The next level of downtown volunteering

The last few weeks have been a hectic time for volunteers who help with events in downtown Parkersburg. Those volunteers worked to produce the huge Taste of Parkersburg and then turned around the following weekend to produce the first Point Park Music Series Concert.

It made for a very busy time. If you are a regular reader of this column you are familiar with my thoughts on the need for community people to volunteer in order to make our downtown a better place. With that said, I have recently noticed that several of Downtown PKB’s ideas have been placed on the back-burner for a while.

Here’s a fact that I’m guessing many people don’t realize. It is easier to raise money for an idea than it is to have people take up that idea and own it all the way to fruition. What does it mean to “own” an idea? Let me explain

It is relatively inexpensive to critique an idea, and it doesn’t cost much to like one. The expense comes at the point of owning it. Owning an idea implies that you not only embrace it, but you are willing to do all the things necessary to help make that idea a reality.

Downtown PKB has significantly more ideas than they have people to own them. These ideas range from building a downtown business database to developing a long-range parking strategy. They have ideas about social media, downtown newsletters, cooperative advertising campaigns, real estate databases, way-finding signage plans, storefront display development, downtown beautification, and on and on and on.

All of these ideas may eventually be done. But the question is how long will it take if additional people don’t step up and own one of these ideas. And even beyond that, how many other great ideas need to be thought out and then implemented by someone who will own them to completion.

I once heard a sobering statistic that if every individual congregation in the U.S. that called itself a “church” would take on caring for just one needy family, the need for government welfare would virtually be eliminated overnight. I’m not knocking churches here. I’m part of the Body of Christ myself. I don’t even know if this statistic is accurate, but it does raise an interesting question.

How much could be accomplished in downtown Parkersburg if every business sent some of their people to Downtown PKB to own one idea?

If you have an idea to improve downtown and are willing to own it, contact Carrie Nesselrode, the Executive Director of Downtown PKB. Call her at 304-865-0522, or email her at As I’ve mentioned before, don’t call her just to complain.

I’ve heard it said that the single largest pool of untapped natural resources in this world is human good intentions that are never translated into actions.

Come see me. I’ll be in the lounge.


Cecil Childress is general manager of the Blennerhassett Hotel and chairman of Downtown PKB.