tip of the iceberg and is a testament to crowdfunding possibly being the greatest economic opportunity in our lifetime.”