Cheerful Christmas carols blaring from outdoor speakers and brilliant leaves rustling across the walkway welcomed visitors to 1124 Griffith Ave. on Friday morning.

Sheriff Keith Cain smiled and tipped his signature hat, greeting people at the door as they came to support the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden’s annual Soup Day for Kids. More than 50 volunteers cooked various styles of vegetable soup and desserts, or otherwise helped with the event.

The garden’s first Soup Day was at the Owensboro Police Department when it first opened on Ninth Street in 1999. For years, it was at the garden, at Carter Road, though as it grew in attendance, the garden board explored other ways to continue the day and accommodate more people than its events cottage could.

That led to 2015’s “Game Time for the Goodfellows,” wherein garden members and others volunteered to host sports-themed parties to raise money through guest donations to the Goodfellows Club of Owensboro.

“Susie (Tyler) approached me this year about hosting and I was pleased to do it,” said Mary Quader, who moved into the home 31 years ago with her husband, who died in 2014. “I love my home but I feel I shouldn’t live in a home like this unless I’m willing to share it. Houses like this are somewhat of a trust.”

Quader’s home sits on land that was once part of the 1,400-acre William Griffith farm. The current 2.5 acre lot was sold by Griffith’s son in 1877 to the Wings, who built the original two-story frame home, then it changed ownership several times until 1935 when Captain Walter Hoagland, a barge line owner from Bowling Green, bought it. 

The present structure was completed about late 1941 and its design — Georgian colonial architecture with an imposing portico encircled by massive fluted Doric columns, and palladin windows on the third story — was likely influenced by homes the captain saw on his frequent trips on the river, according to the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art’s 1982 “Designer’s Showcase” booklet. William O’Bryan, of Owensboro Grain, and his family owned the home from 1944 until his wife’s death.

“It is deep with Owensboro history,” said Tyler, who directs the garden with her husband Bill. 

The historical background is fitting for a Goodfellows event, she said, given that the nonprofit organization has become a staple in Owensboro’s history since its founding in 1916. The club provides clothing, shoes, coats and dental care for underserved children throughout the year, and hosts a Christmas party to provide toys during the holiday season.

“Children are always victims of poverty,” said Quader, who is also on the garden’s board. “Anything we can do to help, we should do it. It warms my heart to see so many get out on a cold day to support children who need it.”

“We’re fortunate to have Mary open up her home for this cause,” said board President Bob Smiley. “She has the spirit of giving and that’s so important this time of year, especially for children.”

Donations can be mailed to Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, P.O. Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42303; dropped off at the newspaper office at 1401 Frederica St.; or online, at www.goodfellowsclubofowensboro.org/contribute.

Goodfellows Roll Call, Dec. 10, 2016

Previously reported … $34,379.65

In loving memory of Joe and

Louise McKinley, Tom and

Roselie Brady, Joe Brady, and

Luke Woodward by Joey and

Teresa McKinley … $500

Daviess County High School

Soup Day for Kids … $290

In memory of Nancy Campo by

John, Max, and Gracie … $100

In loving memory of Herman and

Anna Royal, Effie Hawkins,

Clarence and Lessie Ford, and

Icie Trogdon by Sharon and

Patsy … $100

In memory of Peggy Morris by

Mac Morris … $100

In memory of Michael Braden by

Faye Braden … $50

In memory of our parents and

Margaret Chance by Frank and

Martha Beller … $50

In memory of Larry Hager by

Gordon Wilkerson … $25

Total as of Dec.10, 2016 …$35,594.65

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