Group delivers free Boston butts to residents’ homes

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – In the predawn hours of March 27, Dale Lucas kept a close watch on a batch of Boston butts as they cooked.

He wanted to make sure they turned out well for the people who would receive them that afternoon.

Lucas and a group of volunteers cooked, packaged and delivered 44 Boston butts to elderly and immunocompromised residents in the Columbiana, Shelby and Wilsonville communities, free of charge.

It was a goodwill gesture Lucas spearheaded to help people in the high-risk category during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lucas shared his plans in the Columbiana Cares Help Exchange group on Facebook, gathering names for the recipient list and collecting donations to purchase the meat from Piggly Wiggly in Columbiana.

Donations totaled $1,300, covering all expenses and leaving about $750 left to put toward another giveaway or charitable cause, Lucas said.

Lucas, who serves as Columbiana’s director of environmental services, worked alongside Director of Streets and Maintenance Allen Reynolds, Johnny Reb Padgett, J.R. Padgett, Ben King and many other volunteers to cook and prepare the Boston butts for delivery from 12-6 p.m. on March 27.

“We’re just a group of people trying to help out,” Lucas said, and added the whole process went smoothly—even the cooking portion that required him and others to work through the night. “It went really well. I think everybody had a good time doing it.”

Other donors included South Shelby Lodge #140, Dana Carden McLain, Susan Conn, George Kenderdine, Ouida Mayfield, Stancil Handley, George Bentley with Rux Carter Insurance, Greg Rushton, Daryl Davis with Big Poppa’s Truck & Equipment, Derrick Davis with Davis Auto & Equipment and Heavy Haul Specialized Logistics.

Lucas said the group might hold another Boston butt giveaway, depending on how the COVID-19 situation progresses.

“We’re going to see how this plays out the next couple of weeks and see if it ramps up,” Lucas said. “If we don’t do it again, we’re going to get with a local charity or church and go purchase a needy family some groceries.”