Last night was the fourth "Show of Hands" that Reinvent Wheeling hosted for the Friendly City. Like the three times before (two of which we attended HERE and HERE), it exceeded all expectations. There were over two-hundred people in attendance. Not just your average people either. They were the kind of people who would spend their Thursday night listening to people pitch ideas for projects that would help and affect the community.
Over TWO HUNDRED awesomely rad, inspiring, driven, positive people. In one place. The Capitol Theatre ballroom was hoppin'!
I'm always a huge fan of the entertainment they have set up for us. Last night, New Age Adenas rocked the stage. They are a Wheeling group that I haven't had the pleasure of hearing before. Just one more bonus to the evening. New music to experience. Show of Hands is so much Wheeling fabulousness wrapped into one little package!
How Show of Hands works (borrowed from the event page's description on Facebook):
- Attendees make a donation of at least $5 for a vote.
- Four pre-selected proposals for projects that benefit the community are presented.
- Attendees cast their vote for the project they want to help fund.
- The project with the most votes receives all of the money raised at the door + the $1,000 prize from Orrick.
- Winners come back to a future Show of Hands to tell the audience how their project went/is progressing, how they used the money, and the impact the project had on the community.
Guess what? All of those things happened. And more!
The problem with Show of Hands is that I almost want to vote for all four presenters. This time around there was a recycling initiative with Scrappy Pappy's, an ADA compliant addition to a downtown playground (one of Louis' favorite) with the Junior League, an expansion of equipment for Wheeling Brewing Company, and assistance with growing the Multicultural Festival.
Like all of the times before (and most things we do), we brought Louis with us. And we let him participate and get his vote in. We explained all of the categories before we went last night, so he had his vote locked down before the presentations even happened. But the other two McKinleys in the audience did give everyone a fair chance before making a decision.
I don't think it's ever too early to get Louis involved in the community. Teach our children well, right? Nothing happens if there aren't caring people who push for change. Decisions we make now are shaping Louis' future too!
As always, a GIANT thanks goes out to the people that make nights like this happen. The Reinvent Wheeling crew is nothing short of amazing and Wheeling is incredibly lucky to have so many young guns in their corner. A 'thank you' is also due to Orrick. They've sponsored an entire year worth of these events now and have donated money to each individual//group that has won. It speaks volumes when a company is willing to invest in it's community. Thanks Orrick!
Scrappy Pappy's Recycling ended up taking the prize last night. $2055 went straight to a couple of guys that will help make our town a little greener. I am crazy excited for this. We have been the world's worst recyclers since moving to Wheeling and now we have a reason to get back on that train. They will literally take almost all of our "garbage" and make it useful again.
It wouldn't be a night out in Wheeling if I didn't force Bennett to take pictures of/with me. So here are photos of me with my favorite Wheeling person ever: Allison McDimples Skibo. And of course, a family shot. Can't resist making that happen.
...and the future Mr. & Mrs. Wheeling themselves. Seriously with these two. How cute are they?
And Lou's hand in his pocket with his arm around Lilliana? His game is a little too strong for a 4-year old. This is a problem.
A favorite of the night is when Bennett gets to sneak up front and get a shot of the entire crowd. Well, most of the crowd. He has a wide-angle lens but it's not that wide...there are people sitting in tables on both sides of the room as well that didn't make it. It is just AWESOME to see this many people in one space, caring with purpose.
Congratulations Scrappy Pappy's! But really, congratulations to all of the presenters. They might not have all taken home a cash prize but they all had over 200 people listen to their project and develop some interest in something they/we might not have previously known about. Networking counts as a win in my book.
Thanks for another amazing night, Wheeling. Great things are happening! I'm so glad we get to be a part of it!