Members of the local W-2 Gold Wing Motorcycle Club braved a bone-chilling Arctic blast Saturday to collect new toys and cash to fulfill Christmas dreams for about 75 Ellis County children and to assist two local charities.

“We have collected almost $1,300 as of about 3 p.m. and you see the toys here,” said Sheri Sims, association president, pointing to a very large stack of toys on the front lawn of Citizens National Bank. “We also had the opportunity to help three families in Ellis County who were experiencing extreme circumstances.”

“Our club has about 60 members and we organized in 1991,” said Glennis Sims, noting the club has sponsored the toy drive for about 14 years.

We get lots of new toys for smaller children, but it’s the kids in the 12- to 14-year-old age range that tend to be forgotten,” Sims said, noting the club channels all of its support to children and agencies in Ellis County. “It really gives us a good feeling to be able to do this every year.”

On Saturday, a steady stream of passersby managed to slow down enough in the heavy traffic to hand new toys or envelopes of cash to the club members.

“We have a good time as a club,” Sims said, saying, “We meet every third Thursday at Ryan’s for dinner at 6:30 p.m. and we talk at 7 p.m.”

Club members welcome anyone who would like to join them.

“Whether you ride a Gold Wing, Harley or any other kind of motorcycle and want to ride with a group of fun-loving people, just come out to Ryan’s,” Sims said. “We love to take short runs to places like Stephenville and Palestine, but we have taken trips to Mena, Ark., and we are planning a run to Corpus Christi on May 6, where we’re going to actually get the privilege of riding onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier, USS Lexington and have lunch.”

For more information about the Gold Wing Club, log onto www.bunrunner.org or e-mail Dan Smith at dsmith@aircanopy.net.

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@waxahachiedailylight.com