Help Make the City Shine at 2018 Pride in Wheeling Day

Shine, shine, shine, help them shine  — the Nelson Jordan Center, Mt. Wood Overlook and Tunnel Green will get some sprucing up on Friday, June 1, at the second annual Pride in Wheeling Day.

Orrick’s career associates have teamed up again with the City of Wheeling and Wheeling’s Pride Committee for the community cleanup day. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“In 2017, a group of Orrick’s career associates created the Pride in Wheeling event to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues within our community and beautify several of our parks,” said Orrick’s Mike Disotell, who chairs the event and is a member of Orrick’s Diversity Committee. “We were encouraged by the City of Wheeling’s passage of non-discrimination legislation that extended protection to individuals based on sexual orientation, among other protected groups, and we wanted to do what we could to contribute to that progress.”

Amanda Carney from Cat’s Paw Studio has created the sketch for the mural to be painted at the Nelson Jordan Center on June 1.

Specifically, the projects include:

  • Community mural and bathroom painting at the Nelson Jordan Center in East Wheeling
  • Site cleanup and graffiti cover-up at the Mt. Wood Overlook
  • Site cleanup, dugout clearing, step painting and tennis court stenciling at Tunnel Green

The event aims to accomplish two things: cleanup of specific areas to benefit the community and increased LGBTQ+ awareness, Disotell noted.

“We hope to open further a conversation about inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community. We also hope to tackle some cleanup efforts of public places that benefit the whole community and demonstrate that respecting others based on gender (including gender identity and expression) and sexual orientation, no matter their background, can create a stronger city,” he said.

Disotell invites the public to help with the community service project on June 1.

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Jennifer Simile and Karen Jewell took part in last year’s Pride in Wheeling Day.

“We are hoping that folks come out on June 1st to volunteer their time and contribute to the conversation. You can come to any of the sites (Nelson Jordan Center, Mt. Wood Overlook and Tunnel Green) at which we are working anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,” he said.

These areas were chosen, Disotell explained, based on the advice of Jesse Mestrovic, the city’s director of parks and strategic planning. “We were able to identify a range of sites that could use some cleanup and appreciation. We chose different locations and activities keeping in mind that we would like the event to be as inclusive as possible,” Disotell noted.

Volunteers are welcome to work two-hour shifts (10 a.m.-noon, noon-2 p.m. or 2-4 p.m.) or come whenever they can.

Last year around 100 people participated. So far this year, about 60 are planning to help. Along with about 45 Orrick employees, others have volunteered from Williams Lea Tag, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Oglebay.

This mural, designed by Amanda Carney, was painted on the wall at Wilson Park in North Wheeling at last year’s event.

“We hope the event brings people together around a conversation of inclusivity. We also hope that the lasting effects, including the mural image, function as a celebratory symbol in the city,” added.

“By working together as partners, we can impact, improve and inspire our community,” he said.

Rain date for the event is June 15.

• After nearly 38 years as reporter, bureau chief, lifestyles editor and managing editor at The Times Leader, and design editor at The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, Phyllis Sigal has joined Weelunk as managing editor. She lives in Wheeling with her husband Bruce Wheeler. Along with their two children, son-in-law and two grandchildren, food, wine, travel, theater and music are close to their hearts.