• WHAT: Manteca Hall of Fame
• WHEN: Saturday, May 12
• WHERE: Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane
• COST: $45
• INDUCTEES: Joann Tilton, government; Carol Davis, at-large; Vern Gebhardt, athletics; John Cambra, art; Mike Dillman, special recognition; Mike Davis, health care; Dave Soeth, education; Les Thomas, community service; Frank Guinta, business; and Marty Harris, agriculture.
• TICKETS: Call the Boys & Club at 239-KIDS
Les Thomas is a patriot at heart.
Prior to sunset at his Powers Tract home the Korean War veteran salutes Old Glory before removing it from his porch where it flies every day.
And without fail for the past decade he has overseen the distribution and collection of the 2,400 flags as part of the Flags Over Manteca every time they are put out. And if an occasion comes up where part of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce flags are needed for a Memorial Day weekend observation or to welcome a hero home from war, Thomas steps up and makes sure everything goes without a hitch.
It is one of the reasons why Thomas is being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame on May 12 for community service. And it is also why the Manteca Chamber of Commerce is bestowing a Lifetime Achievement Award on him during their installation and awards dinner on June 15.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the chamber’s marquee community service endeavor. To note the milestone, the chamber is also presenting Distinguished Service Awards to those how made the flag project possible: Perez & Son, Monogram Magic, Knights of Columbus, Mountain Valley Express, Joe Pellegrino, and Luna Painting.
The chamber dinner takes place Friday, June 15, at Chez Shari. Tickets are $45 and are available by calling the chamber at 823-6121.
The dinner and induction ceremonies for the Hall of Fame take place Saturday, May 12, at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Tickets are $45 apiece and available at the Manteca Boys & Girls Club, 545 Alameda St., or by calling 239-KIDS.
Thomas also volunteers to assist with other chamber activities.
He is a past Grand Knight of the Manteca Knights of Columbus and is active in volunteer services with the elderly and handicapped through St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
Thomas retired from construction working as a carpenter and a supervisor. He worked on a variety of projects ranging from Hell’s Canyon Dam on the Snake River in Idaho to building highrises in San Francisco including the 52-story Bank of America building.
“It’s great to see them out there and knowing people appreciate what they stand for,” Thomas said in an interview earlier this year regarding Flags over Manteca. “Manteca is a patriotic town.... A lot of those people (who place and collect the flags) are there every time. It’s great camaraderie.