by Cori Hilsgen
Almost 500 people attended the second annual St. Joseph Community Showcase April 5 at the Kennedy Community School gym.
The event is a chance for area businesses to connect and introduce themselves and their services to residents.
About 33 booths were set up to share information. Many, such as the Coborn’s booth, offered treats and other items to visitors. Coborn’s offered apples and cake. Others gave away balloons, candy, writing pads and more.
Maya Beumer, 4-year-old daughter of Cherie and Todd Beumer, enjoyed bouncing in the Party Time Inflatables Bounce House.
“It’s nice. We’ve never been here before,” Cherie said. “We are having a good time.”
Judy Netter attended with her daughter, Terra Nothangel, and grandchildren Cailin, 10, Avery, 7, and Landon, 3. She enjoyed the Styles, Cotton and Milbert Dental and Cedar Street Salon and Spa booths.
“I liked the free candy and apples,” Cailin said.
“This is the first year we’ve attended,” Netter said. “We’ve enjoyed it a lot.”
Marjorie Henkemeyer and Bert Bliss were at the All Saints Academy booth offering information about the school, church services and more.
Kelsey Milbert and Tina Hemmesch talked about dentures, partials and more at the Styles, Cotton and Milbert Dental booth. They offered dental floss, toothpaste and more to visitors.
Randy Schmitz from Scenic Specialties discussed the new Rolling Ridge Wedding and Event Center. The big red barn, which is more than 115 years old, should be able to accommodate about 500 people.
Kennedy eighth-grader Ruby Geng and her cousin Runqi Hu were enjoying treats from Kay’s Kitchen.
Kay’s Kitchen owner Tanya Finken and her daughter, Alexis, 8, were busy serving up their ninth pan of caramel rolls. Finken worked at Kay’s nine years before owning it. She said she has the “best” customers.
Finken is on the planning committee for the showcase event. She said they hope to get more businesses involved and to add more booths, including non-profits.
Arlington Place Assisted Living housing manager Karen Hennessy had a photo album of residents enjoying various activities on display at her booth. Now that the weather is getting nicer, she said more activity outings will be planned.
St. Joseph resident Mary Bozzo stopped at Cory Ehlert’s Edina Reality booth. Ehlert and his daughter, Cayley, 9, were enjoying visiting with the crowd.
“I love it,” Bozzo said. “I picked up a lot of business cards.”
“It’s been a great way to reach out to the St. Joe community,” Ehlert said.
Angela Ramsey stopped at Jeff and Stacie Engholm’s Local Blend booth. The Engholms will have owned their business for six years this April 22.
“I didn’t know there were so many places here in town,” Ramsey said.
Jeff Enholm said he was curious to see if the event would be as successful as last year. He enjoys the networking with other businesses.
“I had a chat with the mayor,” Engholm said. “It’s good to catch up with everyone.”
Joe Bechtold and Mat Killam talked about the Lion’s Club at their booth.
“It is a good turnout,” Killam said. “It spurs conversation. We want people to join and know where contributions go.”
Kayla Meyer and Joe Bye from Sentry Bank said they thought the event went well.
“We had a great crowd,” Meyer said. “Maybe more people than last year. The first hour was really busy.”
She thought the jumping inflatables were a big hit with the children.
This is Bye’s second year of helping plan the event. He thought the attendance, participation and volunteer help were great.
“It went very well,” Bye said.
St. Joseph Chamber Administrative Assistant Becka Broste said she thought the event had a successful turnout.
“The St. Joseph Community Showcase is an opportunity to meet local business owners and their representatives, learn about products and services in the area and support your community,” Broste said. “It’s a free, family friendly fun time.”
photo by Dennis Dalman
Cathy Studer of St. Joseph accepts a gift apple at the Cobornâ€™s booth at the St. Joseph Community Showcase April 5 at Kennedy Community School. photo by Dennis Dalman
Angela Ramsey (left) of St. Joseph has a chat with Sr. Patricia Ruether at the College of St. Benedict booth at the St. Joseph Community Showcase April 5 at Kennedy Community School. photo by Dennis Dalman
Bethany Knopp (back turned), accompanied by her grandfather, waits to see if she won a prize at the Kayâ€™s Kitchen booth at the St. Joseph Community Showcase event April 1 at Kennedy Community School. In the booth are helpers Alexis Finken, daughter of Kayâ€™s Kitchen owner Tanya Finken, and Violet Herges, daughter of Kayâ€™s Kitchen employee Jen Scherer. photo by Dennis Dalman
Kids have a rambunctious blast April 5 during the St. Joseph Community Showcase event at the Kennedy Community School. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Maya Beumer, 4, enjoys the “Party Time Inflatable” activities at the showcase event. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Cailin Nothangel, 10, and her grandmother, Judy Netter, spend time at the Party Time Inflatables bounce activities. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Randy Schmitz from Scenic Specialties talks about the Rolling Ridge Wedding and Event Center. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Alexis and Tanya Finken (left to right) offer rolls and coffee to Ruby Geng and her cousin Runqi Hu at the Kay’s Kitchen booth. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Kenzie Finken, 10, visits her mother Tanya’s Kay’s Kitchen booth. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Cory and Cayley Ehlert visit with Mary Bozzo (left to right) at the Edina Reality booth. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Angela Ramsey (left to right) visits with Stacie and Jeff Engholm at the Local Blend booth. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Kelsey Milbert (left to right) and Tina Hemmesch visit with Kandra, MiKayla, Diane and Katie Schmitz. photo by Cori Hilsgen
Kelsey Milbert and Tina Hemmesch discussed dentures, bridges and more at the Styles, Cotton and Milbert Dental booth.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.