With funding for community projects at a premium everywhere, a group of citizens in Niagara Falls, New York created Pints for Progress as an answer to the problem.
On February 21 Pints for Progress held their 23rd event since forming in 2013 at the Hard Rock Cafe. This unique fundraising event brings citizens together not only to raise funding for a community project, but to have a say in which project that money will go toward.
Attendees paid $10 and received an adult beverage, food, and one vote. Once everyone had an opportunity to eat, community organizations…and individuals…who were seeking funding for their projects, spoke on those endeavours in hopes of convincing the audience of the worthiness of their project. Once all of the projects had been presented, the audience cast their votes. The winning project received the funds collected during the night for their project.
For this event there were three proposals presents to the crowd…
Realizing that once school let out for the summer many of Niagara Falls’ younger citizens had no outlets to occupy their time so track coach Willie formed the Niagara Track and Field Club. While it began as a way for area youth to fill their time, the club has since expanded to accept people of all ages.
Entering track meets all around western New York and beyond, every athlete who has competed at a meet has finished the race no lower than the top three positions.
This year Willie is seeking funding to aid with expenses for an international track meet being held in Rochester this summer.
Next up was Silence Breakers which has been created in reaction to the #MeToo movement on social media. Noting that the internet can be such an impersonal medium, Silence Breakers are seeking to bring the human element back into the issue by bringing the stories to life via poetry, song, dance, and other performance medium. The group was asking for aid in helping to bring the project to life.
The final proposal of the night featured something that is often buried beneath mounds of snow for several months of the year – Community Gardens…most specifically the Rose Garden in Hyde Park.
Nora was asking for help in purchasing garden tools and equipment that would allow community volunteers to restore and maintain the Rose Garden.
Once the votes were in, the project that received the most votes and the $490 collected during the event was the Rose Garden project in Hyde Park.
While area residents gathered and ate, western New York musician Zack Ward provided some musical entertainment. Singing and playing his guitar, Zack’s set list included “Here Comes the Sun”, “Layla”, “Stuck in the Middle with You”, “Kodachrome”, “My Girl”, “Thinking Out Loud”, “A Little Help from My Friends”, “You Got a Friend”, “Pinball Wizard”, and “I’m a Believer”.