Colorful consumed Disney characters roamed the floor, delighting the hundreds of children who had their pictures taken with them and collected their autographs. Filling the costumes were members of the Rose Curtain Players drama troupe from Owensboro High School.
Rollicking music filled the old arena, while tables filled with toys caught the attention of the young guests of honor.
Of course, Santa Claus was in the house, arriving on a big yellow motorcycle soon after the party began. But before the jolly old elf made his appearance, Captain America descended from the ceiling on a rope amid squeals of delighted surprise.
Several soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell helped the children celebrate. “It’s amazing and such a great thing to do,” Private K’Rone Mack of Peoria, Illinois, said. “Growing up, I never saw anything like this.”
Scores of volunteers, including Owensboro Police Department and Owensboro Fire Department personnel, helped everything go smoothly.
Kara Mattingly came to the party with her children, Amelia, 2, and Amaya, 6. “They are enjoying it and having a good time,” Mattingly said. “It’s nice to go out in the community and enjoy a free event. Amaya is having a good time running around in a safe environment.”
Madison Lundgren attended her first Goodfellows Christmas party with her son Andrais, 5, her sister and two of her nieces. Andrais was busy getting his picture taken with superheroes. “They’ve been excited since last night when we told them we were coming,” Lundgren said.
Ryan Wilson came to the Sportscenter with his girlfriend and her two children, ages 2 and 5, who patiently waited in line for their turn to go down a giant inflatable slide.
“As long as they like it, I like it,” Wilson said. “Anything fun for them is fun for me. I think they just love being in a big crowd and seeing Santa Claus. They love it all.”
Volunteer Paul Nave, director of the Owensboro-Daviess County 911 dispatch center, handed out toy police cars and fire trucks, both of which proved very popular with the youngsters.
“They are excited, you can see their eyes light up when they see the toys,” Nave said. “This is amazing. I’m just glad we have an organization that really cares about kids. It would be so disheartening if a child didn’t receive a gift for Christmas.”
Sally Wood, a longtime Goodfellows board member after taking her late father John Hager’s seat on the board years ago, said her father and his brother, the late Larry Hager, were both greatly missed. Larry Hager attended the 100th Christmas party a year ago. He died at the age of 93 in November.
“It’s not just a Hager institution anymore,” Wood said. “We have a great cross-section of people on our board. It’s very rewarding. I hope we can bring Christmas joy and clothing to children in need for another 100 years.”
The Ann Sabetta Award for service to Goodfellows was given to Janie Walther.
Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed to: Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, P.O. Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42303. Donations can also be dropped off at the Messenger-Inquirer office at 1401 Frederica St. People can contribute online, at goodfellowsclubofowensboro.org/contribute.
Goodfellows Roll Call, December 18, 2016
Previously reported … $58,342.55
Owensboro Public Schools Central Office, Transportation and Maintenance … $1,817.95
In honor of T.J. and Danielle Crume, Barry and Laura Crume, and Mimi and Rich Sterling … $300
In loving memory of Tommie and J.R. Miller, Jane and John L. Kirkpatrick, and Mabeth Kirkpatrick by Paddy and Jim Miller … $250
In memory of Melissa Baber by the staff of Hager Preschool … $230
In honor of Drs. Angela Jarvis, David Johnson, Patrick Gipe, Matheis Carrico, Ramez Salamah, Tammy Norcia, PA-C, Leslie Phelps, APRN, and Annie Wilson, APRN by employees of Bluegrass Internal Medicine, Theresa Bartlett, Leta Blanton, Elizabeth Burch, Leigh Ann Clark, Kandie Crowe, Natalie Davis, Janice Eaton, Cindy Estes, Kathy Gordon, Krista Hundley, Jenny Johnson, Laura Kelley, Rachel Latanzio, Bradley Mattingly, Debra Mattingly, Sandra Morales-Troxle, LeAnn Moss, Nancy Niles, Jackie Osowicz, Karen Pruden, Matt Rhodes, Shannon Simpson, Samantha Kaai, Judy Towery, Maddie Wilson, Alyssa Roby, and Dee Dee Kamuf … $200
In memory of Dr. H.C., Deloris, and Glenn Deyton … $175
In memory of Kenny, Frankie, and Gary Harris … $175
In honor of Larry Hager by Jeff and Betty Taylor … $150
Kentucky Wesleyan College faculty and staff … $131
In memory of Dr. Charles E. Parks by Dorothy C. Parks, and sons Charles E., Jr. and David L. Parks … $100
In memory of Larry Hager, Marjorie Hager, and John Hager by Mike and Lisa Sullivan … $100
In honor of Evolyn Allen, Peggi Clark, Dot Ford, Jean Fruge, and Gwen Shelton … $100
In memory of Mom, Dad, Randall, and Darrell … $100
In memory of Freeman and Cora Timbrook, and Harold and Pauline Grady, and loved ones passed on … $100
In memory of deceased members of the Beacon Class of First Baptist Church … $100
In memory of Miriam and Elton Rouse, and Bob and Willma Sweat by Mark, Susan, Hadley, and Erin Rouse … $100
In honor of our children by Charles and Wanda Keown … $50
In loving memory of my spouse, Glynn Hazelwood by Jo Ann Hazelwood … $25
Anonymous … $15
Total as of December 18, 2016 .. $62,561.50