Smiles spread across the faces of Jo and Floyd Engel when they are asked the question.

Smiles spread across the faces of Jo and Floyd Engel when they are asked the question.

Did they, more than three decades ago, ever think that Timothy Steakburgers would become the Eastern Jackson County icon that they are today?

“No, not at all,” Jo says of the largest annual fundraiser for Timothy Lutheran Church – the couple’s church since 1969 – in Blue Springs.

“I didn’t have any idea,” Floyd adds, “but it just kept on going.”

The retired Independence couple, married now for 49 years, are volunteering this weekend at Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival, where the well-known Timmy Burgers booth will be set up at 11th and Main streets.

The church is planning on preparing roughly 8,800 burgers at this year’s festival, which starts today and continues through Sunday.

Their shirts say it all: “Touching Tummies for Christ,” which is a play on the church’s mission, “Touching Lives for Christ.”

How did you get involved in volunteering with Timmy Burgers?
Jo: (The church) had a fellowship board that we were on, and in ’81, the church was approached to set a booth up at Blue Springs Fall Fun Fest – at that time, it was called Bushwhacker Days. So, since we were on the fellowship board, that’s how we were in on it.   

Do you have any fond memories of volunteering at Fall Fun Festival and the Timmy Burgers booth?
Jo: The church has grown so that we have gotten to know a lot of people. Right now, at Timothy, we have five services, so this is a great way to get to know your church family.

Floyd: They all kind of run together.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at Fall Fun Festival?
Jo: It’s our way of giving to the Lord. It’s a great outreach program. We have had several families who have joined Timothy due to the fact of seeing the 10-by-50 (foot) booth and there are 22 people each shift – to see that group of people working together and having a good time, it’s just been a great outreach for other people. Our order takers are very knowledgeable about the church and the different programs and activities.   

I understand the two of you also volunteer with IYAA in Independence – tell me about those efforts.
Jo: That started when our grandson was in the fifth grade (eight years ago), and he wanted a coach for his basketball team. My husband loves basketball, so he agreed to be a coach. We’ve gotten to know a lot of the kids and a lot of the board members for IYAA.

Floyd: We had an IYAA meeting (Wednesday) night – this time of year, we bounce from one to the other. (Laughs)

Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community and to volunteer your time?
Floyd: With IYAA, it’s just a way to help the kids. The festival is giving back to the Lord.