Dozens of city employees gathered for a luncheon in their honor Friday, capping off Public Service Recognition Week in Jefferson City.
City Hall and the municipal court closed their doors for the event, which was initially planned for Ellis-Porter Riverside Park. With the possibility of rain creeping over the Capital City, the meal was instead moved indoors at the Police Department, but the roof over their heads wasn't enough to dim the enthusiasm of the volunteers and those dining at the tables.
"It's always nice to get out and spend time with employees. You know, we're always in different divisions, different places, so it's nice to see co-workers," said Becky Lee, a human resources specialist with the city. "I started helping with that the first year was 2016. So it was to several different employees that we had an employee involvement committee that helps do these events."
Public Service Recognition Week is a federally recognized opportunity to honor public servants, Lee said. Celebrations are held yearly across the country, and in the Capital City they typically include several offerings for employees.
"We weren't here for the holiday Monday, but we've done something every day since," Director of Human Resources Gail Strope said. "Tuesday we delivered donuts to all the workplaces, and then Wednesday and Thursday, we did what we call 24-hour drawings."
Employees won several items through those random drawings, including gift cards, rounds of golf at Oak Hills Golf Center, and tickets to the swimming pool and ice arena. She said many of the prizes were donations from local businesses.
Fire Chief Matt Schofield was working to stack tin-foil-wrapped hot dogs on a table alongside Strope and Lee, chatting with other officials and employees as they enjoyed the luncheon. He said the week presented a prime opportunity to thank those who work hard for residents every day.
"I think any time we can take a moment or two to show some appreciation for hard work, it's great," he said. "We get to acknowledge those who contribute so much to the quality of life in the community."