Niagara Gazette


February 10, 2014

Gathering to eat, talk and bring positive change to the Falls

Niagara Gazette — It started with a handful of Niagara Falls residents going to happy hour. They ended up bouncing ideas off of one another and discussing what could be done to make their city a better place.

Inspired by Sunday Soup meetings that happen around the country, Pints for Progress was hosted by Niagara Falls Director of Community Development Seth Piccirillo and ReNU Niagara Director Tom Lowe on Friday. The goal is simple, bring the community together and think of ways make improvements.

“It’s casual, we share a meal, pitch ideas and get feedback,” said Lowe. “It’s about getting people together, promoting positivity, progress and grassroots involvement.”

Pints for Progress held it’s fifth meeting on Friday evening. It was the second meeting to take place at the Unitarian Church on Main Street. In the warm months the events are held in the parking lot of the Niagara Hub across the street.

“We wanted to get people together to try something different and to have some fun,” Piccirillo said. “People are buying into this, we usually have 40 to 50 people at these events.”

About 45 people gathered at the church on Friday to enjoy a meal of vegetarian chili, salad and deserts. Each person was asked to donate $10 at the door. In exchange they get to eat, and receive a circle sticker that they will later use to vote for the idea pitch they like the most.

This money goes directly toward whichever project the group votes on. If the group can’t decide on an idea there is a “pay it forward” option where the money would be saved until the next vote. This time around Pints for Progress brought in around $600.

At this meeting two ideas were pitched. Each person had five minutes to present their idea and then field questions from the residents who would then use the information to decide which project they would most like to see happen.

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