Tom Barowsky

Mar 18, 2024 | Volunteer Spotlights

Tom “Doc” Barowsky first heard about Operation BBQ Relief in 2015 when he was competing in a Kansas City Barbeque Society competition in North Carolina., where he was then living.

“At the time I was running a one-physician practice and could not participate in deployments,” Doc said. “Once I retired from practice in 2017, I wanted to continue to serve those in need. Because of my love for all things barbecue and my desire to help those in need, OBR seemed like a perfect fit.”

Shortly after retirement, Doc moved to Colorado. However, when Hurricane Florence landed a blow to the East Coast in 2018, and Operation BBQ Relief asked for volunteers to help his former neighbors in Fayetteville and Wilmington, N.C., Doc answered the call to serve.

“I saw firsthand just how generous the volunteer community and its sponsors could be in providing for the victims of this weather tragedy. Over time and multiple deployments, I have basically found a second family,” Doc said. “We embrace the volunteer spirit and bond together to give to those in need while enjoying each other’s companionship and even some clowning around time.”

Since that first deployment to North Carolina, Doc has become an integral part of the Operation BBQ Relief family, currently serving as one of our regional directors. He inspires all who serve alongside him through his hard work and positive attitude, earning our 2021 Motivational Award and 2022 Road Warrior Award for his efforts. He also earned the President’s Volunteer Service Silver Award for volunteering 326 hours with us in 2022.

“I enjoy engaging with new volunteers and welcoming them into the OBR family. So when a new volunteer completes their tour and comes up to me and thanks me for making them feel welcome and appreciated during their deployment I know I have made a difference,” Doc said. “I know that volunteer will return and make a difference for another new volunteer.”

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Operation BBQ Relief relies solely on volunteers like you. Whether you are a competition BBQ team, caterer, restaurateur or simply an individual or group wanting to help when disaster strikes, we want you to be a part of this rewarding experience in helping people.