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City lauds first thank you celebration

City lauds first thank you celebration

One resident wishes more were in attendance

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City lauds first thank you celebration
lee rockin out

O'FALLON

O'Fallon's thank you celebration went off without a hitch Saturday at the T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O'Fallon.

The concert was sponsored by the city of O'Fallon and local businesses to thank residents for making the city one of America's 100 best places to live, according to the August 2006 issue of Money magazine.

City of O'Fallon officials said they don't know how many tickets were sold for the Lee Greenwood concert.

Mary Wilson, director of public relations for O'Fallon, said the city was still gathering numbers Monday since tickets were sold through the box office and Metrotix.

The stadium's capacity, not including lawn seating, is 3,928. However, many of those seats were not available due to viewing.

"For our first time having an event like this at T.R. Hughes Ballpark, we felt it went remarkable well," Wilson said. "To utilize that facility after the Rascal season is over is great."

Wilson said many people came for the entire concert, which kicked off with Candy Coburn, while others came later to see Greenwood. Greenwood's performance started around 8:30 p.m. and lasted an hour.

Greenwood's most popular song, "Proud to be an American" drew a thunderous applause, followed by a fireworks display that some viewers said rivaled the Fourth of July, according to Wilson.

"I thought it was great," said resident Lewis Swinger. "It would have nice if more people had shown up to support the event, but being the first one, I thought it was well organized and well run."

During intermission, many O'Fallon residents and employees were recognized for their contribution to helping improve the city's quality of life.

This was the first year for the Citizens of Achievement program. Officials say it will become an annual event.

The COA selection committee, which is comprised of residents, city officials, elected officials and local business representatives, selected this year's recipients.

They included Gene and Nancy Garza, Pat Swinger, Raleigh Jessup and the 2006 O'Fallon Sesquicentennial Committee, police officer Andy Stower, the O'Fallon fire department, Sheldon Hartsfield, Justin Stenger, Rob Babel and the Fort Zumwalt North High Marching Band, Diane Monahan, Alisa Mautz, Moira Ross, Diane Papageorge and Sister Hiltrudis Powers.

Wilson said the city hopes to have a similar event in the future.

"We were pleased with the number of people that came in and felt the event went very well," she said. "It was a good crowd and a good time."

Nina Kult can be contacted at nkult@yourjournal.com

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