HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – The award winning West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is all but in the history books for this year, but the work of the organization is far from done.
The organization’s mission to support all movements for the betterment of Evansville as a whole is funded through the Fall Festival. West Side Nut Club President Ben Kempf says the addition of the half pot to the fall festival has quickly taken over since it was introduced in 2019. But it is still only one of several fund raisers at the event to raise money for the club.
“I think we’ve kind of grown just beyond Evansville, we’re like the Tri-State now.”
Although he didn’t attend the yearly festival often when he was younger, the Mater Dei alumn says he began having more distinctive memories years later.
“My memories really start when I had a family of my own. We started out with twins, and it was a blast bringing them down there.”
Kempf has been with the West Side Nut Club for the past 22 years. However, he says his original reason for joining was more social.
“To be honest with you, my buddies were getting into the nut club, and I just wanted to wear a hat and walk down Franklin. For the first few years I didn’t see the potential of what a nut club member can do, until I got around other nut club members… I have the ability to impact 100s of people’s lives for the better.”
Now, Kempf is the co-owner of Donut Bank, along with his two brothers, Chris and Joe. But, he also wears the hat of West Side Nut Club President, where he appoints all standing committees and manages the financial side of the club.
“I think every year, we just get gradually better at what we’re doing. There’s not been a whole lot of changes that people would see on the outside, but the members would see it.”
But during this year’s festival, Kempf could be found along the streets of Franklin, with the sounds of crowds and the smells of some of his favorite festival foods.
“Probably would have to say the Grace and Peace donut burger, and AmVet’s ribeye, and [Westside Catholic School’s] pronto pup.”