Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 17, 2012

Brothers of the Wheel Highlands Chapter deliver smiles to children

By BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Families filled the large meeting room in the Princeton office of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Sunday afternoon as members of the Highlands Chapter, Brothers of the Wheel motorcycle club delivered smiles to 64 children as part of their 15-year tradition of service to the children.

“They do such a good job for our families,” a social worker said as men and women dressed in denim jackets with cut-off sleeves and “Brothers of the Wheel Highlands” lettered on their backs delivered pizza, chips, cookies and punch to families. One excited young lady ran up to the social worker and hugged her.

“That’s what makes it special,” she said. “When they come up and hug you.”

Doc, a long time member and one of the leaders of the Highlands Chapter, Brothers of the Wheel, said that the group has been working with the DHHR children’s Christmas party for 15 years, although several members have been working to help provide Christmas cheer to underprivileged children for 25 years.

“The folks at the Princeton Walmart let us come over and raise funds on two Saturdays,” Doc said. “We asked for donations, had a bake sale and several anonymous individuals gave us donations to help us out this year,” he said. “We want to thank everyone who helped make this possible.”

When Santa arrived, the excitement level in the room raised to a much higher level.

“Merry Christmas, Y’all,” Santa said, as he walked through the crowd of children, pausing to speak, shake hands with or hug some of the children who reached out for him. He thanked the children for the “love” they gave him as they hugged his neck, walked to a chair surrounded by large bags of wrapped gifts, and posed for photographs with all the children who wanted their photos taken.

Another of the social workers explained that in addition to the toys that went to the 64 children, the 33 families served on Sunday received a large box of food as well as footballs that were also donated for the party.

“He’s got his naughty and nice list, so be sure to be nice when you visit with Santa,” one mother said to her daughter just before she went to visit Santa. The little girl nodded her head, agreeing with her mother’s request.

“Have you been good?” Santa asked one young man before checking behind his ears to make sure they were clean. The young man passed Santa’s inspection and received a hug of approval. Most who attended would likely agree that there was a lot of love in the room Sunday afternoon.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com