When one thinks of biker clubs, words like family, worship and charity aren't usually what springs to mind.
But that might be because you haven't met the Milford chapter of the Law Dogs, a biker club made up of police officers, firefighters, correction officers, veterans and local businessmen.
"We're all about enjoying each other's company and supporting our community," Jerry Howard, the president of the Milford Law Dogs, explained during the organization's annual Christmas party at Carlisle Fire Company.
In addition to good eats, the Christmas party also serves as a collection point for the Law Dogs' annual Toys For Tots donation.
"All the toys will go to local families in the Milford, Milton and Harrington areas," Howard said. "We also deliver boxes of food to ensure these families have a good meal on Christmas."
A retired Milford police officer and an ordained minister, Howard is now the department's official chaplain and a pastor at the Last Call Worship Center on South Washington Street.
A member of the Law Dogs organization for nine years, Howard and a few friends founded the Milford chapter in 2007. Today, the group has 48 active members
"Most of the members are people I've known just about my entire life," Howard said. "We have fathers and sons, as well as wives and children. We call the kids our Law Dog Pups and they attend all the functions with the adults because we don't believe in keeping them separate. They should be there with us."
Howard said the current membership includes five registered nurses, school teachers, the owner of the Shore Stop in Milton and founding member Alan Mitchell, the owner of Jor-Lin Tour and Charter in Milford.
"I love the family atmosphere and how the Law Dogs are always getting together to help the less fortunate," said member Heather Howard, an educational diagnostician in the Appoquinimink School District. "We go on rides to support Camp Barnes or the Polar Bear Plunge or to help Special Olympics. It's just good people who love their bikes."
Milford Economic Development Director Steve Masten, who recently attended a Law Dogs event, said the group is breaking preconceived notions of what a charitable organization can be.
"Just because you ride a motorcycle and wear leathers doesn't mean you're a bad guy," he said. "These people are part of the fiber here in Milford."