Carrying on a decades-old tradition at the Messenger-Inquirer, employees at the newspaper took a little time away from newsgathering, advertising sales and other duties last week to enjoy each other’s company over warm soup for a good cause.

It’s been a tradition at the M-I that outlasts most present-day employees, says Circulation Director and Goodfellows Club President-elect Barry Carden. But the annual Soup Day has become something to which more than just the newspaper can lay claim.

“We’ve been doing it for well over 20 years now,” Carden said. “Our company Soup Day was the catalyst for soup days all over the community. We realized how successful they could be and we started promoting it as a way others in the community could support Goodfellows.”

The Owensboro newspaper industry has been an important part of the annual Goodfellows effort since its founding more than 100 years ago now, and Carden said he is proud that soup days are just another positive export the paper could provide.

“It’s a good way for employees to share some non-work time together and be supportive of philanthropic efforts,” he said. It’s got dual benefits. Whenever you can bring people together and share food and have a good time and support Goodfellows on top of all that, it’s a great thing for us all.”

The Goodfellows Club works tirelessly throughout the year providing toys, clothing, shoes, dental care and coats for needy children. All of the donations go directly to meet local schoolchildren’s needs.

Goodfellows relies heavily on the local school systems to identify the needs. It’s the work of organizations around the community, including the Messenger-Inquirer, to bolster resources.

“Schools are the front line,” he said. “They see the need in the community. The value in the Goodfellows is that we can give them the resources so that those needs are met.”

Soup days are an excellent way to do that, he said. And there’s still plenty of time to organize one this month at places of business, among friends or even family members. All it takes is a few cooks with a soup or chili recipe they’re dying to try and others willing to dig in and give with open, willing hearts.

“Everybody’s got to eat,” Carden laughed. “What better way to do it?”

You can help by sending donations to Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, P.O. Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42302. Donations can also be dropped off at the newspaper office at 1401 Frederica St. People can also contribute online at goodfellowsclubofowensboro.org/contribute.

Goodfellows Roll Call, Dec. 10, 2017:

Previously reported ... $68,788.53

In memory of Margaret O’Bryan Fitts by

Martha Fitts Clark ... $250

In memory of Madge O’Bryan Hill by

Martha Fitts Clark ... $250

In memory of our son, Andrew

Beauchamp by Gary and Lori

Beauchamp ... $100

In memory of Bob Troutman, Tom

Lockhart and loved ones by Betty

Troutman, Pam and Michelle

Lockhart ... $100

In memory of Randolph, Sr. and

Madaline Eades by the Wells family ... $100

In memory of Randolph, Sr. and

Madaline Eades by the Wells family ... $100

In memory of Roy, Evelyn, Bobby,

And Betty Howard by Weldon and

Wilma Brumley ... $25

In honor of all our veterans and their

Families, Thanks for our freedom by

Weldon and Wilma Brumley ... $25

Total as of Dec. 10, 2017 ... $69.738.53

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