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  • Guaranteed Rate’s Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge Names 50 Semifinalist Projects

    Guaranteed Rate, one of the ten largest retail mortgage lenders in the U.S., announced the 50 semifinalist projects in its first annual “Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge,” a nationwide search for people and organizations who are leading projects that make meaningful impacts in their communities. The company is giving away $100,000 plus home improvement expert Ty Pennington’s help for a day to the best community improvement projects that were submitted through the Challenge’s Facebook app.

    The semifinalists were chosen from more than 320 entries received from 49 states. Projects entered in the Challenge received more than 43,000 votes and “likes” on the contest’s Facebook app. Entries spanned the gamut of ideas to make a community a better place, from food pantry renovations and expansions, to new public park spaces, to local arts and gardening programs. Entries were received from both large and small community organizations, and all projects needed to have a neighborhood or community benefit to be eligible for consideration. All of the semifinalist projects can be viewed and voted on at the Challenge Facebook app.

    The semifinalists still in the running for the grand prize are (listed alphabetically by state):


    Hamden: House of Heroes Connecticut Chapter – Raze the Roof Project

    District of Columbia:

    Washington D.C (2): Learning Garden Project at Mundo Verde Public Charter School; Washington Youth Garden –



    Edgewater: Leather & Lace Motorcycle Club – Angels’ Landings Pond and Garden

    Fort Pierce: Treasure Coast Food Bank – Produce Room Renovation


    Cartersville: Michael’s Dream Foundation – Dream Boxes for Children’s Hospitals


    Kailua: Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii – Windward Clubhouse for Kids


    Addison: Addison Park District – Community Pool Project

    Berwyn: Piper School Civics Club – Playground Rehab

    Chicago (6): Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council – Ballet Folklorico Dance Floor; Chicago School Forensic Center – S.A.F.E.T.Y. Center Project; The Night Ministry – Pregnancy & Parenting Shelter; Our Lady of Tepeyac High School – Gym Renovation; Rescue, Release and Restore Inc. NFP – Safe Place Project; and Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare – Facility Renovation.


    Valparaiso: Housing Opportunities – Spring Valley Homeless Shelter Renovation


    Marshalltown: Splash 4 Life – Park Water Play Areas


    Milford: Milford High School – Best Buddies Dance Program

    Peabody: Haven from Hunger – Community Center

    Watertown: Watertown Middle School – Special Needs Community Education Kitchen


    Biddeford: Biddeford High School Alumni Association – Waterhouse Field Renovation

    Ellsworth: Down East Family YMCA – Playground Construction

    Rangeley: Rangeley Friends of the Arts – Lakeside Theater Arts Center Project


    Escanaba: Delta Animal Shelter – New Building Project

    Holland: Pathways – A Place for Families to Heal


    Rochester: Channel One Regional Food Bank – Community Kitchen

    North Carolina:

    Clayton: Partnership to Build a Miracle – Park Construction

    Clyde: Haywood Christian Emergency Shelter – Old Prison Rehab

    Durham: Grace Church of Durham – Project IMPACT

    Raleigh: Inter-Faith Food Shuttle – Community Hub


    Las Vegas: Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada – Blanchard Arms Apartments

    New Hampshire

    Somersworth: Somersworth Youth Safe Haven – Kitchen Renovation

    New Jersey:

    Woodbury: Save the Sketch Club – Accessibility and Renovation Project

    New York:

    Center Moriches: Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck – Camp Renovation

    Rochester: Homesteads for Hope – Phase I Sustainability Center


    Cincinnati: St. Leo Food Pantry – Expansion

    Columbus: Girls with Attitude – Sunbury House for Unwed Mothers Renovation


    Oklahoma City: YWCA of Oklahoma City – Extended Stay Expansion


    Berwick: Berwick Area Swimming Pool Authority – Pool Revitalization

    Bethlehem: Truth for Women – Truth Home Project

    Harrisburg: Catholic Charities – Interfaith Homeless Shelter Renovations

    Homer City: Homer-Center Parks and Recreation – Community Pool Restoration

    Mount Union: Mount Union Area High School – Fieldhouse Renovation

    Norristown: Catholic Social Services – Food Cupboard Renovations

    Philadelphia: Casa Del Carmen – Window Replacement Project

    Pittsburgh (2): Northside Community Food Pantry – Upgrades; Kaleidoscope Kids Community Park – Makeover


    Memphis: Catholic Charities of West Tennessee – Sophia’s Baking Co. Kitchen Renovation


    Washington: True Blue Animal Rescue – Therapeutic Equine Program Improvements 


    Vienna: Jill’s House – Indoor Life Skills Development and Play Area for Special Needs Children

    Voting to help determine the contest’s six finalists is now open through July 8, with entrants submitting 1-3 minute videos detailing more information on their projects. The 50 semifinalists will be judged on three criteria: impact to the community, a plan in place to execute the idea, and the number of votes received. On July 15, six finalists will be announced, with a grand prize winner being named Aug. 1. The grand prize winner will receive $50,000 toward their project plus Ty Pennington’s help at their project site for a day. The five remaining finalists will receive $10,000 each to help make their projects a reality. Complete terms and conditions for the Challenge are available on the Facebook app. The app was developed and is managed by Social Leverage, LLC

    Founded in 2000, Guaranteed Rate has become one of the nation’s fastest growing mortgage companies by offering low rate, low fee mortgages and superior customer service. The company has approximately 175 offices nationwide, is licensed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and funded nearly $16 billion in loans in 2013 alone. 

    Jun 17 2014