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RACINE — Phyllis Acker, a lead registered nurse at the Ascension All Saints Hospital Pediatrics Department, used to greet the area Harley Owners Group every year at about this time. They’d show up with a large delivery of toys for hospitalized children which the nurses would distribute for many months.

Then, the southeastern Wisconsin HOG chapter disbanded and reformed as the Racine County HOG Chapter. Continuity of the event was broken.

But Sunday morning, that changed with the arrival of local HOG chapter members including Santa Claus — aka Dirty Goffe — and many bags and boxes of new books and toys (West Ridge I.B. World School donated the books).

The HOG group didn’t just bring toys and books; it’s also donating money that will help carry the Pediatrics nurses beyond what was in the bags and boxes.

“(Tuesday) we will bring you a check for $535, total,” said Rich Zmijewski.

Much of the money, he explained, was raised at the Racine House of Harley-Davidson’s second-anniversary party Saturday night. “We did a lot of beggin’ and a lot of askin’, and people pulled out money,” Zmijewski said. “It went well.”

People also donated toys in addition to the monetary donations, he noted.

Acker reached out to Lynn Zmijewski of the HOG group to rev up the annual toy run. The toys, she told the group members Sunday, “go to make a lot of smiles on a lot of kids. And we’d like to thank you for that.”

Acker added: “You would not believe how well Barbies and Hot Wheels do for a child.”

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Michael "Mick" Burke covers business and the Village of Sturtevant. He is the proud father of two daughters and owner of a fantastic, although rug-chewing, German shepherd dog.

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