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11th Annual Wheeling SleepOut Raises Over $42K for Youth in Transition

Posted 11/10/21


Street MOMs Best in Show

East Coast Metals 1st Place Design

Tuel Center 1st Place Theme


WHEELING, W.Va. — Participants and sponsors in the 11th annual Wheeling SleepOut successfully raised more than $42,000 for youth facing homelessness in the Ohio Valley.

On Friday, Nov. 5, eight teams converged on the Miracle League Field in the J.B. Chambers I-470 Youth Sports Complex to build their cardboard structures for the Boxed-In Design Contest. Two teams participated remotely and submitted videos explaining their structures.

Celebrity judges evaluated each design for qualities such as warmth, comfort, theme and sharing of local resources to help vulnerable youth. This year’s theme was “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” in reference to the opportunities youth who have been in the Transitional Living Program have once they move on to independent living.

This year’s Boxed-In Design Contest winners are:

  • Best in Show: Street MOMs
  • 1st Place Design: East Coast Metals
  • 2nd Place Design: Project HOPE
  • 3rd Place Design: Team Freya
  • 1st Place Theme: Tuel Center
  • 2nd Place Theme: Zieggy Tribe
  • 3rd Place Theme: Girl Scouts Troop #10135

The top fundraising teams as of Nov. 10 were:

  • 1st: The Zieggy Tribe, team captain Matt Porter, $4,503
  • 2nd: Team Freya, team captain Betsy Bethel-McFarland, $3,250
  • 3rd: Project HOPE, team captain Crystal Bauer, $1,183
  • 4th: The Linsly School, team captain Jessica Zatezalo, $1,154 (in memory of Darryl Crews)

Charlie Schlegel of Wild West Sports Bar provided dinner, which was set up inside a picnic shelter that Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration weather-proofed with plastic and a generator.

Musicians who braved the cold to provide live music at the event included the New Age Adenas, Gage Joseph and Bob Gaudio, aka R.J. Gaudio-Troubadour, who also is a YSS board member.

The judges were: Rebecca Little of WTRF; Erica Harley, pastor of Vance Presbyterian Church; Clare McDonald and David Gaudio, wife and son of Bob Gaudio; past contest winners Irene Harvey and Lesley Prince; and Transitional Living Program clients Victoria Prince and Alex Michael.

Youth Services System thanks all the participants and donors who made this event possible. Thank you to Doug Boston and his crew for providing the sound equipment and emcee. Thank you to all the YSS staff, families and friends who volunteered. Thank you to the musicians, judges, Charlie Schlegel, and Eli White and the Eagle Riders for providing breakfast. Thanks to the Fun-Raiser who brought games. Thank you to all the restaurants and local businesses who provided gift cards for prizes. Thank you to local media for spreading the word about the event.

Last but not least, thank you to our sponsors: Wilhelm Farms, Wayne and Carolyn Smith, Northwood Health Systems, The Ziegenfelder Co., Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration, Ebbert Farm Market, WesBanco, Wheeling Board of Realtors, Wheeling Kiwanis, and an anonymous donor.

For more information about the Transitional Living Program, please go to

To donate to YSS, visit our Donate page. 

Project HOPE 2nd Place Design Team Freya 3rd Place Design
Zieggy Tribe 2nd Place Theme

Girl Scout Troop 10135 3rd Place Theme