Writer's Ramblings

Elders Ride - A H.O.G. Chapter Tradition

Written by  April 30, 2004

The Easter Bunny has a group of helpers in Kansas City. They wear leather and ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Through the kindness of members of the American Heartland Kansas City H.O.G. Chapter, Easter arrived early at two area nursing homes on Sunday, March 28. Members of the chapter delivered Easter goodies to residents of the Regency Care Center in Independence, Missouri, and the Royal Terrace Care Center in Olathe, KS.

The tradition started in 1996 when former chapter director Dennis Scarff suggested a ride to the Royal Terrace where his mother Lois had been a resident since 1992. The event was a huge success and has been repeated every year since. This year another long-time H.O.G. member, Gary Mineo, requested that the ride be expanded to include the Regency Care center where his mother Lucy Lee has lived for the past four months. The chapter agreed that the addition of a few miles and many smiling faces to the event was a great idea.

The bags of goodies were provided by Gary and Sharolyn Mineo and Dennis and Wanda Scarff and were delivered in advance to the nursing homes to be distributed when the bikers arrived. Early that Sunday afternoon in cool conditions and under threatening skies, 20 motorcycles departed from Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Belton and headed for the Regency Care Center. Tiffany, age 11, was the youngest of the riders. According to her father Tom, she is always eager to hop aboard his Harley whenever her mom isn’t riding. A few members in cages joined the procession at the rear. Others met the riders at the nursing home and assisted in the delivery of the treats. In all, about 40 people participated. A few of the residents were a bit intimidated by this biker invasion at first, but they soon came to appreciate the kindness and genuine concern shown by the group.

After making sure everyone had received some attention, it was time to mount up and depart for Olathe. By this time, the weather had improved significantly. The chapter repeated its performance at the Royal Terrace where many of the residents have become accustomed to the annual visit and eagerly anticipate the event. The last stop on the tour was the Hillsdale Barbeque (part of the tradition) where the group appreciated the opportunity to enjoy some great food and fellowship.

By Stripe