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Grow Ohio Valley Wins Eighth ‘Show of Hands’ Contest in Wheeling

Show of Hands, the popular crowd-funding event, saw record attendance Wednesday as Grow Ohio Valley won $2,280 for its latest project.

The Wheeling organic foods nonprofit won over the audience with a pitch of a brick-and-mortar whole foods grocery store intended for the city’s Grandview neighborhood.

Jake Dougherty of Reinvent Wheeling, the event’s organizer, said more than 200 people walked through the door. Orrick, one of the event’s sponsors, contributed $1,000 to add to $1,280 donated at the door.

Grow Ohio Valley founder Danny Swan said he surveyed nearly 750 people in Wheeling on whether they’d want such a business, and found that many said they would visit it at least once a week.

He said the shop would mirror grocery co-ops common in other cities, citing examples like Morgantown’s Mountain People’s Co-op. It would operate year-round, offering in-season vegetables grown by Grow Ohio Valley, as well as specialty products it would purchase.

Swan said the store is a natural progression of the nonprofit’s intended mission of making cleaner, healthier food readily available in areas that lack it. It will be operated from an office space Grow OV already possesses. Swan said Show of Hands winnings will pay for basic store furnishings and its initial inventory.

This is Grow Ohio Valley’s second Show of Hands win, as the organization won the first event in May 2014 for its mobile farmers’ market. The winnings then were $1,720.

Other presenters included West Liberty University students Olivia Best and Brady Lytton.

Best pitched her Up-cycled Fashion Show. The show, scheduled for August at the Children’s Museum of the Upper Ohio Valley, will engage kids by teaching them how to make items of fashion from non-traditional recycled materials.

Lytton presented “You’ve Been Here Before,” a pop up gallery art show that will encompass visual, performing and interactive arts. It will offer a platform for 23 WLU graduate art students to show and sell their work.

The fourth presentation came from Rita Gupta of the Wheeling Arts and Culture Fest. While it’s an established festival, Gupta said organizers would like to expand the festival into a two-day outing, rather than a single-day event.

Orrick’s Director of Global Operations and Sustainability Will Turani said the company is pleased with the growing popularity of the event as it approaches its third season.


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