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Hundreds thankful for feast at Newhall Bicycle

Volunteers serve more than 450 free Thanksgiving meals

Posted: November 26, 2009 7:58 p.m.
Updated: November 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Bessy Hernandez, 4, of Newhall, wears a turkey-feather hat at the Thanksgiving feast presented free to all who attended the event hosted by Newhall Bicycle Company in Newhall on Saturday.

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Newhall Bicycle Company served more than 450 free Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday in an effort to give back to the community.

“I grew up in inner-city Chicago, and not to say this is the inner-city, but there are folks in need,” said Roger Hasper, 39, the shop’s owner.

Inspired by his faith and committed to giving back to the community, Hasper and his wife, Shannon Hasper began serving Thanksgiving meals five years ago. Attendance and participation at the meal continues to grow each year.

“This started with 42 people five years ago and this year we will serve more than 450,” Roger Hasper said.

The meals are served by more than 100 volunteers, who are mostly customers of the bicycle shop. The event was held in the shop's parking lot.

The downturn in the economy is one of the reasons people attend and gobble up turkey, ham and the cornucopia of deserts.

Shannon Hasper, 37 of Newhall, said the stark economic reality drove the couple to expand the meal to meet the needs of the community.

“The community has got to take care of the community,” she said.

Smiles and laughs bounced around the parking lot where the crowd dined. Daniel Carrasco, 26, of Newhall, captured the spirit of the day.  

“It’s amazing,” said Daniel Carrasco, 26 of Newhall. He sat down with his father, Daniel Carrasco, for their first free Thanksgiving dinner this year.

“I’m going to say thank you to him for this meal,” Daniel Carrasco said.

Daniel Carrasco noticed the increased number of people in attendance.

“There are way more people here than what I saw when I drove by last year,” he said through a translator.

Tables lined up with food and people soaking up holiday cheer and Southern California sunshine marked the event. However, the appearance of a unique dessert grabbed everyone’s attention.

A cake shaped and colored like a turkey was perched on the dessert table. Children gawked at the exotic bird that looked so good many didn’t want to slice off a piece.

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