Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The History of the Journal's Mary Lee Tucker Program – Part 3

December 13, 1926 ad from the Lorain Journal
One of the aspects of the Mary Lee Tucker program that is often forgotten is that for decades, there was an annual fundraising event that was an integral part of the charitable effort.

Apparently the first one took place in 1926: the Mary Lee Tucker Christmas Fund Ball. The dance was held at the Moose Coliseum out on Route 5 west of Lorain. The Lorain Street Railway accommodated the attendees by providing extra streetcar service.

The ball was a big success, with between 700 and 800 people attending. Chauncey Lee and his Orchestra out of Cleveland provided the music.

(I wrote extensively about the 1926 Fund Ball here and here.)

As the years went by, the Mary Lee Tucker program strived to find new ways to spread holiday cheer and happiness.

In 1932, 2,000 boys and girls were treated to a free movie at the Palace Theater courtesy of Mary Lee Tucker. Here’s the announcement that ran in the December 17, 1932 Lorain Journal.

As noted, the movie was Peach O’Reno, featuring popular comics Wheeler and Woolsey.
Possibly the biggest fundraising development in the Mary Lee Tucker program occurred in 1933. That was the inaugural year for the Lorain Follies.

Here’s the front page of the Lorain Journal of November 14, 1933 with the announcement .

The Lorain Follies of 1933 was conceived with the idea of featuring an all-Lorain vaudeville bill of entertainment. Various local acts auditioned before a group of judges for the privilege of being part of the show.

This concept proved so popular that it became part of the Mary Lee Tucker charity effort for decades.

Here's an ad for the 1934 edition of the show that appeared in the Lorain Journal on December 12, 1934.
By 1937, the Mary Lee Tucker department of the Lorain Journal had become a mainstay of the community charitable scene. 
The article below, which appeared in the paper on November 13, 1937, noted that the club did much more than "bringing Christmas cheer to Lorain’s more humble families at Christmas time.”

The article also illustrated that henceforth, 1924 would be the accepted date of the creation of the Mary Lee Tucker program.

Next: Into the 1960s
To donate to the Morning Journal’s Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-A-Child program, click here.

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