This year’s Goodfellows Club Christmas party will be very different in a lot of ways. Mainly the traditional party won’t take place. Instead, children will be given times when they can come to Owensboro Sportscenter and pick up presents and other items they would have received at the party.

But some things remain constant, even in this turbulent year. For starters, there’s the generosity of the community, who have made Goodfellows a part of the Christmas season for countless needy for over a century. There’s also the numerous volunteers who work every year, including this year, to bring together the toys and gifts for community children.

When families arrive to receive their gifts this year, they’ll be greeted by another Goodfellows tradition, city emergency responders will be on hand to help with the process, and to spread a little cheer.

“We’ll still have police and fire” present at the giveaway, said Bobby Grant, a firefighter with the Owensboro Fire Department and a member of the Goodfellows board.

Bob Clark, president of the Goodfellows board, said the annual Christmas party succeeds with the help of local law enforcement and fire department members, and said emergency responders have provided “multiple strong backs to unload the trucks” of gifts for the party.

Although this year’s event on December 19, won’t be a party, it will still be an opportunity for responders to do something they love — interacting with children and their families in a friendly, casual environment, where bonds can be formed.

“It allows us to put them in front of kids in a positive light, and be seen as something other than figures of authority,” Clark said. “This is going to be different, but there will still be interaction.

“There will be hundreds of kids driving through, and (responders) will still be interacting with the kids,” Clark said.

Grant said participating in Goodfellows events is important for him and other members of the fire department, and said he enjoys “just the opportunity to give back to the community, and the kids.

“We see a lot of those kids through the year” while visiting schools or even on calls for service, Grant said. “... We want to help in any capacity we can.”

The event will be distanced, and volunteers will wear masks and follow all safety guidelines. But, “we’ll still have the opportunity to help kids and families in need,” Grant said.

Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed to: Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, P.O. Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42302 or made online at www.goodfellowsclub ofowensboro.org/donate. Another link to donate online is https://app.mobilecause.com/form/3ebhXQ?vid=eoq13. Or, text RollCall to 41444.

Goodfellows Roll Call, December 6, 2020.

Previously reported … $26,098.14

In memory of deceased members of the Gene Frey, Sr. and Jack Feldpausch, Sr. families $500

In memory of Rob Meythaler $500

Ed and Evolyn Allen $250

In memory of Jack and Marybelle Darnell by Steve and Peggy Gardner $200

In memory of Lee A. Dew, and Edna and Joe Williams by Aloma Dew $150

In memory of Weldon Brumley, Roy,Evelyn, Bobby and Betty Howard by Wilma Brumley $100

In honor of Mr. Hal J. Johnson, a man of great generosity $100

William and Esther Jansing $100

In memory of Erma Lile $50

In memory of our parents, Rev. James C. and Opal Higdon, and William and Ailene Dixon by Tom and Judy Dixon $50

In honor of all our veterans and their families by Wilma Brumley $50

In memory of Curt Calhoun by Tom Calhoun $30

Total as of December 6, 2020 $28,178.14

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