Four small business owners will each make a pitch at Wheeling Heritage’s virtual Show of Hands event beginning Oct. 25. Short videos of each participant will be produced by the Wheeling Heritage Media team and released on Oct. 25 on Wheeling Heritage’s social media pages. The community can then view, share and vote online for the project they feel is most worthwhile through Oct. 31.
For a $5 minimum donation, viewers can cast their vote through Wheeling Heritage’s website with 100% of the donations awarded to the winner. The video with the most votes by the end of the voting period will receive about $4,000 for his or her business.
The following business owners are in the running in hopes of securing funding for their businesses:
Midge’s Kitchen: Midge’s Kitchen, owned by Chef Melissa Rebholz, offers fully-prepared meals made with locally-sourced ingredients. Rebholz seeks to enrich Wheeling’s culinary scene by offering creative seasonal cuisine that invokes a connection to the land and farmers who grow and raise food in our region. She currently provides farm-to-table catering and weekly meal distribution services. She plans to expand her business by purchasing a food trailer to help meet the demand for mobile food services in the Ohio Valley. Winning Show of Hands would provide Rebholz with funding to secure a food trailer to achieve this goal.
On Deck Korner Store: From an early age, longtime North Park resident Everette Gray Jr. saw a need for a market in his neighborhood. He’s currently working to do just that by opening On Deck Korner Store. Once it’s up and running, Gray’s store will provide everything you’d expect from a typical grocery store with an emphasis on community. Gray plans on providing work experience and mentorship to area youth through a partnership with Men of Change, a local community organization that Gray is a part of. Food access is another important component of Gray’s business model, with plans of offering grocery delivery services for the elderly and those who cannot otherwise shop in-store. Money from Show of Hands would help Gray with some of the startup costs associated with his business, specifically the purchase of a delivery vehicle.
Rysing Star Dance Academy: Rysing Star Dance Academy is an all-inclusive dance studio devoted to providing dance classes to kids of all skill levels in an encouraging environment. Owner Taylor Lucas Rys opened her studio in 2021 to create a business that merged her passion for dance with her professional background as a behavioral and occupational therapist at Augusta Levy Learning Center. Rys’ Be A S.T.A.R program – which stands for sensory, therapeutic recreation, acrobatic, and rhythm – is an integrative approach to dance that is ideal for students with Autism, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and more. Winning Show of Hands would provide funding to support the Be A S.T.A.R program with additional staff, equipment, and room adaptations to accommodate students of all abilities.
Wheelcraft Bicycles: While Wheelcraft Bicycles has been around for nearly 30 years, it has been under new ownership since January 2021. Owner Drew Hollis worked at the bike shop for several years before taking over the business earlier this year. His shop offers a large selection of new and used bicycles, as well as accessories and maintenance services. The shop has been at the same location in Elm Grove for over 20 years and is in need of some TLC. Winning Show of Hands would help Hollis make Wheelcraft his own with an updated logo, fresh coat of paint, and complete several small repairs and updates throughout the shop.
Show of Hands is sure to be even more impactful this season, as all of the presenters have opened their businesses within the last year. 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 contribute to each event. Current Friends of Show of Hands include Dave and Beth Weaver, Wheeling Volkswagen and Subaru; Dr. and Mrs. Dan Joseph, Joseph Orthodontics; Brian Joseph of Touchstone Research Laboratory; Fuzz and Barb LaRue; H. Lawrence Jones, Ed.D.; Kennen & Kennen Realtors; Warwood Armature; Rabbi Joshua Lief and Rebecca Lief; and two anonymous donors.
Follow Wheeling Heritage on Facebook and Instagram to watch the contestants’ video presentations from Oct. 25 – 31. Voting will take place online at wheelingheritage.org