NANTY GLO, CAMBRIA COUNTY - Sometimes a cold soda is refreshing on a hot day. Now a soda company could be the key to refreshing a local community.
Pepsi is giving away $1.3 million. The catch is the money only goes to efforts to improve communities. Nanty Glo is in the running and hoping this money will add a certain "pop" to the area.
Jay Evans is always thinking of ways to raise money for Nanty Glo, especially when it comes to making improvements.
"There are very few recreational facilities in our area, only the ones we maintain," Evans said.
Those include the Nanty Glo baseball, football and softball fields and the local park, but the money available for those areas is just enough to get by.
"That's pretty much it. That's why a lot of the improvements down here have been made by the Blackslick Valley High School itself because there really isn't a lot left over from our sources to do a lot of major improvements," Evans said. Evans is on the Nanty Glo Recreation Authority.
That's why Evans is hoping the Pepsi Refresh Project could be a solution.
"At first I thought well nothing ventured, nothing gained. I put in a proposal and next thing I know they approved it," Evans said.
That proposal went to Pepsi. The idea is to get $25,000 to improve the ball fields and park. Pepsi is giving away more than 30 grants every month. Those grants go to community improvement projects that get the most votes online.
How will the money help? You know how most high school football teams have a locker room at half time? That's not the case for Blacklick Valley.
"Anything is better than a bus and a clump of trees," Evans said.
"If it's a good day, a dry sunny day, the team just goes behind these little sets of bleachers and sets up some benches back there and that's where they meet. If it's a bad day they have to go back on the bus," Evans said.
A field house for the field could be possible with the grant. The money would also provide more bleachers for the ball fields, pay for paving and pool improvements at the community park.
People in Nanty Glo think enough votes will come in to get the grant, especially since sports and recreation are priorities in the area.
"You know there's not a lot of stuff around here, I mean the closest place would be Ebensburg. It gives them something to do, gives us something to do," Bill Boring of Nanty Glo said.
"They should have someplace to go, places to go besides home and be with other children their own ages and meet different kids," Karen Little of Mundy's Corner said.
In one week the Nanty Glo proposal got enough votes to move up to 142nd place. That's 120 spots higher than where it was the previous week. You have until the end of the month to vote by going to the Pepsi site.