The Bright Nights 5K Road Race sold out in hours, and we are excited to be using the new Bright Nights Storage/Maintenance Facility for the check-in and post-race soup supper. 
 
The Springfield Park Department crew that sets-up Bright Nights will be happy to show off their new home.  After all, it has heat!  

- Judy Matt 
President
 
Bright Nights Road Race Goes Quick
 
At 12AM on Monday, September 12, 500 spots in the Bright Nights 5K Road Race became available.  At 12:10AM, 250 were taken.  By 1AM, the number grew to 320.  Soon after, those that had waited up to register had gone to bed. Others woke up happy to get one of the coveted bib numbers. 
 
"Registration is just as much a happening as the race," said Attorney Melinda Phelps, Spirit of Springfield Vice Chair and Bright Nights 5K Road Race Committee Member.  "There is a buzz on social media as the race fills up and then the next day at the office."
 
People posted and text three key words - "I got in." 
 
The Bright Nights 5K Road Race is sponsored by Health New England with additional support from Freedom Credit Union, Greater Springfield Credit Union, New England Orthopedic Surgeons and the Western Mass Sports Commission. 

 
Invitations for Bright Nights Ball Arrive  

The City of Bright Nights Ball invitations will be arriving in mail boxes this week. Designed by Rebecca Coderre, the details of the 2016 City of Bright Nights Ball will arrive in a box to look like an antique jewelry chest.  They even include a set of pearls setting the tone for the theme of The Gatsby Gala that will be held Saturday, November 12 at the Sheraton Springfield.
 
The décor will carry the theme from the lobby of the hotel through the atrium where balloons will be hung like bubbles of champagne.  After bidding on a myriad of events and purchasing 50/50 raffle tickets, guests will be wowed by the décor in the Grand Ballroom.  Standing tall on each table will be in illuminated pedestal with plumbs of feathers bursting from the top.
 
The annual black-tie soiree is sponsored by PeoplesBank with its President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Senecal, serving as the evenings chairman.   Additional support is being provided by Baystate Health, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, The Colvest Group, Health New England, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Mercy Medical Center, MGM Springfield, Moriarty & Primack PC, New England Business Machine, ProPark America, Sheraton Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District.
 
Tickets are $500 per couple or tables of ten for $2,500.  To make a reservation, contact amy@spiritofspringfield.org.
     
September 11th Remembrance
 
The 15th anniversary of the attacks on the United State of America were commemorated throughout the country and here in Springfield.  The Spirit of Springfield was honored to assist the Springfield Fire and Police Departments with the annual September 11th Remembrance Ceremony.
 
The morning began at St. Michael's Cathedral with a mass celebrated by Bishop Mitchell Rozanski.  Dignitaries and first responders processed from the church to Springfield Museums where the Remembrance Ceremony was held with Brigadier General Sean Collins serving as the Master of Ceremonies and special guest Congressman Richard Neal and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey gave greetings.  They were joined by Springfield Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant, Police Commissioner John Barbieri and David Pelletier from American Medical Response.
 
Guests were moved by the roll out of a police cruiser, fire truck and ambulance who stopped their vehicles and sirens as they arrived at the ceremony.  The fire bell tolled and Vanessa Ford gave performances of the National Anthem and God Bless America.
 
Following the ceremony, guests visited the "Better Angels:  The Firefighters of 9/11" which is on display at the Springfield Museums through November 6.


Volunteers Wanted for Parade of the Big Balloons
 
The Spirit of Springfield is recruiting more than 250 volunteers for the Parade of the Big Balloons, sponsored by Tower Square. These include balloon wranglers, hat stick carriers and banner holders.  Every volunteer will receive a souvenir gift and the appreciation of the thousands of parade goers lining the route from Lyman Street to Locust Street.
 
Balloon wranglers must be at least 16 years old, weigh a minimum of 100 pounds and be available at 9AM on November 25. 
 
Hat stick carriers and banner holders will be needed by 10AM.
 
Let us know if you or your group, official or unofficial, family or friends, want to be a part of the holiday festivities.  Contact staff@spiritofspringfield.org or register on-line
 
The Spirit of Springfield is a private, non-profit corporation  
which produces high-quality,  large-scale events in the city of Springfield. 
Our mission is to promote community events and encourage civic pride.
 
Celebrating 26 Years of Springfield's 
Biggest, Best and Brightest 
In This Issue
Bright Nights Road Race Goes Quick
Invitations for Bright Nights Ball Arrive
September 11th Remembrance
Volunteers Wanted for Parade of the Big Balloons
Guest Column - Nate Costa
Guest Column

Nathan Costa
Executive Vice President
Springfield Thunderbirds

It really is a dream come true to be running Springfield's professional hockey team, my hometown team. I can remember attending games as a child vividly, and it was at those games that I had some of my best childhood memories, rooting on our Indians & Falcons with family and friends. The vision that I have for this organization is to provide those same memories to an entirely new generation, while paying respect to the pioneers who paved the way for our new organization, the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Hockey has been a staple of our community for 80 years, and I can't wait to start the journey for the next 80 at our inaugural Opening Night on October 22 nd at the MassMutual Center. The night will be one to remember, as prior to our 7:05 start that evening we will be having the first ever T-Birds Tailgate in Court Square featuring live music, $3 beers, food and a ton of fun for kids. Everyone in attendance will receive a free T-shirt featuring the Thunderbirds' Inaugural Season logo, Thundersticks, and don't forget to come early and park for free (all season long) at the Civic Center Garage. Tickets can be purchased by visiting our website: springfieldthunderbirds.com or by calling (413) 739-GOAL.
               
Thank you very much to the Spirit of Springfield for their support. We will not rest until the MassMutual is rocking each and every night like the old days. It's time to show the rest of the American Hockey League that the best is yet to come here in Springfield. I look forward to seeing you all at the rink this year and beyond. Go T-Birds!  
Balloon Wranglers WANTED
Volunteer for the 
Parade of the Big Balloons
November 25
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