Biker bar becomes hometown hero to families in need

- When you think of Santa's sleigh, you may not picture a red truck or a motorcycle.

But there are some tender hearts behind these tough rides.

Larry Johnston is the owner of Thunder Tavern, a biker bar in New Port Richey, that serves more than drinks.

"One of the things that we wanted to do was to be the liaison between the community and the biker community which a lot of people don't realize how much the bikers do for the community", said Johnston.

Thunder Tavern has aligned themselves with several charities serving Pasco County, including Metropolitan Ministries.

"There was a time in my life when i had to use it for my kids and that face when they get that toy or get that bike or whatever it is that we would have never gotten without Metropolitan Ministries and now i'm glad i'm in the position to be the one to give it", said Connie Kerr of Thunder Tavern.

"A lot of my customers, especially single moms, used Metropolitan Ministries sometimes when they didn't have money for food or between jobs or laid off", said Johnston.

Along with food items for families, Thunder Tavern came up with "Thunder Teens", collecting Christmas gifts for teenagers. It's a big need during the holiday season for Metropolitan Ministries.

"A lot of people give the stuffed animals or small toys but they don't really cater or think about the teenagers they're sort of the forgotten years", said Johnston.

And gift items don't have to be high priced.

"Whether it be hygiene products, skateboards, basketballs, footballs things like that", said Johnston.

In 2015, Metropolitan Ministries honored the business with the Ambassador Outreach Award for their community service.

Johnson wouldn't call himself a hero, but when help is needed, the thunder rolls.

"It's one of the things that anybody that is able to do should do", said Johnston.

To find out how to help Metropolitan Ministries, go to metromin.org

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