Biker club hosts annual turkey lunch at senior center

Lowell Shearin prays prior to enjoying the annual Thanksgiving dinner put on by the Top Hatters. Photo by Nick Lovejoy

Local seniors got a taste of Thanksgiving early Tuesday at the annual Senior Thanksgiving Lunch at the Hollister Community Center.
For the last 16 or 17 years, the Top Hatters Motorcycle Club has co-sponsored the annual event, one of the five major community events the organization takes part in every year.
“We’re a community-based organization, and we enjoy doing this every year as a recognition to the seniors in our community,” said Cesar Flores, who is the Top Hatters chairman of the board, from the event. “We know a lot of these folks, and it really hits home when we get to see them enjoy their time.”
Seniors were feted with a traditional Thanksgiving meal that was sponsored by Jovenes De Antaño. Dozens of volunteers arrive at the Community Center several hours before the event to help with cooking, setup and takedown. The Top Hatters provided 80 turkeys this year for seniors to take home.
This year’s event had a different twist with an Elvis impersonator—sponsored by Caremore—providing entertainment before the meal was served.
Becky Lopez, who has attended the Senior Thanksgiving Lunch for the last 15 or 16 years, said the Elvis impersonator was a big hit.
“We loved it,” said the 84-year-old Lopez, who was sitting at a table with her sister. “The Elvis impersonator tickled our hearts. I think everyone here got thrills today.”
Seniors come to mingle, see familiar faces and interact with the Top Hatters.
“They really do a darn good job,” Lopez said. “They go out real hard to get funds to get the turkeys. All of the volunteers work hard to prepare a great meal—the food is good.”
Flores said the Top Hatters focus on community volunteerism and riding. Along with the Thanksgiving Senior Lunch, the Top Hatters’ other major community events include the Bike Blessing, Independence Rally Poker Run, Halloween Party and the Canned Food Drive.
“The people who come into our club are community oriented,” he said. “We don’t want a bunch of crazy people out there—we’ve got plenty of those already. We want to make sure no one gives us a bad name. We want harmony—that’s what we’re shooting for in everything we do.”

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