For decades, the Morning Journal's Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-a-Child program has made sure that needy school-age children in Lorain County have warm winter clothing.
According to article in the MJ website archives, the Mary Lee Tucker program dates back to 1924 when the newspaper's society editor Rhea Soper Eddy initiated a campaign to raise money and collect clothes and food for families in need. The "Mary Lee Tucker" name was her charitable name (much like the fictional names Ann Landers and Betty Crocker).
While today the program consists of collecting money donations from readers, for many years there was an annual Mary Lee Tucker benefit show at the Palace Theater. Below is an article about the 1956 show, and the appearance of well-known Lorain musician Jimmy Dulio and his big band.
Frank Katrick, who I mentioned in yesterday's post, was the co-director of the 1956 show and is in the photo of the Dulio band accompanying the article. (He's sitting directly behind Gloria Dee, the female vocalist.)
****Dulio Band Booked For Benefit Show
Engagement of Dulio's 14-piece band, including Gloria Dee as vocalist, was announced today by Frank Katrick, co-director of the show with Ted Reese.
Katrick also announced another well-known Lorain band, the Jolly Boys, would also have a part in the show.
The Dulio organization will be the stage band, furnishing accompaniment for the singers and dancers. It will also be one of the featured acts.
The Jolly Boys, whose leader is Mike Vidovich, specialize in nationality music. They have played in and around Lorain for the past 16 years.
At the benefit show next week they will furnish pre-show entertainment in the theater lobby, Katrick said.
Several acts of local talent have been selected for the program and one or two others are still being considered, Katrick said today. Complete list of local talent will be announced tomorrow.
Members of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority will again serve as usherettes and members of the Alpha Iota Sorority will again assist candy butchers with candy sales before the show begins and during intermission.
Tickets are still available for the show, for which Bill Randle, voted the nation's No. 1 disc jockery, will be master of ceremonies.
Randle has been a Cleveland disc jockey for several years and until recently also had his own television varieties show over station WEWS.
Reservation of seats for the show will begin Monday in the lobby of The Journal building. Tickers may be exchanged for reserved seats from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
Ben Fabrizio, ticket chairman, said today that in addition to various places in Lorain, tickets for the show may be purchased from drivers of Num Num potato chip trucks operated by Pete DeSantis.