Ribs for Responders

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COLUMBIA - Local firefighters, law enforcement and EMTs were treated to a free holiday meal on Saturday.

Como Smoke and Fire delivered 150 racks to 31 different locations.

Patrick Hawkins, head grillmaster, said the purpose of the event was to show appreciation for all the first responders do for the community.

"It's something to say thank you for all the hardwork they put in to protect us," Hawkins said. "They have to work during the holidays when we get to be off with our families."

The show of appreciation started out as an accident.

"One of our food purveyors gave us the wrong ribs and we couldn't sell them in the restaurant so were like let's just donate them to our first responders," Hawkins said. "So we hit a couple of the fire stations, a couple of the police stations, joint communications, and a couple of the hospitals.

Each year the holiday gift gets bigger and bigger. The first year the barbeque joint delivered 30 racks of ribs to three locations.

Hawkins said the goal this year was to feed all first responders in Boone County and he was happy they accomplished it.