The Rod Cramer Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies volunteerism and is recognized for their outstanding contributions to Operation BBQ Relief. Rod Cramer was one of the nicest guys in competition BBQ. He was always so positive and everyone’s biggest cheerleader. Rod was one of the first volunteers to arrive in Joplin nearly 10 years ago, and through Rod, we got our first corporate gift after becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity.
Rod stayed engaged up to the very end when he lost his battle to leukemia. This award was named after Rod because of the heart, work ethic, friendship, and respect he embodied. These are key traits of our volunteer of the year!
This year’s recipient actually earned the award largely by not being in the spotlight.
Rob Lee is one of the most humble volunteers to grace Operation BBQ Relief. So many of his efforts take place behind the scenes. You’ll find him on deployments moving inventory around, working on food prep, and countless other activities, but for all the efforts people see, there is unseen work ten-fold. He’s racked up thousands of miles driving OBR equipment. Throughout the height of Covid-19, he was instrumental in transporting food to Operation Restaurant Relief restaurants so they could produce meals to feed in communities hit hardest during the shutdowns. In a year where Operation BBQ Relief produced over five million meals, the truck driver is the real unsung hero.