Downtown PKB holding virtual fundraiser in lieu of Taste of Parkersburg

Social distancing is forcing the closure of gyms, parks, and art studios leaving businesses to...
Social distancing is forcing the closure of gyms, parks, and art studios leaving businesses to reach their customers in a new way. Across the tri-state business are using online platforms like Facebook live to reach people from a safe distance.(WSAZ)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 3:30 PM EDT
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Downtown PKB is holding an online giving campaign this week in an attempt to raise some of the funds it would have raised at its annual Taste of Parkersburg event, had it not been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fundraiser is called Fill the Glass, and it offers local residents an opportunity to contribute financially to the organization. All those who donate are entered for the chance to win four tickets to next year’s Taste of Parkersburg. Donors also receive a commemorative wine glass cling featuring the phrase “I helped to fill the glass”. Donations can be made through Saturday, May 30, which is the date on which Taste of Parkersburg was originally intended to be held.

Contributions are crucial because the organization relies in part on funding from events like Taste of Parkersburg for many of its projects aimed at supporting the local community, said Wendy Shriver, Downtown PKB’s executive director. In addition, the organization has not received all of the funds it typically gets from sponsors to put on events like Taste of Parkersburg, though some sponsors have agreed to be involved next year. And some member businesses are struggling to pay their dues during the pandemic, Shriver said. While Downtown PKB received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) small business loan, the organization is still in need of financial support.

“We use the funds from Taste of Parkersburg to pay for other projects and initiatives to improve downtown. So with the event being canceled, we had to pivot and think, how can we still stay engaged with our sponsors, with our participants and our volunteers?” Shriver said.

Shriver added that the online campaign has already drawn significant participation.

“We’ve had great engagement already. We launched it with members of our partner program and our board, so we’ve already had some online donations,” she said.

In addition, some of the vendors who typically participate in Taste of Parkersburg have created testimonial videos that are posted on the Downtown PKB Facebook page and Instagram account.

Because the organization has been unable to hold in-person events, it has shifted its focus to engaging with and supporting the community in other ways. For example, the organization has been helping other businesses locate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), assisting the Wood County Senior Center in their efforts to deliver meals, and more, Shriver said.

In addition, on June 1, Downtown PKB will launch a program called Shop PKB to help encourage residents to shop at local businesses. Those who spend $150 at three different Parkersburg businesses will be asked to send in their receipts to Downtown PKB. Each quarter, the first 25 people who do so will receive a $25 prepaid Visa gift card. The program will be sponsored by Truist Bank.

Those interested in contributing to Downtown PKB can find the link to do so -- along with the link to the Fill the Glass Facebook page -- under Related Links on the right side of this screen.

Join this year's planned title sponsor, Justin Raber Attorney at Law and help Downtown PKB to Fill the Glass!

Posted by Downtown PKB on Monday, May 18, 2020