Remember when Bennett got to stand up in front of a bunch of community members and pitch his ‘Meet Me in the Alley’ photography project? Reinvent Wheeling is a group of people in our wonderful city that are trying to inspire people to get behind other people’s businesses and projects by hosting Show of Hands in a quarterly manner. This was the third Show of Hands in Wheeling…but only our second time attending. We feel guilty about missing the second round, but I believe we were out of town during it.
The turnout was remarkable. So much so that they had Bennett take a shot of the crowd of people. It’s inspiring to see so many people in my city actually care about small businesses and art projects. I mean, really. Where else do you see a broad range of ages and faces that want to give their money and support to someone with an idea and the drive but maybe not the funds?
Dear Wheeling, I puffy heart love you.
There are four presenters selected out of a pool of applicants. Each presenter gets four minutes to win you over with their presentation. It’s apparently a little like Shark Tank. You have to wow the crowd with a short speech and after, there is a question/answer portion. Then you’re done. Boom. Four minutes. Four presenters. And a cash prize!
There is a small cover charge to get in. I think it was $5/person? (Don’t blame me for not remembering…Bennett handled the entry fees, haha.) Each person gets a ballot and they vote for the project they think should win over the other three. And then there is also a sponsor. All of the monies collected from the entry fees and the money from the sponsor goes to the one winner. The more people that attend, the more prize money goes to the winning presentation. It’s such a brilliant idea.
Because Louis paid to get in, he also got to vote. And we let him pick his favorite. Yay for the democratic process being taught at such a young age! Not that we can escape it in our family anyway…ha.
The presentations are awesome and so is the crowd that goes to Show of Hands. I probably say this too much, but I am always inspired by the people who we’ve surrounded ourselves with. Everyone we spend time with cares with their entire being about the city we live in. All they want is to keep it moving in a forward direction. Events that get people out of their houses, fundraising for the less fortunate, saving and restoring old buildings….everything. They all have such a giant impact in our small city. I’m humbled to be a part of it all.
I feel the need to give a GIANT shoutout to the Reinvent Wheeling team. They are amazing. Without this group of people, a lot of things wouldn’t be moving in Wheeling. These wonderful people have orchestrated some really awesome things in Wheeling…the Show of Hands event included. Thank you for all that you do! (Ps…we are working on being a part of this team, I swear.)
On that team (why I keep saying the word team, I don’t know) is probably one of my favorite Wheeling cheerleaders. Allison is adorable, sweet and sassy. She is exactly the person I would pick to be involved in the City Manager’s office and all of the good things that are happening in the Friendly City. She’s awesome. No, really. And…it happened to be her birthday the night of Show of Hands. Playing that night was the incredibly talented Ezra Hamilton. Every single time I hear this man play, I love it. He’s amazing, as is his band Hit Play.
Bonus points that night that Ezra played ‘Happy Birthday’ so we could sing for Dimples Mc-Cutie Pants.
If no one has called Allison that before, they should probably start.
A big ole’ congratulations goes out to 'Second Life Arbor' - the development of a wood working shop that will be open to local wood workers. I think he won the presentation based upon passion alone. Second Life is a full service arborist company and woodworking shop (soon to be open to teaching woodworking to the public!) that is dedicated to tree preservation and reclamation. His work looks amazing and it sounds like such a fantastic addition to the arts in Wheeling.
We wish the best of luck to all of the presenters. Every single project sounded amazing and we look forward to the different elements that they can bring to our beautiful city.