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For "Nancy's Leap of Faith," De Pere Mayor Nancy Nusbaum jumped from an airplane -- with a parachute, of course.
She fell like a bingo token onto a field divided into squares, winning $2,000 for the lucky ticketholder with square No. 252.
Nusbaum's May 30 leap was part of the entertainment at Celebration 103, a two-day festival commemorating the 1890 consolidation of De Pere with East De Pere. The two cities sprang up across the Fox River from each other, a little upstream from Green Bay.
But the leap and the landing didn't end the mayor's humiliation.
She also had lost a side bet, so during the city's Memorial Day parade the next day, she marched at the end of the parade with a shovel to clean up after the animals.
"There's really not much chance for dignity in this community," Nusbaum said later, laughing.
But she only has herself to blame for the indignities. Her leap raised $7,000 for the annual event, which is part of the city's Main Street downtown development program -- a program Nusbaum helped bring to De Pere.
'This is for us'
Concern over vacancies in the city's downtown led Nusbaum to run for mayor in 1988. Once in office, she got a mailing about a three-day Main Street seminar in Madison.
She attended the seminar and made her first leap of faith: "I (remember thinking) this is for us," she said.
In many ways, De Pere was the prototypical candidate for the Main Street program. The National Trust for Historic Preservation set up the program in 1977 to help small communities stimulate economic development and preserve their aging downtowns in the face of competition from sprawling suburban shopping malls and declining small-town populations.