ECCOTA holds 'Refresh Rally' to win funds for renovation

RIDGWAY - The Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA) held a Refresh Rally to gather support from the community for the chance to win $25,000 on Thursday. Pepsi is funding the most voted-for ideas on their Refresh website by ranking each idea by its number of votes; the idea with the most votes receives the check. Beginning at 9 a.m., ECCOTA gathered the willing fingers of passersby and encouraged them to vote for their idea via the internet at (, or by texting 105979 to 73774.Every day during the month of May, each voter has five votes to disperse how they please among the ideas on the Refresh website; however, only one vote for each idea may be submitted per day. 
This is the second time ECCOTA has applied for the funds after trying for the first time in January. According to ECCOTA Executive Director Abbi Peters, the funds would go toward renovations to the ECCOTA building on Main Street in Ridgway, including new flooring, lighting and some adjustments that will make access to the classrooms upstairs easier. "I have a strong belief in the power of the arts and culture," said Peters. Keeping them alive helps shape us in positive ways."The Refresh Rally featured local musicians and poets expressing their love for the arts and their support for ECCOTA. Musicians Tom Carobine, Mark Titchner, Jason Phipps, Bekki Titchner and Andy Thompson played such songs as Neil Young's "Hey Hey, My My" and “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show, as well as some of their own tunes, “My Momma Said” and “Your You’re.” Poets William Granché, Jenna Rhodes and Jamie VanAlstine recited poems, both their own and also some written by others.