What is Project Showcase?

Project Showcase is a collaborative and competitive challenge to the high school students of the small town of Toledo, WA, to help strengthen their community.


Students are asked to design and execute a realistic plan over the given school year to help bolster any aspect of the community of their choosing. They are strongly encouraged to incorporate their own personal passions in their efforts so as to help the longevity of their interest in the project remain as strong as possible, limiting the probability of their own projects losing momentum throughout the process.

P-51 Pictures™ and Matty Photography™ have joined forces to, by way of film and photography, showcase the projects of each group of students to the outside community and online viewing public. We believe each of their stories will be engaging and inspiring to not only those directly involved with the school district & community, but also to those completely unaffiliated with Toledo, WA. Additionally, showcasing their work will also provide a positive avenue of recognition for their efforts… an extremely important element to students of this age to ensure their continued commitment.

Project Showcase is geared in such a way that it holds appeal to all types of students, not just the over-achievers and those who may have engaged anyway. Too many programs today are attractive and accessible only to those who are already doing quite well. Our formula was designed to reach out to and showcase the efforts of personality types all across the board.


Firstly, the ultimate goal of Project Showcase is to build character and pride within each individual student while they visually and emotionally watch the positive results of their efforts come to fruition. Secondly, the efforts of the students at the high school level will unavoidably have the trickle-down effect of inspiring the students at the elementary and junior high levels to also start giving back. To provide initial incentive however, we will be offering scholarships, travel experiences, job shadow opportunities, and other considerable prizes in the beginning.

And finally, by students helping others citizens and/or organizations in the community, it carries the weight and possibility of further encouraging those directly affected to also start helping others and join in the efforts.

Paying it forward is a powerful phenomenon, and we plan to utilize this notion to the fullest extent.

Why Toledo?

The small community of Toledo has long been lauded for its pride and caliber of townsfolk by surrounding communities, both near and far. Academic and athletic programs at the schools have always been extremely strong, and the insistence of citizens on rallying to help others in time of need is the stuff of legends.

Toledo, WA, is an incredible place. It is a small town in southwest Washington that sits right against the Cowlitz River, and considered the “Gateway to Mt. St. Helens.”

On Christmas morning of 2010, a massive fire ripped through downtown Toledo and left a permanent scar at the center of town… not only physically, but emotionally as well.

Once again, the citizens banded together, this time to create Vision:Toledo, an exceptionally large movement of community members relative to the population of the town committed to rebuilding and repairing what was lost in the fire, and enhancing several other aspects of the small hamlet as well.

Andrew Lahmann and Matt McDaniel – both class of 2000 Toledo graduates and owners of P-51 Pictures™ and Matty Photography, respectively) were called upon to help employ a valuable and creatively energetic source of manpower that was missing from the efforts… Toledo High School.

Thus Project Showcase was born.