Has it been a year already?
At about this time 12 months ago, we were standing on the edge of the great unknown.
Then, all eyes were on the communities of Grafton and Matewan, the first ever Turn This Town Around vote winners who would become the trail blazers and guinea pigs for this ambitious initiative. The goal: help West Virginia’s communities find new opportunities and new futures.
More than anything, a community of people at the heart of these two places has realized the great power that lies within them when they work together, listen to each other, and keep focused on what can be done rather than what can’t.
What revitalization ideas will the people in these communities come up with? Will any of them work? Will anyone show up? Can they use Turn This Town Around to, really, turn their town around?
All these questions and more will be answered next week, as Whitesville and Ripley hold their first public Turn This Town Around meetings. Think brainstorming session, on a large scale.
Here’s the details:
6 p.m., Monday, March 16 at Ripley High School.
6 p.m., Tuesday, March 17 at Whitesville Fire Department.
The Hub will be there, guiding the meetings and keeping the conversations productive. But the real work will be done by the people who live there; the business leaders, officials, school kids, seniors and workers who have so much invested in their home towns.
What we hope to see is local ideas that are practical and achievable in the short term, but which will help create a sense of purpose, positivity and potential about further investment in the community.
Even the longest journey started with just one step. It is this step that Turn This Town Around will now take with the people of Whitesville and Ripley. Keep watching.