It wasn’t a barn raising but it shared the spirit of that timeless American enterprise where a community gathers on a Saturday morning to build together something new and mutually beneficial.
Titled “Making Connections, Sharing Hope,” the event displayed small businesses and family-operated services from six rural counties in northwest Missouri. It was held in the auditorium of St. Gregory Parish in Maryville, Mo., a few years ago and was sponsored by Sparks of Hope, a rural advocacy group.
The purpose of the exhibit/gathering, according to Sparks of Hope cofounder Franciscan Sr. Christine Martin, was “to showcase entrepreneurs who are making a difference in our rural area.”
“As people from surrounding counties gathered,” she said, “we hoped to make connections and share hope for our rural communities to hear and see how others have successfully turned their dreams of business ownership into a reality.”
A 34-page directory handed out at the door listed over 90 local businesses and family-operated services. Some of those businesses were on display in the gym.