Owensboro’s Married Ladies Reading Club has been around since 1877, making it the oldest continuous women’s club in Kentucky, for sure.

It may be the oldest in the U.S.

Sixteen women — the number is set because that’s how many fit in a typical living room — gather weekly at a member’s home. A committee chooses the books they will read, and they read aloud weekly.

According to the club’s bylaws or tradition, the group must serve candy after each book reading, said the club’s president Katie Lowing.

“We’ve added fruit and nuts for health in general,” she said.

Membership comes by formal invitation after the members have agreed on someone to replace a woman who leaves the group.

The club charges $10 dues annually. At a recent meeting, the membership decided to give some of its 2017 dues to a nonprofit.

“Goodfellows was the obvious thing to do,” Lowing said.

Especially after the group had just finished reading a touching Christmas story.

They donated $50 from the club’s treasury, but each member opened her pocketbook that day. In all, they gave $210 to Goodfellows.

“With Goodfellows, you can give a small donation and make a big difference for a child,” Lowing said.

Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed 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. 23, 2017

Previously reported $123,443.68

In memory of Don Moore Jr. by the Family $1,000

In memory of Lt. Woodrow Holbrook and Capt. Gilbert Stuart Holbrook, who died in WWII $400

Sorgho Elementary School $250

Ed and Evolyn Allen $100

In memory of our parents, Merry Christmas $100

In memory of L.M. Young, and Addison and Kitty Lillpop by Garry and Diane Lillpop $100

In loving memory of Mama, Randy, Ricky, Randal, and Pearl by Patty Adamic $25

Total as of Dec. 23 $125,418.68

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