For the first time, the Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club (also known as the Jesters of Goodwill) provided services to children in the Eldon School District during the 2018-2019 school year. The Jesters assistance was increased to five school districts, from four. The charity had enough funds to aid more children; however, their volunteers were stretched to the limit.

For the first time, the Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club (also known as the Jesters of Goodwill) provided services to children in the Eldon School District during the 2018-2019 school year. The Jesters assistance was increased to five school districts, from four. The charity had enough funds to aid more children; however, their volunteers were stretched to the limit.

In August of 2018, club founders Denny and Danna Hiner phoned Eldon R-1 Superintendent, Matt Davis. The hope was to see if the Jesters could provide assistance in the district to help children living in poverty.

The catch was this. Due to the charity’s volunteer situation, Eldon Schools would have to keep the funds in a separate account, have a credit card for shopping, and have a staff member do all the work. Then, report to the Idiots Club to use of the money provided and describe the assistance given to children.

Mr. Davis said they had Meghan Opie, the Community Health Worker/Community Relations staff member who could help. Meghan served in-need children, but with very limited resources. The superintendent wanted to hear more! When the Hiner’s met with Matt Davis and Meghan Opie, Mr. Davis said, “Yes, that is Meghan’s job. We have a separate account for her with a credit card already.” The Idiots Club and Eldon R-1 have partnered from then on.

During the first year, Meghan provided 109 child assists to children on free or reduced school lunch. The assists included clothes, shoes, tools for apprenticeship training, as well as, dual credit scholarships, conference fees, and state and national competition travel expenses.

During this initial school year, $15,616.42 was spent to provide the needed child assists. Considering the discounts Meghan received from the Idiots Club’s retail partners, the retail value of the 109 assists was $17,964.53.

Joe and Christie Jung, owners of Jolly Rogers Grub & Grog, were important benefactors of the Jester’s effort in Eldon. They helped the Idiots Club raise $11,839 at Jolly Rogers which supported the charity’s efforts to aid children in-need in the Eldon R-1 School District.

The mission statement of this charity is: The Jesters of Goodwill dedicated to helping youth in-need in the Lake area. In 5 1/2 years these Jesters of Goodwill have spent more than $425,161 helping children in Camdenton, Climax Springs, Eldon, Macks Creek and School of the Osage.

To contribute to this 501(c)3 charity, go to www.LakeOfTheOzarksIdiotsClub.org or email the charity at lotoidiotsclub@gmail.com.