Group Seeks Ideas For Downtown

Whether it’s a concept for a trendy new restaurant, an eye-catching new art exhibit featuring local talent or even patching a few potholes, there are plenty of opinions on how best to make downtown Wheeling a better place.

Coming up with the idea is the easy part, however – funding it is another matter entirely. That’s where Downtown Wheeling Inc. – and, its members hope, you – come in.

The organization’s first-ever Show of Hands event will take place from 6-9 p.m. Thursday at the future home of the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley, the former Living Word Church at 2112 Market St. Audience members will make donations and then decide which of four different projects ultimately will receive that money to make it happen.

Committee members have been gathering applications and have selected four proposals to be presented. There’s one basic rule. “It has to be downtown-related,” said city Marketing and Community Relations Director Allison Skibo.

Each presenter will have just four minutes to impress the audience, without benefit of technology, with a pitch for his or her project, which could be anything from art installations and other beautification efforts to new business start-ups. The project receiving the most votes will receive $1,000 donated by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, plus whatever attendees donate at the door.

“The idea is to not only support small business, but for the community to get on board with these projects,” said Skibo, who is also a Downtown Wheeling Inc. committee member.

A minimum $5 donation is required to vote, and those who contribute at least $10 will get one minute to speak in support of one of the projects Skibo said. Quaker Steak and Lube will provide hors d’oeuvers.