Good Samaritans thanked

Debbie and Jim Schwarzer grab some barbecue Thursday as the Samaritan Center celebrated 25 years by treating around 300 volunteers to Lutz’s BBQ at the Capital Events Center.

Debbie and Jim Schwarzer grab some barbecue Thursday as the Samaritan Center celebrated 25 years by treating around 300 volunteers to Lutz’s BBQ at the Capital Events Center. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

In its 25th year of operation, the Jefferson City Samaritan Center is reflecting on what it considers the heart of its operation — the volunteers.

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“We’re here as staff to make sure the doors are open and keep the lights on, but the volunteers are the ones who do the heavy lifting,” said Ben DeFeo, the center’s operations manager. “They do the majority of work hours here, whether it’s data entry, stocking the pantry, stocking the warehouse, doing carry-out or organizing the clothing room.”

On Thursday evening, the center held an event for its volunteers featuring Lutz’s Famous BBQ at the Capital Events Center, the former Great Central Lumber building. The event was funded not through the Samaritan Center’s budget, but through private donations.

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