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Pints for Progress making a difference in Cataract City


Fri, Nov 18th 2016 07:55 pm

Pints holds 19th successful event in three years

By Terry Duffy


Thursday evening marked yet another successful Niagara Falls Pints for Progress, held at Antonio's Banquet and Conference Center in Niagara Falls.

Presented by #LiveNF and Niagara Falls Community Development, Pints for Progress could best be called "a social happening" that invites members of the community to join in idea sharing - all with a focus of improving life in the Cataract City.

Visitors are asked to contribute $5 on their first visit, and then $10 on return visits. The program, which includes food, drink, some entertainment and socializing, is followed by presentations by local citizens and groups and Q&A sessions with attendees. At the conclusion of the roughly two-hour program, visitors are asked to cast their votes for the winning presentation, which is then awarded the prize kitty from the evening.

"We're just looking for someone or a group of people that are trying to improve the area, trying to improve Niagara Falls," said organizer Phil Moore. "There's projects that have a wide variety of demographics, age, location, or a private business. Anything makes a difference, and that's why we're here."

Thursday marked No. 19 on the growing list of successful Pints, which date back to the first May 2013 organizing event held at Legends Bar and Grill in Niagara Falls. Moore was joined by Tom Lowe and spoke of what they called "the big picture of pints" - close to $10,000 awarded to 16 projects intended to enhance the quality of life in the Cataract City.

Among the "complete" projects recognized in the NF Pints for Progress update: emergency repair work done for the Old Stone Chimney; creation of the Tesla at Niagara Museum; a "Friends of the Dog Day" event at Hyde Park to spur the idea of a dog park; the Niagara Falls Forward Festival intended to promote community nonviolence and youth advocacy; the LaSalle Vineyard Community garden program; the Art Alley Niagara Falls pedestrian walkway on Third Street; the Inspire Boxing program for Falls youth; and the Footprints for the Future young parent support group.

"That $10,000 number - it was all because of you of you, we really appreciate it," said Lowe to the roughly 90 people attending.

Thursday's presenters included the Niagara News Source, the Niagara Falls Beautification Commission's holiday Library Lights program, the 2-Scale Solar System educational program by Niagara Falls School District instructors and the Hands, Healing, Heroes program intended to brighten the holidays for area servicemen and women.

"Our goal this year is to light up Niagara," commented Mary Jo Zacher, member of board of directors for the Niagara Falls Beautification Commission of NBC's Library Lights endeavor.

Zacher told the group NBC wishes to start early, and light up a host of Niagara Falls government buildings - the two Falls libraries, Niagara Falls Community Development, City Hall, and small pocket parks in the city.

"What we're looking for is money to buy lights to put on the trees, some decorations," she continued, adding that Falls children will be visiting the locations during the holidays, singing Christmas carols and brightening the spirits of the Cataract City.

Zacher said her group also takes donations for local food pantries to assist needy in the area during the holidays.

In announcing the winner, Moore said that voting on the presentations was among "the closest ever" with one to two votes separating all entries.

The Niagara Falls Beautification Commission was the announced winner and received $400 towards its holiday beautification and assistance campaign for the city.

"I know we'll never get back to the Festival of Lights that we had, but this is a small step to start, and maybe we can build it up through the years and light up Niagara," said Zacher as she thanked the visitors.

The next Pints for Progress will be taking place in mid-to-late-February at the Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls.

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