With nicknames like "Bloody," "Stormy," "Jerzey" and "Bomb-Chelle," the women behind the Bomber Girls, LRC (ladies riding club) are more American Gladiators than American Gothic.
Then again, members of this all-female motorcycle organization are into upending conventions - in the best way possible. The many-tattooed cadre also runs a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to support U.S. military personnel and their families.
Key Bomber Girl activities include marching in the Savannah Veterans Day Parade, organizing an Armed Forces Day Poker Run, selling fundraising patches, T-shirts and pin-up calendars, and an ever-popular annual cookie drive.
On Jan. 28, everyone in the Lowcountry community is welcome to join the "cookie monster" madness, as the Bomber Girls collect and pack hundreds of flat-rate boxes of home-baked goodness.
Beginning at 7 p.m. at the Savannah Wingmen Clubhouse, makers of sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, snickerdoodles and gingersnaps can show off their skills and show their support for deployed troops, just in time for Valentine's Day.
The event's rhyming tagline, "Fire up your ovens to send the troops some lovin'," perfectly captures the Bomber Girls' joie de vivre and vivacious support for U.S. soldiers.
Last year, more than 3,700 dozen cookies were shipped - a record the Bomber Girls plan to break this year.
From "merely" 600 pastry confections, the cookie drive has expanded exponentially since the founding of the riding club in 2007.
"We couldn't afford to send each friend packages, so we figured out a way to raise money to help us support them," Cindy Hanshaw, current president and founding member, said of their various fundraising initiatives. "We've grown immensely since then, and most service members on our list now are people we don't know."
Of course, with greater outreach comes greater challenges.
"The funniest is probably figuring out that we need to determine which are male and female according to their names," Hanshaw said. "We've sent feminine products to male soldiers ... lots of feminine products. Then, there was the time we sent movies, candy and popcorn to our K-9 soldiers. The next year, we made sure to send doggy treats, and movies such as 'Old Yeller' and 'Benji.'"
The Bomber Girls describe themselves as "patriotic, passionate and harmlessly eccentric."
They emphasize that supporting the military is a year-round gig. Their primary message, whether sending cookies by airmail or welcoming returning troops at the airport, is to let soldiers know that "there are people at home in the U.S. that care about each and every one of them."
People interested in helping the Bomber Girls help the troops may donate resources or volunteer.
Or if you're just interested in rubber-necking to see what nearly 45,000 cookies looks like, odds are the Bomber Girls' unique brand of fun will get you packing (cookies) in no time.