City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., raised just under $10,000 for United Way of the Ozarks through a raffle event with the winner detonating the implosion of power plant stacks.
After providing electricity to Springfield for over 60 years, the five generators inside the utility’s James River Power Station have been retired.
Over the past few months, demolition crews have been removing exterior components of the partially retired power generation station with one of the final steps being to collapse the four stacks on the south side of the main building.
Jamie Dopp, Manager of Communication at the utility, said that through the “Blasting for the Better” fundraiser for the United Way of the Ozarks, City Utilities of Springfield raised $9,705.
A woman from California won the raffle and traveled to Springfield to tell her brother, a 43-year City Utilities James River Power Station employee, that she was giving him the opportunity to detonate the implosion of the stacks.
Dopp noted that the raffle was communicated through the utility’s social media channels and through press releases and local news outlets.
“City Utilities is committed to making our community better,” Dopp said. “With the ‘Blasting for the Better’ fundraiser, we saw the opportunity to turn the implosion into an opportunity to give back to our neighbors. If future opportunities present itself, City Utilities would explore opportunities to use its resources for the benefit of our community.”
“The stacks were part of the skyline for the past 65 years and helped City Utilities provide reliable power to the community and keep our homes warm. It was bittersweet to see them come down,” said Gary Gibson, City Utilities President and CEO. “But the real story is the men and women who worked here to keep the lights on, solve problems, and were mechanical wizards who kept this plant running for many years. To each of them, we say thank you.”
Gibson said that this was “that once in a lifetime opportunity that a lucky winner, and our community, will remember for many years. The employees of City Utilities have been leaders in supporting United Way of the Ozarks and this unique opportunity, helped to raise additional funds and bring attention to the work done by the local United Way.”