Salvation Army hosts 'Harvest Ball' to thank volunteers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Salvation Army hosts 'Harvest Ball' to thank volunteers

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Music, costumes, and even a surprise appearance by the Wausau Fire Department, had one group smiling ear to ear.

"I've been dancing all day," said Salvation Army volunteer Justin Benzinger.

More than 150 people showed up to the Harvest Ball at the Salvation Army in Wausau Thursday.

It's an event to honor developmentally disabled volunteers from programs at North Central Health Care.

"The volunteers make such a big difference in our community, they're helping out with their own community giving back what they're volunteering through us," said Lt. Jacob Tripp of the Salvation Army.

Giving back at places around Wausau, including the Salvation Army.

"They come and learn different skills with cleaning around the building, some of them help with the food prep getting stuff ready for our lunch program," said Tripp.

Several have spent hundreds of hours here giving their time every single day.

"I love it," said Salvation Army volunteer, Samantha Yirkovsky.

"I help people," said Benzinger.

Benzinger has volunteered 400 hours so far. He says his efforts to help the Salvation Army helped him land a job at Little Caesars Pizza in Schofield.

"I do the dishes," said Benzinger.

That's what the program at North Central Health Care is all about.  

"It's meant to provide both social integration vocational skills and to get our participants actively involved in the community and become valid members, active and growing," said Toni Kellner, North Central Health Care's Director of Adult Day and Prevocational Services.

Their hard work and efforts brought them all together to celebrate.

"Everyone has value no matter what their disability is and this gives the chance for our community to see that," said Kellner.

And a chance for Salvation Army leaders to say thanks, so all those hours don't go unnoticed.

North Central Health Care leaders say they started this program about a year ago. They say since then, two of its members now have jobs in the community.

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