Homeless veterans from around Central Missouri received a warm cooked meal in the lower level of A Touch of Claas Salon in downtown Boonville Wednesday night. This is the second year a meal like this has been prepared before Christmas for the homeless veterans at the salon. Linda Claas, who owns A Touch of Claas, said she hopes the event will grow larger every year.
In cooperation with a veterans organization known as Welcome Home Inc. located in Columbia, Boonville residents and some Boonville businesses donated their time or money to make this occasion very special.
The Prayer Shaw Women made scarves for all the veterans attending. The scarves were included in a stocking made by local resident Wilma Bledsoe, which also included a gift certificate to Walmart.
The meal was prepared by Pam Fitzgerald of Trudy's Bistro located in the lower level of A Touch of Claas. Along with a meal, Bridget Bonecutter provided haircuts to the veterans; Sofia Slote provided massages and Brenda Hofstetter provided reflexology. Veteran John Brown provided music.
"We provided something very minor compared to what they did for us," Claas said.
William Steinmeyer joined the army in 1970 after growing up in St. Louis. This is Steinmeyer's second time to the event.
"This is lovely. All the guys look forward to it. People remember veterans now more than they did before," he said.
Busineses and people who donated their time and money included Alliant Bank, West Boonville Community Center, Joe and Linda Miller, Margaret Bruegging, Jamie Herrigon, Sonya Farris, Carolyn Koerner, Barbara Herder, Gary and Connie Blackmore, Gayle Klusemeyer, Pam and Jerry Heyman, Pat Humpfrey, Danny Kamerich, Nancy Brickner, Laura Mauzey, Judy Engleburg, Linda Claas and Kristopher Stotts.
"It took a village to pull this all together," Claas said.