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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
When conventions come to town, they tend to impact Uptown restaurants and businesses. The Concrete Decor Show is having a longer reach.
As part of its annual gathering, the convention has workshops, where participants get a chance to showcase product and talent.
"It gives contractors, designers, and architects a place - a reference point where they can see a real diversity of different types of applications we do" says Ben Mikkelson of the Concrete Decor Show.
Since it's a concrete convention, organizers look for a place in need of concrete makeovers.
Enter the Charlotte Rescue Mission.
"We've been at this location for 53 years" says E.J. Underwood. "And the buildings are approximately 90 years old."
Mission workers say donations keep the nonprofit going. They couldn't afford to fix the stairs, redo the concrete floors or patio to the recreation area.
Meanwhile, last year, organizers of the Concrete Decor Show knew they were coming to Charlotte. They needed a place to display work. They needed a nonprofit that needed repairs.
After visiting 3 locations, they settled on the Charlotte Rescue Mission.
"Primarily because they were real needs" says Mikkelsen. "We had existing concrete surfaces that were in disrepair and we could improve on those."
Contractors began the preparation work three weeks ago.
These next two days they're conducting workshops that will give the Rescue Mission a new look. From a driveway to a concrete staining workshop in the basement, and concrete polishing in the gymnasium where concrete is 15 years old - a basketball key is being engraved.
Mikkelson says "there's no better way for us to impart something into the community, leave something behind that leaves the city better than we found it."
There are several workshops. In fact the Charlotte Rescue Mission is getting $250,000 of worth of work.
"With all the different types of work, a quarter of million dollars worth of product contributions, man hours and material that go into this" says Mikkelson.
"We've been waiting for years to make minor repairs and so this is a Godsend" says Underwood of the Charlotte Rescue Mission.
Mikkelson adds "we could keep it all in the confines of the Convention Center. They could do these things and at the end of the week we could throw it all into the landfill or send it back to the recycling center and their artistic talent would never be seen again. Here it's being put to good use."
The show's organizers say by Tuesday afternoon The Charlotte Rescue Mission will be able to see marked changes in areas where work was done.
About 4-thousand people from around the world are expected in town for the Concrete Decor Show, which starts Wednesday.