Thanksgiving came early for Steve Bingham, Mike Hockersmith and a bunch of their buddies and it had nothing to do with sitting around a table and feasting.
They got to share their good fortune with dozens of people throughout Safford Saturday by delivering 20 turkey dinners to those who would most likely do without if not for the FFF Clubhouse.
Every year since 1999, members of the motorcycle enthusiasts club have been delivering turkey and the fixings to those less fortunate, said founder Steve Bingham. They spend a day shopping, stash the groceries in a trailer and then mount up on their motorcycles to drop the meals off en masse.
The Fun with Family and Friends club delivered meals to 18 families and to the Mountain View Terrace and Casa de Flores apartment complexes, said Mike Hockersmith, a club council member.
Those who benefitted were referred to the club by local churches and the Arizona Department of Economic Services, Hockersmith said. Last year they only received 12 referrals. He attributes the rise to people losing their jobs because of COVID-19.
“I love doing it, seeing people’s faces when we show up on our motorcycles and start handing out the dinners,” Hockersmith said. “The gratitude they give you when you do it, it’s just awesome.”
The mere thought of someone going without is just “unacceptable,” Hockersmith said.
Bingham and his wife started the FFF Clubhouse in 1998 because they wanted a family-friendly place where people could have a drink while their kids played safely nearby. They started the Turkey Run the following year.
Not only have they added more than 30 members to the original five, but they’ve also created a long list of other annual events. They have a Trunk or Treat event every Halloween, an annual Christmas Toy Run (Dec. 5 this year) and an annual Poker Run. They are also known to hold charity events.
This year they’ve also taken on Cowboy Christmas. On Nov. 27 and Nov. 28, kids can have their photo taken with Santa at the Graham County Fairgrounds for $5.
As for the Toy Run, for $10 and a toy, motorcyclists are invited to ride with club members to five destinations where they’ll play games before heading back to the clubhouse to eat. The toys brought to the event will be distributed to children before Christmas.
Whether its the Turkey Run or their other events, it’s all about helping people, Bingham said.
“People always say ‘Thank you very much. We love you. We appreciate it,'” Bingham said. “It’s a great feeling.”