Despite being “cheered” over 150,000 times, Galesburg finished 19th in the recent Reader’s Digest “We Hear You, America” contest.
The contest took the form of an online poll in which people could “cheer” for their favorite town and thus vote for it to receive funds for improvement. The winning town would also be featured in an upcoming issue of Reader’s Digest.
Grand Marais, Mich. took first place with 1,281,724 votes. Comparatively, Galesburg finished 19th with 175,539 votes. Two towns in Illinois—Fairbury and Jacksonville—placed second and seventh, respectively.
The creation of a Facebook event advertising the contest and requesting people to vote helped push the city from 40th place to the final result. However, despite the event drawing over 2,000 members, few students seemed aware the contest was occurring.
“I don’t know anything about it,” junior Anne Heberle said. “I did not see anything around campus.”
Some students heard about the contest but were not able to find the time to participate.
“I heard about it and I’d been meaning to do it, but I’ve been so busy that I didn’t,” freshman Jordyn Stewart said.
Whether or not they had heard about the contest, Knox students had ideas about what any prize money could have been used for.
“I feel like it would be good for the schools to use it so they do not have to shut down for those three weeks,” junior Aparna Kumar said.
The winning town will receive $40,000, with second through fifth places receiving lesser amounts. Some awards are also available based on the number of votes in cities of various sizes.
Final standings in “We Hear You America” contest
1. Grand Marais, Mich. 1,281,724 votes
2. Fairbury, Ill. 1,184,370 votes
3. Genoa, Neb. 643,967 votes
4. Albion, Mich.
5. Ainsworth, Neb. 612,293 votes
6. Saint Johns, Mich. 611,346 votes
7. Jackonsville, Ill. 587,931 votes
8. Globe, Ariz. 404,113 votes
9. Miles City, Mont. 394, 401 votes
10. Asheboro, N.C. 341,845 votes
19. Galesburg, Ill.: 175,539 votes