Angel Welsh still remembers the coat she received from the Goodfellows Club of Owensboro when she was an eighth-grader.

The hooded coat had a mostly red, tribal print with sparks of green, navy blue and yellow.

“I loved it,” she said. “If I could still fit it, I’d wear it; it was so stylish.”

Like her, thousands of children have had warmer winters with coats from the Goodfellows Club. Since it was founded in 1916, the nonprofit organization has provided underserved children with clothes, coats, shoes and dental care throughout the year, and with a Christmas party and toys during the holiday season.

And like many of those children, who are now adults, Welsh has had opportunities to pay it forward.

“I’ve had the pleasure and blessing to be part of organizations that give back to the community,” she said, through working previously at Owensboro Parks and Recreation, as a family resource coordinator at Burns Middle School for four years — a position in which she referred students to the Goodfellows Club — and now as a morning show personality at WBKR-FM, which participates in Christmas Wish and various other charitable efforts.

The Goodfellows Club is among the most cherished organizations in the city, she said.

“It’s of the utmost importance because they’re not just clothing kids in a coat or literal piece of clothing,” she said. “They’re clothing them in confidence, self-esteem, blessings.

“(At Burns), I loved to see the transformation of a child going from shrugged shoulders to feeling like they fit right in with everyone else,” she said.

“You can tell a child to be happy and confident, but sometimes parents fall on hard times and the Goodfellows Club comes alongside them and helps restore that feeling.”

Welsh describes her mother, Jean Ballard, as a humble woman who didn’t like to ask for assistance. She worked three jobs to take care of her only child.

When Ballard died in 2008, Welsh found that coat in her mother’s home as she was cleaning it out.

“I was 14 in eighth grade and 28 when my mom passed away, so she saved that coat for years,” Welsh said. “That was a symbol, to me, of how much it meant to her. She always told me, ‘When you get older, don’t expect things to be given to you, but when you’re able to, you give to others’.”

Now with their own five children, Welsh and her husband aim to keep her mother’s advice alive.

“We instill in them the importance of service and giving,” she said. “We explain to them how blessed they are and that they have to share their blessings.”

Donations can be made by mailing to Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42302; by bringing contributions to the newspaper office at 1401 Frederica St.; or online at

Goodfellows Roll Call, Dec. 21, 2016

Previously reported … $71,268.75

Southern Star Central Gas

Pipeline and its employees

Soup Day for Kids…

Anonymous cash donations… $2,470

In memory of Virginia Glahn,

Father Jerry Glahn, and Father

Carl Glahn by Carl and Tammy

Glahn … $200

Total for Southern Star Central

Gas Pipeline and its employees

Soup Day for Kids … $2,670

Sazerac Company, Inc. … $1,500

Sadie Hawkins votes, Apollo

High School … $957.19

From the Caring Hearts staff of

Burns Elementary School … $812

In honor of Yvonne and Thomas

Emmick by Gary and Lisa

Emmick … $595

In loving memory of our fathers,

Thomas Roger Humphrey and

Joseph H. Kotheimer, Jr. … $500

In memory of my beloved

husband, James F. McCarroll

who passed away, July 29, 2016

by Anita McCarroll … $500

In memory of Reilly Decker by

Newton Parrish Elementary

School … $447.41

In memory of Roy and in

honor of Jean Stone by Dick

and Tina Temple … $300

Anonymous … $300

Steve and Sarah Ford … $250

The Pearl Club Ladies Golf

Association … $250

In memory of Rachel Atherton,

and Mary Lydia Greenwell by

After 5 Homemakers … $170

Famous Bistro staff … $128

In memory of our parents,

Spurgeon and Hazel Jones by

Carole Storm, Linda Emberton,

Jenny Sparks, Spurgeon

Jones, Jr., Debbie Ambs, and

Cyndi Storm … $120

In loving memory of Tracy

Hermann and Rod Tuley who

passed this year, and all our

deceased family members,

always in our hearts by Gerry

and Cami Frey … $100

Green River Chapter Kentucky

Public Retirees … $100

Don and Mary Jane Blandford … $100

In memory of our parents, LeRoy

and Mary Hayden, and Henry

and Lillian Ralph by Don and

Carol Ralph … $100

DCHS Class of 1957 Gals … $100

In loving memory of Allen

McKelvey and Sandy Andersen

by Dan and Karen Andersen … $100

In memory of James and Jean

Kizer … $100

In memory of Charles

Moorman … $100

In memory of C.W. and Reba

Bartlett … $100

In memory of Matt Ross by Mike

and Mary Pat Gray… $100

In memory of Roy and Evelyn

Howard, Bobby and Betty

Howard, William and Marcella

Niceley, and Madeline Nicely

by Robert and Sarah

Howard … $100

In memory of Luther and

Myrtle Mercer … $100

In honor of grandchildren,

great-grandchildren, and

friends by Nancy Barker … $100

In memory of Walter and

Elizabeth Fantini and Carl

and Roberta Sanders … $100

In memory of Ola Mae and

Jack Calhoun by Tom and

Jackie Maddox … $100

For the children, from the

children of Team Pioneer,

Owensboro Middle School

North … $58.04

In honor of our Administrators,

Cheri Smith, Kevin Thompson,

and Alisha Ferry by the

Pioneer teachers … $55

In honor of Fay Thomas for all

you do! by Mary Rutledge and

Linda Straw … $50

Mr. and Mrs. James O’Bryan … $50

In memory of Nikolas Jaynes,

Benita Brown, Sandra Watkins,

Mary Ashworth, and all the ones

we’ve loved and lost by Jerry and

Jan Manaway … $50

In loving memory of Joni and

Fred Wetzel by Jo Wetzel … $50

In honor of Jake and Mary Helen

Valdez … $50

In honor of Paul and Lisa Heady

by Crystal Heady … $50

In loving memory of our fathers,

Robert D. McRoy and Gerald

McCarty … $50

In memory of deceased

members of the Berry,

Craycroft, Meister, and Mills

families … $50

In memory of Gene and Helen

Davis by Jean Iles and Steve … $50

In memory of Dr. Charles O’Neal

and in honor of Anette O’Neal

by Steve and Jean … $50

In memory of Paul, Denise, and

Maxine Carrico … $40

In memory of Thomas and

Dorothy Mattingly … $30

In memory of Kenneth P. Clay

and Sarah Speight by S.W.

Clay and Joan Clay … $25

In loving memory of Eric Dean

Emerson by Mom and Dad … $25

In loving memory of Mama,

Ma-in-Law, and special

Grandma in Heaven, Marjorie

A. Keohane by Kelly, John, and

Jordan Steitler … $25

In loving memory of Charlie and

Helen Steitler from John, Kelly,

and Jordan Steitler … $25

T.O.P. 402 Club … $25

In memory of Larry Hager by

Tracy L. McQueen … $25

In memory of Dorothy Aud by

Debbie Neuman … $20

In honor of my grandchildren,

Bubby and Billy Johnson,

Melissa Curtsinger, and James

Prindle by Betty Brewer … $20

Total as of Dec. 21, 2016 .. $83,141.39

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.