Sheri Bare wanted a go-to place for people to find out what’s happening in Mount Joy.
“There are multiple organizations doing community events but not one organization pulling all that data together to promote those events and reach everyone in the 17552 ZIP code,” the lifelong borough resident said.
That all changed in early spring, when Bare helped to establish Voyage Mount Joy.
“When we put this organization together, we borrowed from the voyage part of the history of our town,” Bare said. “We are on a voyage, on a journey to give Mount Joy a fresh look, and keep and attract young investors, families, property owners, and visitors.”
The nonprofit’s volunteers include business and community leaders. Bare, the organization’s president, owns Room With a View, an interior decorating business at 64 E. Main St. in the borough.
Voyage Mount Joy launched the first of three weekly open-air market events Sept. 9.
Organized in response to several requests from borough residents, the outdoor vendor market at 560 Clay Alley offers food, local crafts and art, baked goods, home goods and specialty items. The market returns Thursday, Sept. 16, with the final one scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 23. Both will take place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“The market is such a good idea. It pulls vendors from our community into one place and it gives them yet another opportunity to promote themselves,” said Joanne Pinkerton, owner of The Gathering Place, which had a space set up at the inaugural market. “Also, in this digital era, you can lose personal contact with customers, but the market not only gives us an opportunity to gather and meet our customers. It allows the customers to touch, see and check out the local products before they buy them.”
Pinkerton’s shop is located at 6 Pine St. in Mount Joy.
There are 20 vendors participating in the three market events.
“The market is great. I am very excited to have another organization in town that’s all encompassing of Mount Joy,” said Mount Joy Chamber of Commerce executive director Kerry Meyers.
The Chamber, Meyers said, is membership-based so she supports the idea of having another organization promoting the town and the businesses.
“I think it’s a win-win for everyone,” she said.
Mount Joy Borough Manager Mark Pugliese agrees.
“The market gives the residents an opportunity to come out and enjoy the event, the people and support the businesses,” Pugliese said. “We hope it’s a success and we are very supportive of this effort. Voyage is a private-sector initiative, but they have come to the borough and discussed their intent with us. Anytime we can promote a venture like this, I think everybody wins.”
Voyage Mount Joy’s website includes a bucket list of family friendly activities for residents and visitors to the town, in addition to local attractions, such as historical sites, restaurants, places to stay, cultural and civic centers, parks and trails for outdoor enthusiasts, shopping, fitness and recreation.
The borough’s ZIP code has become a T-shirt fundraising campaign of sorts. The shirts, with “#lifeinthe17552” printed on them, are used as promotional material that helps cover the costs of community events like The Market at Mount Joy and the Spring 5K & Fun Run.
Voyage Mount Joy, which currently doesn’t have a physical location, is funded by private individuals and local businesses. For more information, visit www.voyagemountjoy.com.