The catchy music fades as a little boy, strolling along a York City sidewalk, appears on screen.

Then, the man behind the camera asks a silly question: "Where do you want to go, bud?"

"Remember? I said I want to go to the Copper Crust to get a muffin," 4-year-old Charlie Nugent replies, dragging out that last syllable in a nasally voice.

If the YorIT committee has any weakness for cuteness, then Adam Nugent has a serious advantage over the competition. The York City man - Charlie calls him "Dad" - is one of eight individuals and groups who responded to the York County Community Foundation's call for ideas designed to invigorate downtown York.

A website designer, Nugent wants to upgrade the online presence of small businesses like the Central Market bakery where he and his son eat muffins every Thursday. A YorIT grant would allow Townie Brand to focus on downtown specifically, he said.

"I don't think people really know how much there is downtown," Nugent said. "That's what we're trying to do."

The challenge: The winner of the 2013 YorIT Social Venture Challenge could receive as much as $20,000 to put an idea into action.

This year, submissions range from website makeovers to pop-up retail to a York-themed magazine. The rules require that ideas be submitted in a YouTube video.

"It doesn't have to be a great video," said Patti Stirk, who chairs the YorIT committee.


"It's really the idea and the impact the idea can have that we're going for."

The winner - or, possibly, winners - will be announced in April. In the meantime, anyone can watch the videos.

And, perhaps, someone else with money will step up to fund an idea that might otherwise be left behind.

The videos: One video leads with a montage of empty, downtown storefronts. Its makers estimate vacant retail space in York City equates to the size of more than three football fields.

Their idea is to use some of that space for YorShoppes - pop-up stores that would temporarily sell products from otherwise web-only businesses.

Along the same lines, CoWork 155 is a membership-based office that would "serve as a home base" for working professionals who don't have their own building. The folks behind the CoWork idea have already selected a location on West Market Street, according to the video.

Members of the Parliament, who won a $5,000 grant from YorIT last year to promote York's art and music scene, submitted a video about their idea to start a bi-monthly magazine. The Source would be the go-to publication for information about York-based creatives and upcoming events.

Eat Play Breathe York, a partnership of local organizations, wants the YorIT grant to purchase a bicycle-sharing station for downtown.

Averie Clark wants to take The Bee to the next level. Founded in 2011, the group of women use recycled materials to create crocheted bags, T-shirt totes, scarves and more. Some of the proceeds go to charity.

In her video, Clark asks the YorIT committee to consider funding a permanent home base for The Bee with room for workshops and retail.

And, finally, local teenagers pitch an idea in their video to organize an "adventure race" called Acts in Motion, which would raise money for York City charities. They've even picked a date - April 27, 2013.

To watch the videos submitted to the YorIT committee, go to Then, type YorItSV2013 into the search bar. Or, for more information, visit these websites:

- Erin James may also be reached at