This story was updated at 1:50 p.m. to include information about the ticket raffle the News Tribune is holding.
There are many good Samaritans in the Mid-Missouri area who give in any way they can, going above and beyond to help strangers in need. The community nominated 15 of these unsung heroes, and now it's time to vote on who is Mid-Missouri's ultimate good Samaritan.
The News Tribune and Redemption Inside the Walls partnered to honor five people with the John G. Fisher Good Samaritan Award. The community will select who they think is most deserving of the award, and the News Tribune will select the other four individuals.
You can vote at newstribune.com/good-samaritan-award. Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
The five recipients will receive their awards at the Sept. 19 Redemption Inside the Walls concert and be featured in the News Tribune.
Even though only five nominees will receive this year's award, the News Tribune would like to congratulate all 15 nominees for their service and dedication to Mid-Missouri.
The News Tribune is also raffling off tickets to the Sept. 19 Redemption Inside the Walls concert. To enter the drawing, simply vote for who you think deserves the good samaritan award and opt-in for the News Tribune's morning newsletter. The News Tribune will select three ticket winners by 9 a.m. Monday. Each winner will receive two tickets to the concert.
Victor Bell understands the phrase "lead by example" and does just that as a coach and teacher at Helias Catholic High School, routinely leading hands-on student service opportunities, according to his nomination. During the spring semester, Bell volunteered to provide meals to students at East Elementary School, and he regularly coordinates efforts to assist families in need.
Billy and Janice Bonnot regularly volunteer with the Jefferson City Host Lions Club collecting eyeglasses and hearing aids; working child vision screenings in local schools; volunteering with the Samaritan Center to serve families in need and adopting families around Christmas; putting together Buddy Packs at the Missouri Food Bank; and ringing the bell for The Salvation Army, to name a few. As their nomination states, the Bonnots are a "vision in the community."
Connie Cashion operates From His House to Your House Free Store in Fulton, where everything is free and the store is run by volunteers and funded by donors, according to her nomination. After seeing a need in the community, Cashion used to collect donations and drive around the Mid-Missouri area before setting up her permanent location in Fulton.
Jody Delgado sends care packages to military service members from Mid-Missouri every month, going as far as to leave special treats and individualized touches in each package. Delgado has said this is her "mission" and will never turn away a service member wanting a little piece of home, according to her nomination.
Hannah Frevert is a well-known volunteer, working as a tutor with the Adult Basic Literacy Education program, helping the women's group P.E.O. raise money for women's education, serving on the Jefferson City Environmental Quality Commission and assisting as a judge with the Missouri State History Day. As her nomination states, she is a community leader who "leads and loves with her whole heart."
Nathan Hays, with Jefferson City Autoplex, goes above and beyond daily but particularly shined after the May 2019 tornado that struck Jefferson City and the surrounding area — raising and distributing funds to those in need, according to his nomination. Beyond that, he helps those in need by simply giving people gas money or replacing a car tire.
Ramona Huckstep, with the Missouri Municipal League, helps oversee the Zonta Club of Jefferson City's Z Club, teaching high school girls leadership skills through service projects, according to her nomination. She also regularly helps babysit children with the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, supports families receiving homes through Habitat for Humanity, and volunteers with the Zonta Club of Jefferson City's Yellow Rose luncheon.
Patsy Johnson is a founder and administrator with the Jefferson City Racial Equity Group who continues to lead the community with "hope, courage, wisdom and kindness," her nomination states. Johnson is known for volunteering in the community, including serving on the Jefferson City Commission for Human Relations and shedding light on issues in the Mid-Missouri area.
Kyle Kittrell travels the country to build houses for Habitat for Humanity families, but when the time came for River City Habitat for Humanity to respond to the May 2019 tornado, he was right here in Jefferson City to oversee the Road to Recovery builds, his nomination states. Kittrell also serves on the Transformational Housing board and is active in his church.
Bernadine Peck didn't have children, but that doesn't stop her from making all of her friends and even strangers feel like family, her nomination states. She goes out of her way to help those in need, including going to a nursing home to read the Bible with residents and pray with those who want a prayer.
John Schulte, with the American Red Cross of Central and Northern Missouri, leads the organization's Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, helping install more than 450 free smoke alarms in nearly 300 homes this past year, according to his nomination. He regularly works an overnight shift to help dispatch volunteers to home fires in the chapter's 27-county area, and he even goes beyond that by regularly meeting with those who had house fires to provide comfort or resources.
Mark Schulte, with George Schulte & Sons Exc. Inc., was stopped at the intersection of Missouri 179 and Industrial Drive when he saw the chains holding down large steel beams on a semi-truck snap. Schulte quickly flagged the driver and the vehicle following the semi and assisted both in securing the beams before anyone was injured, his nomination states.
Elmer Tyree would give everything he has to help someone out but never asks for anything in return, even when he doesn't have much to give, according to his nomination. He has been a deacon at a small family church for more than 50 years and goes above and beyond not only for his family but for strangers in need.
Rosalyn Wieberg, a former teacher in the Blair Oaks School District, is a regular volunteer in the classrooms, using her experiences to help teachers prepare materials. She also volunteers to manage special events in the buildings and never expects acknowledgement or praise for her actions, even though she is one of the first to give it out to others, her nomination states.
Annie Willis is an attorney who helps people with legal issues concerning children through the Samaritan Center's Legal Care Center. As her nomination states, Willis performs these services out of compassion, not to seek recognition, and many are unaware of the impact Willis has left on the Mid-Missouri area.