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In the news: First business moves into College Station development

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"Hamels Foundation" opens in downtown Springfield


January 24, 2012|by Sara Forhetz, KY3 News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- A non-profit has changed the face of an empty downtown
Springfield development.

Finally, there is a tenant for the College Station project.

The development had been sitting empty for nearly four years now, and
Tuesday, the first business opened up shop.

The Hamels Foundation, dedicated to education, opened Tuesday afternoon.

"Our hopes are to get families involved with their children helping them
read. And parents, too, we want to help them get their GED's," said Kathy
Dugas. She is the woman in charge in the Springfield office.

"We hope to provide access to computers and helping children with their
homework... just bring the family into education," Dugas said.

Kathy's daughter is Heidi Hamels. Kathy says Heidi and her husband Cole
Hamels wanted to give back, and they have a passion for education, and have
the means to help.

Cole Hamels pitches for the Phillies, and just signed a 15-million dollar
one-year contract.

They're using their fortune to help those less fortunate.

"We've worked with Nixa school's reading club; we provide scholarships to
students in Eldon, Missouri, Buffalo, Missouri, we have the Hamels scholars
at Drury University that are going to go through our office," said Kelly
Anderson with the Hamels Foundation.

This is really a family affair. Heidi's sisters love running and so does
Heidi, so they created t-shirts and all the money from the sales will
benefit the foundation as well.

Right across the way sits The Sub Shop. It is hoping the opening will help
them, too.

The cash-only establishment draws mostly familiar faces.

"We have a lot of regulars, we love our regulars, but it would be pretty
cool to have some more people in here," said Melanie Dowell. She has worked
the register at The Sub Shop for two years now, and says she is thrilled of
what her new neighbor might bring.

"Should be good for us, we should get a lot more people, a different kind of
people, hopefully," said Dowell.

The Heers building and College Station are sort of the bellwethers before
anyone really declares victory on downtown, according to the Urban District
Alliance.

KY3 News called developer Scott Tillman, and did not hear back from him.

Heidi and Cole Hamels will make this area their off-season home, so this
will be home base for the foundation.

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