Motorcycle club members came bearing gifts of stuffed animals, puzzles, infant mobiles, DVDs, arts and crafts supplies, electronic trivia games, remote control cars, and even some Harley-Davidson “Mighty Bike” replicas.
The contingent from the D.C. Eagles Motorcycle Club descended Tuesday on Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley with a load of toys guaranteed to make even the sickest of patients grin.
“We will be giving these things to patients and families throughout the year,” said Rebecca Krook, a certified child life specialist who said the delivery, which included a visit from Santa, was put to good use right away on the inpatient pediatric floor and in the hospital’s specialty clinics.
“Dozens of children, their siblings and families have already benefited already today and you should see their faces. They are thrilled,” Krook said. “This is our largest toy and activity donation made for children and their families each holiday season.”
Brad “Maverick” Cornelius, 36, of Appleton, coordinated the club’s 11th annual toy drive with an assist from several local businesses.
“Every year we have a toy drive party with a band and lots of food and people give cash or toy donations at the door,” he said. “The cash donations allow us to go out and buy specific things on the hospital’s wish list, such as infant toys this year, and toys for teenagers.”
Krook said she is impressed by the group’s organization, planning, and the “commitment and joy they have in watching children receive things. I can’t say enough the difference this makes, and every year it gets better.”
Cornelius said he expects to do this drive as long as possible.
“We do this every year because that’s what needs to be done, and just to put a little smile on the children’s faces and the parents’ faces,” he said. “No one likes to have a child in the hospital. It hurts when this time of the year is supposed to be a joyous time. This helps them forget where they are at when they are sitting on Santa’s lap and picking out toys.”