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SPRINGFIELD, MO — The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of longtime Parks friend and benefactor, Bobby Allison.
Allison was the primary donor for numerous Parks projects benefitting youth sports and outdoor opportunities. He shared naming rights with his late mother at the Betty Allison Junior Golf Course at Oscar Blum, the Betty and Bobby Alison Miracle League Ball Field, the Betty and Bobby Allison Westport School-Park Playground and Betty’s Clubhouse at Rivercut Golf Course. He funded construction of Hailey’s Playground at Westport School-Park. He was an ongoing supporter of Friends of the Zoo’s Ball of the Wild, Heart of the Ozarks Junior Golf Foundation and the Park Board’s Accessible Recreation program for individuals with disabilities.
Parks Director Bob Belote said Allison’s impact on Springfield is immense, reaching beyond his namesake facilities.
“He had a genuine heart for the kids and youth in our community,” said Belote. “He touched so many lives: disadvantaged children, university athletes, single parents, individuals with disabilities. He just wanted kids and families to have joy and fun.”
The Park Board highlighted Allison and his support for youth recreation by nominating him for the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association Citation Award, which he received in 2015.
Belote said Allison was particularly interested in the Miracle League program, quietly supporting players and field repairs and upgrades since the facility opened in 2011.
“One memory that stands out to me is Bobby showing up on Miracle League opening nights. He just wanted to check it out, see the joy on players’ faces, make sure the ball field looked OK. He was there not because he wanted recognition, but he because he truly cared and wanted to be a part of it all.”
For media inquiries, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510 (mobile).