Lifestyle News

Rural Spirit Award highlights 3 outstanding individuals

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Every year, Osborn Barr Paramore recognizes those unsung heroes of rural America who are instilling hope, solving problems, and committing to stepping up to meet the needs of their communities during these unprecedented times. At a ceremony this week, OBP awarded three outstanding individuals making a difference in rural America with a Rural Spirit Award. 

The Rural Spirit Awards celebrates the people who support and improve rural America through community service and economic development. On Facebook, OBP announced the three individuals awarded this year.

Community Service Award: Carol Graf from Waverly, Missouri — The founder of Rides Here LLC, Graf started her small business as a ride service for the elderly in the community during the week and for weekend events. When the COVID-19 pandemic affected Rides Here LLC, Graf shifted the business’s structure from ride service to grocery delivery. Each week, Graf travels to Kansas City for a produce pickup and delivery in her community to ensure fresh, healthy food options are available to individuals in her area during the pandemic.

Next Gen Award: Jack “Alex” White III from Luray, Virginia — Passionate about overcoming the obstacles facing rural communities, White is a strong advocate for rural areas, which led to his role on the Page County Economic Development Authority, making him the youngest government official in Virginia. Along with this achievement, White secured funds to form the Rural Leadership Initiative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit supporting top rural undergraduates as they pursue projects pertaining to rural areas. He was selected to intern at the White House, serve as a delegate position to the 2020 Democrat National Convention and be part of the National Rural Youth Assembly.

Rural Advocacy Award: Carolyn Chrisman from Kirksville, Missouri — An advocate for northern Missouri, Chrisman works to highlight the region’s strength and engage local partners in her roles as executive director of the Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center, center director for the Missouri Small Business Center in Northeast Missouri and executive director of the Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Inc. Her efforts include helping regional decision-makers understand how policy affects the local economy and hosting events for citizens to address state and federal leaders, as well as talent attraction for the region.

Each of these honorees will receive $2,000 to donate to a nonprofit organization of their choice, with a donation made in their name. 

 

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