By Steve Novotney
The four presenters have been chosen by ReInvent Wheeling officials for the “Show of Hands” event on Feb. 12, and the director believes the ventures represent four important pillars of any successful community.
Jake Dougherty of ReInvent Wheeling said recycling, recreation, entertainment, and entrepreneurialism each will be present during the event.
“The areas that will be covered during this event is everything that goes into a great community, so we are very excited that we’ve attracted such great ideas,” he said. “From this point it’s all up to the presenters. They have to convey their ideas so the members of our audience will be swayed one way or another.
“That’s how it works. Each of them will have four minutes to present their idea, and then they each will field four questions from audience members,” he said. “Once all of them have had their opportunity to address the audience, those who attend will cast their votes, and the one idea that attracts the most votes wins.”
“Show of Hands” is sponsored by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and the winning presenter receives $1,000 – plus the collected cash from those who paid $5 to attend – to go toward their pitched idea. The first three events were won by Friendly City Foods, Stages in downtown Wheeling, and Wheeling woodworker D. J. Shalvey.
“This time we received 11 applications, and all of them were really great ideas,” Dougherty explained. “There were some of them that really didn’t fit what ‘Show of Hands’ is really about, but we’re still very happy that they thought to send their applications to us.
“And, even though they didn’t fit, I can tell you that we have some pretty amazing people here in Wheeling with some pretty amazing ideas,” he said. “But we are very excited about the four we have selected, and I think this evening will go very well.”
The four ventures selected include Wheeling Brewery, the 2015 Multicultural Festival orchestrated by the YWCA of Wheeling, the Wheeling Junior League’s Janie S. Altmeyer Playground, and Scrappy Pappy’s Recycling Center.
“The Wheeling Brewery wants to add fermentation equipment, and they want to create a sixth house beer that would benefit local charities,” Dougherty explained. “The Multicultural Festival wishes to add more multicultural performances to their event this year.
“The Junior League wishes to revitalize the playground that’s located just north of Heritage Report to make it ADA accessible, and Scrappy Pappy’s wishes to promote their business more and to educate the public about the benefits of recycling in this area,” he continued. “I find the most positive thing about the ‘Show of Hands’ events so far is that it is obvious people are still thinking and that they believe we do not have to continue doing things the same way just because we have always done them the same way.”
The doors to the Capitol Ballroom will open at 5:30 p.m., and the event will begin at 6 p.m. Appetizers will be supplied by Quaker Steak & Lube, and several different beverages will be available as well.
“This is a very important initiative in the city of Wheeling, and we’ve been proud to be a part of it during its first year,” said Quaker Steak general manager Ozzie Hyde. “The Lube is very much about our community, and even though we are doing business at The Highlands, we’re still very much involved with the Wheeling community.
“What we have seen is that the crowds have grown for each of the three events, so we’re expecting even more than attended the third ‘Show of Hands,’” he said. “I wish there were events like this one when I was younger because it’s a great opportunity.”
Dougherty said he and his board of directors are currently planning the second set of quarterly “Show of Hands” events for the coming year.
“We’ve been having a lot of conversations about those events, and one of the questions that has been asked is, ‘Can there be 16 great ideas each year for the ‘Show of Hands?’ I believe the answer to be yes,” he said. “This time we received the most applications we’ve received for this event, so that tells me that people in our community are out there thinking, and all they need is an opportunity to get that financial push in the right direction.
“Based on the projects that we have reviewed during the first year, I think our future looks very promising in the city of Wheeling,” Dougherty continued. “If we continue to offer 16 different presenters the chance to get their ideas out there, my hope is that it creates a culture here so the great ideas just keep flowing.”