More than 70 years ago, a group of "fellows" in the Farmington Exchange Club decided to combine forces with other service clubs in the area to provide assistance to needy families around Christmas time. The results of the first year were gratifying, and the GOODFELLOWS MOVEMENT was on its way!
Until 1973, the Farmington Exchange Club sponsored the Goodfellows, and today this club, now known as the Xemplar Club, is the still the driving force behind the program. As the organization and the need for assistance continued to grow, the club felt there was a need to establish a separate stand-alone entity. Although changes have been made over the years, the objective remains the same, "No Child or Senior without a Christmas".
Each year, we serve hundreds of families including at-risk children and seniors in Farmington and Farmington Hills. If you or your family would like to volunteer some time to work with our organization, or are in need of assistance from our organization, please contact us. We also welcome support from our local business community. Find out how you can host a "Party with a Purpose" at the holidays as a team-building event and support the Goodfellows or Toys for Tots.
The first Goodfellows President was 1939 Exchange Club President, Bayard Tupper. All of the warehouse volunteers were personally recruited by Bayard, and his son Dick. After 25 years, Bayard stepped down and Dick took over the reins. Dick led the Goodfellows for the next 36 years. In 2010, Dick Tupper passed away unexpectedly.
Long-time Goodfellow Dave Kenerson was appointed President by the Board of Directors in 2010. Dave steered us through some challenging times as the economy suffered and the need for assistance grew. We embraced technology, and learned to work more efficiently to cut expenses while expanding services. Dick's daughter Barbara started a diaper program, and our warehouse partner, Toys for Tots expanded to serve over 60 communities. In October of 2016, our President Dave Kenerson lost a battle with cancer. He was our leader from 2010-2016, and was a presence in any room he he was in. Dave exuded the same caring spirit that has defined the Goodfellows for almost 50 years.
In 2016, I was humbled and honored to be named the fourth leader of this incredible organization. Each year we think about our former leaders, and strive to continue the tradition of service and excellence that Bayard and Dick Tupper, and Dave Kenerson brought to this organization. We welcome others with a desire to serve neighbors in need to join us.
The Farmington Area Goodfellows and Xemplar Club are 501c3 public charities. The Xemplar Foundation is a 501c3 public foundation. Donations to any of these all-volunteer organizations are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by IRS code. Always check with your personal tax advisor about your individual situation.