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Harley group helps kids who lost mother


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Thanks to local group of Harley owners, the holidays became a little bit brighter for 6-year-old Dylan Collins and 8-year-old Travis Collins. The two boys lost their mother, 37-year-old Kimberly Collins, and their home on Old Mill Road to a house fire on Nov. 17.
The family told the boys they were just going over to grandpa’s house for dinner, and were pleasantly surprised when a long string of Harleys, led by one pulling a sleigh with the driver dressed as Santa, roared up to the house while the boys were in the front yard. They became even more excited when Santa starting handing them toy after toy from the sleigh with their names on them.
“This is pay off alone – to look over there and see a smile on their face. It’s probably been a while since they smiled,” said Savannah Chapter Harley Owners Group (HOGS) president Richard Kurazawa.
Kurazawa said HOGS does a toy drive every year for local kids in need and one family is chosen for a ride such as this. Last year, the group visited the family of Sgt. Michael Larson, who was killed a couple weeks prior to their visit.
The boys’ grandfather, Richard Bowers, said the visit had a big impact on the family. “HOGS is a great organization to help folks in the community like this. My son-in-law is now a single parent and is out of work right now, so this is going to help him tremendously. He’s had to sell just about everything he owns just to get by.”
The boys’ father, Dwayne Collins, said this is one more example of how this community has come together to help his family during this trying time.
“The outpouring of support from the community has been unbelievable,” Collins said. “I’ve been completely astonished – all my neighbors and people I don’t even know have offered to help us. People have come out of the woodwork and offered every kind of help imaginable.”
Collins said the family home was completely destroyed by the fire, and his homeowners insurance is paying his rent on a rental property for the moment. He said this holiday season will be a challenge without his late wife.
“Kimberly and I have been together 10 years, so this is going to be a tough Christmas,” he said.
Bowers said the loss of his daughter has deeply impacted the entire family.
“Travis, the 8-year-old, seems to be totally understanding as to what has happened – that his mom is in heaven,” Bowers said. “Dylan doesn’t fully understand that his mother is no longer here. We were over their house eating some grits and eggs the other day and he started hollering ‘mom, mom’ through the house. It brought everyone in that house to tears. We’re seeing a psychiatrist for group therapy. Our church, New Life Christian Center, and our neighbors have been very supportive which has helped us cope.”
“She had a big heart,” Lisa Bowers said of her late sister. “She put everyone else before herself. I miss her so much.”
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