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Mike & Janie Parisi met when they were only teenagers in Harvester, MO. Each grew up not having much, but they knew they would grow up to be different than their humble beginnings. They raised three children and braved the startup of 5 businesses throughout their marriage. Mike & Janie don’t do anything half-heartedly – the Parisi family motto, ‘If it’s worth doing; it’s worth over-doing!’ It is a long-standing joke based on A LOT of truth.
They also take on their projects together – from raising children to starting businesses, to hunting, competitive shotgun shooting, dirt bike riding, off-road jeeping, beating cancer, charity work – you name it, they’ve conquered it – together. Now, more than 45 years since they first met, they’ve been married over 40 years, have 3 grown children, 9 grandchildren, and the perfect business endeavor!
The Parisi's first bought the property where The White Owl sat today in 1998. The property has always been an event venue of sorts – from fishing gatherings, swimming fun, annual 4th of July
celebrations, and even bluegrass concerts starring the band Mike & Janie played in. In 2004, their oldest son got engaged. He and his future bride asked to be married on the property, and Mike & Janie happily agreed. An enclosed pavilion was added near the dock, providing the perfect addition to the venue.
Since the addition of the pavilion, family & friends have held all sorts of events and gatherings – bridal showers, birthday parties, fish-fry parties, anniversary celebrations, receptions, fundraising events, and even wedding ceremonies. When their younger son and future daughter-in-law decided they wanted to be married on the property in 2013, a whole new journey began. The talents and tools of the 4 Parisi families and their network of friends led to a project that took on a life of its own to create a rustic outdoor feel. Everyone brought their resources, time, and energy to the table adding bathrooms, church pews, rustic décor, and too many personal touches to count!
The White Owl Name
Somewhere in the middle of preparing for the 2013 wedding, Mike & Janie realized they had a venue that could provide memorable events for so many others. The White Owl got its name from the snowy owl that has been spotted on the property – although extremely rare, these birds have been spotted migrating through the state of Missouri. White Owls are symbolic of maturing, developing, and evolving – what a perfect fit for an ever-evolving family and their developing event venue!