Before you confirm your donation via PayPal: Please click and fill out "How this will appear in the Kearney Hub" to properly submit your donation. Examples may include "anonymous", "in memory of", "in honor", "company donation" or "individual donation/names".
If you enjoy contributing to the joy of needy children, please consider making a broader volunteer commitment to Goodfellows. Buffalo County Goodfellows is seeking individuals who would like to learn more about these special responsibilities:
1. Gift Buying - Assist with purchasing of toys and gifts, and then organize for the annual gift-wrapping day.
2. Gift Delivery – Assist in organizing and coordinating Christmas Day deliveries.
3. Coats, Shoes, etc. – Assist families in selection of clothing necessities for needy children.
Kearney’s Goodfellows organization traces its origins to businessmen who gathered for coffee at the old Fort Kearney Hotel. As banker and longtime Goodfellows board member Wayne McKinney relates, it was sometime in the 1940s when newspaperman Ormond Hill encouraged his coffee buddies to pass the hat to buy Christmas gifts for children in need.
Among the regulars around the table were hotel owner John Henry, oil distributor Howard Nimes and florist O.L. Erickson. Appliance distributor Earl King also was among the instigators, and proudly kicked off each year’s drive with his $100 donation.
Other business leaders got involved soliciting donations and then delivering gifts on Christmas. They included loan officer Keith King, insurance dealer Keith Cottrell, furniture dealer Jack Rall and creamery operator W.B. “Bill” Richardson. Lumber dealers Albert Tollefsen and J.B. Elliott joined in, as did their sons, Ed Tollefsen and Joe Elliott.
Gunnar Mattson was first to map out the city into routes for the one-day drive
The Tollefsens and Elliotts weren’t the only Goodfellows families. Insurance dealer Robert Hazlett was a Goodfellow. His son-in-law, insurance dealer Jim Anderson, followed suit.
McKinney apologized in case he missed a key name. The semi-retired banker has a keen eye for numbers, but Goodfellows owes its success to a host of personalities. Their names may fade from memory, but their work continues.