After a week of online voting, Wheeling Heritage’s latest round of Show of Hands has come to a close. More than 500 votes were received during the week-long voting period, with Melissa Rebholz, owner of Midge’s Kitchen, taking home the $7,260 award.
Show of Hands is a community-supported crowdfunding event hosted by Wheeling Heritage. While typically held as an in-person event, it was held virtually for the second time due to concerns related to the pandemic. For this virtual Show of Hands, four presenters made their pitches with videos produced by Wheeling Heritage Media. Throughout the week, videos were shared using social media, and votes were collected through Wheeling Heritage’s website.
In her video pitch, Melissa outlined her plan to use the Show of Hands award for a down-payment on a food trailer that would allow her to serve her locally-sourced meals at fairs, festivals and events around the Ohio Valley.
“I am so grateful to have landed in this community that supports small businesses the way Wheeling does,” said Rebholz. “This win will significantly impact how soon I’m able to be running a mobile version of my business. I love my small pick-up service that I offer now, but getting to be out in the community at events and festivals with my food is a dream come true. I’ve been planning this for a long time and have lived in a lot of places, but I’m so happy it’s happening here and now.”
Alex Panas, Wheeling Heritage communications manager, noted the increased participation for this year’s virtual event. “We were thrilled to see so many people from our community participate and show their support for all four of these businesses. We received more than 500 votes, which exceeds the attendance that we’ve seen at many of our in-person Show of Hands events,” Panas said. “Although there can only be one winner, it is clear that all of these businesses are beloved by the community. We encourage folks to continue to support them and follow what they are doing as their businesses continue to grow and evolve.”
The event’s other presenters included:
On Deck Korner Store: Everette Gray Jr. is currently in the process of building a convenience store in his North Park neighborhood. Gray’s vision is to create a community hub that provides easier access to food and other essentials to those living in North Park.
Rysing Star Dance Academy: This downtown dance studio, owned by Taylor Lucas Rys, was seeking support to help bolster her Be A S.T.A.R program with additional staff, equipment, and room adaptations to accommodate students of all abilities.
Wheelcraft Bicycles: Drew Hollis, Wheelcraft’s new owner, was seeking funding to give this 30-year-old bike shop a fresh look to match a new era of ownership with new branding, signage and merchandise.
Since its creation in 2014, Show of Hands has given over $89,000 to projects and businesses that make Wheeling a special place to live. Orrick, the program’s corporate sponsor, donates $1,000 for each event. The Friends of Show of Hands, which consists of community members and business owners, also contributes to each event.
About Wheeling Heritage: Wheeling Heritage is a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheeling. Through historic preservation, community development, and the arts, we help to tell Wheeling’s story and shape its future. We seek to improve the quality of life in Wheeling by preserving and investing in our city, collaborating with others, and engaging the citizens of Wheeling in our work.