SOURCE: Guaranteed Rate Inc.

Guaranteed Rate Inc.

July 15, 2014 16:21 ET

Guaranteed Rate's "Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge" Names Six Finalist Projects

Contest Giving Away $100,000 and Ty Pennington's Help for a Day to Best Community Improvement Projects

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - July 15, 2014) - Guaranteed Rate, one of the ten largest retail mortgage lenders in the U.S., announced the six finalist 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 finalists were chosen from among the top 50 semifinalists announced in June, and advanced out of the more than the total 320 entries received from 49 states. Projects entered in the Challenge have received more than 65,000 votes and "likes" on the contest's Facebook app since the contest began. 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. All projects needed to have a neighborhood or community benefit to be eligible for consideration. All of the finalist projects can be viewed and voted on at the Challenge Facebook app.

"Narrowing the 50 semifinalists to six finalists was an incredibly difficult decision," said Pennington. "All of the projects are amazingly worthy efforts to improve communities around the country, and it's been inspiring to see how many organizations are doing great things for the cities and towns where they live. I can't wait to see which one of the finalists in Guaranteed Rate's Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge will take home the grand prize and where I'll roll up my sleeves for a day of great volunteer work."

The finalists -- still in the running for the grand prize and who will each receive at least $10,000 toward their project -- are (listed alphabetically by state):

Illinois:

Chicago: Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare -- Facility Renovation

Massachusetts:

Peabody: Haven from Hunger -- Community Center

New York:

Rochester: Homesteads for Hope -- Phase I Sustainability Center

North Carolina:

Clyde: Haywood Christian Emergency Shelter -- Old Prison Rehab

Pennsylvania:

Harrisburg: Catholic Charities -- Interfaith Homeless Shelter Renovations

Virginia:

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

A final round of voting to help determine the grand prize winner is now open through July 29. The finalists will be judged on three criteria: impact to the community, a plan in place to execute the idea, and the number of votes received. The grand prize winner being named Aug. 1, and 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.

About Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate is one of the ten largest retail mortgage lenders in the U.S. The company has become The Home Purchase Experts® by offering industry-leading self-service tools and low rate, low fee mortgages through an easy-to-understand process and unparalleled customer service. Headquartered in Chicago with approximately 175 offices across the U.S. and licensed in all 50 states, Guaranteed Rate has helped hundreds of thousands of homeowners with more than $65 billion in home purchase loans and refinances since 2000. Guaranteed Rate was ranked No. 1 in Scotsman Guide's "Top Mortgage Lenders 2013" honors, and was recognized by Inc. magazine as the No. 4 private company job creator in the U.S. in 2013. Visit www.guaranteedrate.com for more information.

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