2017 Competition

Grand Prize: The Explore-IT-torium

Cindy Binns is a proud mother of four grown children, a retired teacher and social worker, and a lifelong resident of Marion. Her dream is to bring the Explore-IT-torium Children’s Museum to the kids of Marion County. The Explore-IT-torium is a venture that provides hands-on learning experiences to children and in turn inspires creativity. Cindy plans to promote diversity in the community and empower children with a can-do attitude, and the Explore-IT-torium Children’s Museum is how she will achieve those goals!

Affordable Event Games

Marion native Bob Lawhun and his fiancé Jill Puglisi have a passion for bringing affordable fun to kids in Marion. Their brand-new company provides low-cost bounce house rentals for children’s parties and charity events in town. They plan to expand overtime increasing the number and variety of slides and bounce houses as well as possibly developing a family entertainment center in Marion.


Rob Turner and Chris Rennick are the creators of ATTABOY’S, a 20s themed restaurant that gives a look back into Marion’s history.  Their goals are to create a restaurant that coincides with Marions historical downtown, to provide a delicious comfort cuisine with impeccable service, and to become a staple in downtown Marion.  ATTABOY’S is a place where people can go to get a great meal and see a familiar face and they just might learn something new about the history of the great town of Marion.

LMS Consulting Group

Cass, alongside his father Lee Sisler, have secured the North America and European rights and patents for a technology that seeks to provide heating in flooring, sidewalks, roof panels and other surfaces. Cass is excited that the technology might be used in a variety of applications to improve safety and comfort – from preventing ice falls off skyscrapers to safely heating wood floors in homes.

Main Squeeze

Todd Filliater and Daniel Drew started Main Squeeze in downtown Marion after Todd and his wife had a baby. Todd wanted to get in better shape and the combination of smoothies and paying more attention to what he ate caused him to lose 25 pounds in three months. Inspired by this success and seeing an opportunity for healthy juices, smoothies and alternatives, they opened their retail store in 2016. Now they are looking to bottle their cold pressed juices for sale at their main squeeze retail store as well as grocery and convenience stores.

Play | Date

Marion resident Nicole Riddle is the founder of Play|Date.
Got weekend?
Play|Date: Designed by a parent with other parents in mind. Play|Date offers a fun environment for children to play while parents can take time to focus, without children, on their unique roles – partner, friend, self… and the list goes on.
Play|Date gives parents the flexibility to take time away from their everyday parenting practices to enjoy a kid-free evening!

Sandridge Sports Training

Cale Sandridge is the founder of Sandridge Sports Training.  A service that offers individual and group training sessions for young athletes in the Marion and Wyandot County areas.  Cale’s mission is to develop, motivate, and empower young athletes to achieve their goals through planning, hard work, and execution.  His vision is to empower every young athlete to mentally and physically reach their fullest potential.