For the 101st time, the Goodfellows Club of Owensboro will welcome children to its annual Christmas party this morning.

In the early years, there were three parties, because there was no building in town that could handle the 1,000 or so kids who came to the parties.

But for the past almost 70 years, the Sportscenter has hosted the party as it will today.

Barry Carden, party chairman, said Goodfellows will celebrate its 101st Christmas party with representatives of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell.

“That’s the theme of our party this year,” he said.

The program will start at 10 a.m., but the Sportscenter will open at 9 a.m. with inflatables for children to play on.

The Owensboro Twisters will be twisting balloons into various shapes for children and face painting will be available, Carden said.

“We’ll have a multifaceted character parade with the Rose Curtain Players from Owensboro High School and others,” he said.

“Santa will make a grand entrance with much fanfare,” Carden said.

Exactly how the jolly old elf will enter the Sportscenter is a secret, he said.

“Santa tries to keep with the times,” he said. “The sleigh just doesn’t make it these days.”

About 1,000 children are expected, Carden said.

That’s the same number as in past years.

Goodfellows parties have been around for five generations now.

“There will be parents and grandparents who remember the party from their childhoods,” Carden said. “It gives them a bonding moment.”

Children will receive one main gift, a backpack filled with goodies and a book, he said.

The party will be over today, but the Goodfellows program will continue providing clothing, shoes, warm coats and dental service for children throughout the year.

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

Goodfellows Roll Call, Dec. 17, 2016

Previously reported … $56,374.65

Bobby and Belva Epley… $300

In memory of Mary and Joseph,

and Joelene Cilia by Tony and

Kathy Cilia … $300

In memory of Peggy, Jimmy,

Gary Joe, and Steve … $200

OMU Customer Service Center

employees Soup Day for Kids … $182.90

In honor of our “greats,” Iona,

Etain, and Rhett by MeMe and

Pop … $150

In memory of Lavenia Coffey

Travis and Myrtle and Hubert

“Bunny” Raymer by Bill and

Kathryn Raymer … $100

Anonymous … $100

In loving memory of my husband,

Walter Elder by Suzanne Elder … $100

In memory of Don Lashbrook

and Lee Ann Lashbrook by

Norma Lashbrook … $100

In loving memory of Rebecca

Julius Perkins, an advocate for

children by Jean Julius … $100

In loving memory of Ron

Newton, Shelly Newton, Martin

and W.A. Newton by mom,

Helen … $100

In memory of Ben and Nora

Mattingly, and Drury and Jennie

Howard … $100

In memory of Ralph (Buddy)

Westmoreland by Bill Raymer … $50

In memory of Jodelle S. Moore,

Jean Ann Raymer, and Joanna

Raymer by Kathryn and Bill

Raymer … $50

In memory of Wilfred and Mary

Lois Hagan by the Janoski

family … $25

In memory of my parents,

Stephen J. Murphy, Jane Niky

Murphy, step-father Gleson

Murphy, Jr., father-in-law

Stanslaw Mikolajczyk,

mother-in-law Anna Mikolajczy,

dear best friend Gus

Swanson, and family friend

Florence Henderson by Mike and

Grazyna Murphy … $10

Total as of Dec. 17, 2016.. $58,342.55

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