Bobby Ray Self has been volunteering at the Goodfellows Club's annual Christmas party for children for decades. Like a lot of people who want to support Goodfellows, Self has a personal connection with the non-profit organization.
"When we were kids, we didn't have anything, and I used to go" to the party, Self said. "I remember one year, I was 4 or 5 years old, and I got a little drum" along with a bag of fruit and candy. "That was my Christmas."
That gift meant a lot to Self, and he wanted to "pay it forward" by being a party volunteer. But Self, who is a member of the American Legion Riders, is also big on providing new bicycles to children in need through organizations like the Salvation Army and Christmas Wish.
This year, Self and his fellow American Legion members provided 12 new bicycles to be given away at the Goodfellows Christmas party, which was held Saturday. A second donor, who asked by remain anonymous, donated 11 new bicycles to the party.
Barry Carden, president of the Goodfellows Club, said a few bicycles were first given away at last year's Christmas party as a way of building a little extra fun for the children. The club purchased those bicycles, but the word got out, and all the bicycles were donated this year.
Self said a bicycle can be an important part of a kid's life.
"I know what it's like when you get your first bike," Self said. As kids, "you lived on them."
"You see their faces light up when they get their first bicycle," Self said. Next year, the American Legion Riders are planning a "bike run," fundraiser to purchase even more bicycles for children in need.
Self said, when children receive help from Goodfellows, like he did, he hopes they'll become Goodfellows contributors as adults.
"Maybe they'll pay it forward," he said.
Even with this year's Christmas party behind us, Goodfellows will be working with students all through the school year. Every week, Goodfellows provides clothing, shoes, coats to kids who would otherwise do without, and even pays for needed dental care.
All contributions to Goodfellows go 100 percent to helping local school children.
Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed to or dropped off at the newspaper office, 1401 Frederica St. Owensboro, Ky, 42301. Donations can also be made online at goodfellowsclubofowensboro.org/contribute.
Goodfellows Roll Call, Dec. 23, 2019
Previously reported $101,916.56
Alexander & Co. CPAs PSC Soup Day for Kids $600
In memory of the Moonlite Bar-B-Q
Coffee Table Group: Jim Gant, Hank
Petrie, Bally Cashen, Delbert Murphy, Thirston Taylor, Bill Carneal, Dick Kreke, J.W. Sirvant, Crawford Deahl, Sherrill Johnson, Everett Thompson, Hank
McCain, Tommy Howard, Jerry
Blandford, Herman Mosley, Doug Carpenter, Roy Stopps, Hugh Hale,
Benny Bosley, Barry Spencer, Mike
Riney, L.K. Burcham, Ed Doc Funk,
Jim McDaniel, Tom Curtsinger, Roy
Emmick, and Roger Anderson $450
Anonymous … $300
In memory of Bill and Glennie Wright,
Bertha West, Ed Basinger, William G.
Dobbs, and Rachelle Dobbs Gills … $200
For a child, Merry Christmas … $100
Anonymous … $100
In loving memory of Bill and Kathleen
Rocco by Steve and Linda Rocco … $50
Gavin C. Roberts Ins. Agency, Inc. … $50
Larry and Mary Lou Nolan … $20
Total as of Dec. 23, 2019 … $103,786.56