Beer and community cheer: Pints for progress

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Imagine an event with people from every aspect of a community coming together with the sole purpose of progressing their town into a better tomorrow. This image came true for over 100 people last Thursday night at the 20th Pints for Progress event hosted at the Hard Rock Café in Niagara Falls.

Pints for Progress is a community event intended to help improve Niagara Falls. For $10 ($5 for first-time attendees), locals can enjoy a free pint of beer while listening to attendees pitch ideas that will positively impact the Niagara Falls community. At the end of the pitches, the audience votes on their favorite project and the proceeds from the event go towards funding the winning project. About 16 projects have been funded through this event and more than $9,500 has been awarded to the winners over the past three years.

On Thursday night, three people presented their ideas. The first presenter was Willie Price, who pitched the idea to revive the Niagara Track & Field Club. Next, Brook D’Angelo took the stage to request an illustrator for the traditional “Niagara Falls Firefly” storybook distributed at the annual Firefly Festival. Last was Joseph Kissel, a writer for the Niagara News Source, who wanted more reporters to cover stories but needed a little help financially.

“The presentations were great,” said Isaac De Los Santos, an attendee of the event. “But the one thing I enjoyed was the fact that people are coming together to help, not themselves, but other people.”

In the end, Willie Price, the coach and sponsor of the Niagara Track & Field Club, was awarded the money to support the foundation of his club. Price wants to give students a summer activity but also wants to allow all residents an opportunity to train and compete in state and national events.

Price felt extremely blessed and overwhelmed by the support that the community has given him which will allow others to pursue their passion for running.

“Now this money will go towards a project that will eventually reach our goal in improving Niagara Falls,” said Phil Mohr, the emcee of the night and one of the event directors. “He [Price] is creating a project that is going to lure people in on a positive note. I would say it’s a huge success.”

Jade King, PRSSN

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