United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties Funds Big Ideas at 8th Annual PITCH-ER THIS! Competition

The United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties hosted the 8th annual PITCH-ER THIS! contest Saturday, February 25, 2023 in the Central Michigan University College of Medicine Auditorium. PITCH-ER THIS! is a youth-development competition designed to give local students an opportunity to make a big impact on their community. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges and ballots cast by event attendees. Available funds allowed the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties to support three ideas pitched by local students. 

United Way of Gratiot and Isabella County President and CEO Annie Sanders speaks to the crowd at the PITCH-ER THIS! contest hosted by the Central Michigan University College of Medicine in Mt. Pleasant, MI, Saturday February 25, 2023. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)My 104.3 WCZY-FM Sports Director Chris Spachman emcees the 8th annual United Way of Gratiot and Isabella County's PITCH-ER THIS! in the Central Michigan University College of Medicine in Mt. Pleasant, MI, Saturday February 25, 2023. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)A panel of six community leaders judge the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella County's PITCH-ER THIS! contest hosted by the Central Michigan University College of Medicine in Mt. Pleasant, MI, Saturday February 25, 2023. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Renaissance Public School Academy 8th grader Sophia Powell details her plan to build Little Free Pantries across Isabella County. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Attendees at the 8th annual United Way of Gratiot and Isabella County's PITCH-ER THIS! contest vote to determine which projects will received funding. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Commercial Bank Vice President Mike Miller asks students for additional details about their PITCH-ER THIS! project plans. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Top prize was awarded to Bar-B-Cuties, a team of 6th graders from Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy. Lillian Dubridge and Sadie Wohlscheid’s $5,000 grant proposal will provide a new grill for the Isabella County Commission on Aging. Dubridge and Wohlscheid received the PITCH-ER THIS! traveling trophy, which will be displayed at Sacred Heart Academy until the 2024 competition. 

Sacred Heart Academy Student Sadie Wohlscheid speaks with a contest judge during the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella County's PITCH-ER THIS! event hosted by the Central Michigan University College of Medicine in Mt. Pleasant, MI, Saturday February 25, 2023. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Sacred Heart Academy 6th grade student Lillian Dubridge shares the Bar-B-Cuties team idea to install a grill at the Isabella County Commission on Aging. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Retired JC Penney Retail Manager Anita Szostek asks members of team Bar-B-Cuties for details about their pitch. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Bar-B-Cuties, a team of 6th graders from Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy are announced as top prize winners for the 2023 United Way of Gratiot and Isabella County's PITCH-ER THIS! contest. Lillian Dubridge and Sadie Wohlscheid's $5,000 grant proposal will provide a new grill for the Isabella County Commission on Aging. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Dubridge and Wohlscheid received the PITCH-ER THIS! traveling trophy, which will be displayed at Sacred Heart Academy until the 2024 competition. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Judges also awarded $4,000 to Ready Shed Go!, a team of 8th graders from Shepherd Middle School. Carli DuBois, William McDonald, Aliyah Screws, and Oliver Shattuck pitched their plan to purchase a storage shed stocked with new sports equipment for recess for the school. 

Commercial Bank Vice President Mike Miller speaks with students from Shepherd Middle School the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella County's PITCH-ER THIS! event.¬†Shepherd students formed team Ready Shed Go! To ask for new sports equipment for their school. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Shepherd Middle School 8th grade student Aliyah Screws presents the Ready Shed Go! team's plan to purchase a storage shed stocked with new sports equipment for recess for the school. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Judges awarded $4,000 to Ready Shed Go!, a team of 8th graders from Shepherd Middle School.¬†Carli DuBois, William McDonald, Aliyah Screws, and Oliver Shattuck pitched their plan to purchase a storage shed stocked with new sports equipment for recess for the school. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)Sam Monticello, an 11th grade student from Midland’s HH Dow High School received funding for his Eagle Scout project, an outdoor diaper drop and waiting area for Life Choices of Central Michigan. Monticello is a member of Boy Scouts Troop 768.

Midland's HH Dow High School 11th grade student and member of Boy Scouts Troop 768 Sam Monticello shares his Eagle Scout project idea for an outdoor diaper drop and waiting area for Life Choices of Central Michigan. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)United Way of Gratiot and Isabella County President and CEO Annie Sanders offers their congratulations to all the competitors at the 2023 PITCH-ER THIS! event in the Central Michigan University College of Medicine in Mt. Pleasant, MI, Saturday February 25, 2023. (Photo: Dan Gaken/Epicenter)