The symbolic Goodfellows Club candle outside the Messenger-Inquirer building on Frederica Street heralds the beginning of the club's season of giving initiatives and reminds the community how close the club is to this year's goal.

In 1916, Lawrence Hager of the Owensboro Inquirer began serving impoverished Owensboro children at Christmas. More than 100 years later, Hager's organization, known as the Goodfellows Club, continues to provide for needy children. The 103-year-old organization provides clothing, shoes, coats and emergency dental and medical care -- year-round -- along with a December Christmas party for children in need. All of the money raised each year goes to help children; there are no administrative fees.

The club's 2019 goal is $162,000, up $8,000 from 2018's $154,000 goal.

The Goodfellows holiday drive began on Nov. 12 with the annual community soup day. This year's soup day, at the Settle Memorial Church Renewal and Outreach Center, at 201 E. Fourth St., is one of the major fundraisers of the season, pulling in roughly $5,000 to $8,000.

The large red-and-white candle decal displays the club's goal for the season and how much progress the community's dedicated donors have made as part of the annual Roll Call. Each white block marks the gap between what the club needs to help local kids and what will actually be available to help them make it through another school year.

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. or online at goodfellowsclubofowensboro.org/contribute.

Roll Call, Nov. 30, 2019

Previously reported $9,641,84

In memory of Joan K. Adams $500

Special Family Fund $300

Total as of Nov. 30, 2019 $10,441.84

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