PARKERSBURG - Members of the Wood County Commission approved more than $18,000 in grants Thursday to fund area athletic events designed to pull participants from outside the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Dave Ashley, sports marketing director for the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, presented the Wood County Commission with seven grant applications and recommendations Thursday. The commission - minus Blair Couch who was out of town - approved six of them, totaling $18,500.
The commission approved a pair of $5,000 requests for the WVIAC women's softball tournament and WVSSAC state high school softball tournament.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Dave Ashley and Mark Lewis with the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau discuss Innovative Grant Program requests Thursday.
"Both are big draws," Ashley said, noting the SSAC event in Vienna draws a "tremendous crowd."
The commission agreed to provide:
* $5,000 for Parkersburg South Nays and Dye Basketball Camp.
* $5,000 for the WVIAC women's softball tournament
* $5,000 for the WVSSAC state high school softball tournament.
* $2,000 for the Wood County Sports Association softball tournament.
* $1,500 for the Blennerhassett Middle School Mountain State Clash wrestling tournament.
* $1,300 for the USAAA softball tournaments
The Innovative Grant Program in Wood County was designed to give some funding to groups and organizations that attract tourists. The county Innovative Grant Fund is made up of 8.5 percent of the county's hotel-motel occupancy taxes. The revenues are set aside for grants for projects, programs and events that can demonstrate they increased overnight hotel stays.
Ashley said there was about $45,000 in the fund.
Commissioners Wayne Dunn and Steve Gainer declined to take action on the E.L.I.T.E. Center's application because Dunn is affiliated with it.
Ashley said there was no increase for any of the groups from last year's requests.
In addition to the E.L.I.T.E. Center's request for $5,000, Ashley said he would also have requests from West Virginia Duals and West Virginia State Junior High Tournament.