Projects Set To Be Presented At ‘Show Of Hands’ Event Wednesday in Wheeling

Photo by Jessica Broverman Show of Hands will begin at 6 p.m. today on the second floor of the Wheeling Artisan Center.

Four local entrepreneur hopefuls will present their ideas when Wheeling Heritage hosts its Show of Hands event at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Wheeling Artisan Center, 14th and Main streets.

River City Restaurant will provide food and beverages. The event focuses on small businesses within the area that want to reach out to the community, network and would like to receive entrepreneurial funding. There are just a handful of projects that are presented every year with just one winner.

Alex Weld, Wheeling Heritage project and outreach manager, is excited about this year’s Show of Hands event.

“There’s an entrepreneurial spirit here in Wheeling for people who want to start businesses. There’s some people with great ideas and we are taking that idea and moving it forward using capital to make that project a reality,” Weld said.

This particular Show of Hands event will showcase a record store, Nail City Record, Eat In Now, Ventura Property Maintenance and the YWCA Youth Board Leadership Challenge. Nail City Records will be opening its doors next month in Elm Grove with more than 15,000 pieces of memorabilia available for purchase.

“I am excited for the event and am looking forward to presenting my ideas in front of the judges and crowd,” Jonathan Napier, owner and operator of Nail City Record said. “I will be using the money for new signage on my storefront location, additional handicap accessories to help further accommodate all of our music friends and marketing and expense funds to help scout, record and produce a local musician for our in-house recording label.”

Eat In Now is another growing business that is taking part in the event. Eat In Now is an online ordering service for many restaurants in Belmont, Washington and Ohio counties that has provided job opportunities for a dozen residents of Wheeling. Ventura Property Maintenance is owned and operated by one man who would like to expand his business further.

The YWCA Youth Board Leadership Challenge is a group of girls between the ages of 14 and 18 that are reaching out to other girls to teach them social responsibility, philanthropy, environmental stewardship and how to prepare for adulthood.

Weld said you never know who will win no matter how sure you may be. “My first year with this program, I thought I knew exactly who would win and I was dead wrong. Last year, the votes were tied between two winners and they ended up spliting the money. It’s things like that which tie it back into the community spirit of the event.”

Voting is done through a ballot vote and to enter the event, visitors pay $5 for a ticket at the door. The ticket is used to vote for that person’s favorite project idea.

Those attending the event not only have the option of donating more money at the door, but they may also become Friends of Show of Hands. These are business owners or community members who sign up to give to every winner. “Three or four people last year bought in on this because they enjoyed the projects so much,” Weld said.

Those who pay an extra $5 at entry will have the opportunity to speak briefly about an event with their company or other events they in which they are involved. The winners from last year’s event, which came to a tie, were Bike Wheeling, which teaches bicycle education in an effort to present Wheeling as a bike friendly city, and Vigilant Books and Coffee of North Wheeling. Vigilant used its $1,740 winnings for emergency stabilization and repair on its building.Vigilant Books and Coffee is still undergoing construction, but plans to open next year.

Last year’s Show of Hands event received more than $3,000 worth of donations, and this year’s event will more than likely have more donations, according to Weld. “What’s cool is the people that come vote and that is how the winner is decided. These people are making decisions on what happens in their community and it has grown every year,” Weld said.

Weld went on to say this event is a conversation starter in the community. Wheeling Heritage is happy to say that people from every ethnicity and age group attend the event and are proud to see the positive impact it has.

Show of Hands is sponsored by Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in Wheeling.

“We are proud to be a part of Show of Hands because it represents everything that Orrick is,” said Will Turani, director of global operations at Orrick. “It is innovative, cutting edge and a perfect match for our company.”

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