Big fellows on big bikes can do big things if they have big hearts.
Members of The Presidents, a Phenix City motorcycle club, put that idea into words this time of the year and, for that, 200 hungry families are grateful.
George Bennett and friends roared into Wilson Apartments Tuesday morning. They were loaded down with 200 frozen turkeys that on Thanksgiving Day will be the centerpiece on tables that might have been bare.
"This is what we do," explained Bennett, a Phenix City firefighter for 23 years who is proud of his customized bike and proud of what he and friends do for people in need.
The Presidents are not alone. While the bikers were in the housing project, local businessmen Phillip Sasser and Gerald Riley were giving out sacks of food in a strip mall on University Avenue, joined by Congressman Sanford Bishop.
Standing in line in the parking lot were men and women in uniform, a sad reminder that even our soldiers sometimes need help.
It's that time of year around town and it's a good time. Hearts are open and so are pocketbooks. Organizations that
give all the time are helping out and so are folks who wait for the holidays to show their generosity.
I saw the bikers in Publix a few nights ago. I heard them before I met them for they were having way too much fun in the checkout line. Their buggies were stacked high with frozen fowl.
Antonio Carter, who normally works with hamburgers, is among the club's newest members. He introduced me to Bennett.
"This is the fifth year we've done this, and Tuesday morning we'll give away 200 turkeys," Bennett explained. "We go a different location every year, somewhere in Columbus or Phenix City.
Chubby Jackson, best remembered as a basketball star at Columbus State University, is one of their members. He owns a sports bar with a big freezer where the turkeys were stored until it was T-time.
At Christmas, the club will bring cheer to children's home, but on this holiday the 42 members are thankful they can put food on a few people's tables with the help of syndicated radio host Steve Harvey.
"Bikers have such a bad name and this is something we can do to overcome that reputation. We represent a wide spectrum of people. We have a lot of veterans and we even have a pastor," said Bennett, one of the club founders.
More than 75 people were waiting when the door opened Tuesday. Soon there were empty boxes where 20 minutes before there were turkeys. People walked away with a bag of bird and the bikers roared away with big smiles.
"God has been good to us," Bennett said. "We have to be good to the community."
-- Richard Hyatt is an independent correspondent. Reach him at email@example.com.