FEBRUARY 17, 1950
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Every year several people write me of the way in which they have raised money for the infantile paralysis March of Dimes campaign. Never before, however, have I had a letter that told of such a remarkable record as appears in the letter which I am printing today.
I hope the writer will not object, but I think he and his outfit deserve the thanks not only of the officials of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis but of all of us who hope eventually to find the answer and prevent this dread disease. Here is the letter:
"Though we are many miles away from our homeland and on a rather cold and snowbound island (Camp Crawford, Hokkaido, Japan), I thought perhaps you would be interested in the efforts of the people in this area in raising funds for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis through 'March of Dimes'.
"This truly and everlasting monument to your husband and his kindness and regard for others really went over the top, figuratively, at this camp. From slightly over 4,500 members of the Army and their families here at Camp Crawford, $18,439 was raised in five days by the local radio station, 'Sapporo AFRS'. The final figures are still not available at this time but it is expected that $20,000 will be the total sum sent forward from this area to be consolidated into the Eighth Army total contribution.
"The radio station began a week ago today with a special program called 'Dollar Serenade' to raise funds for the March of Dimes. The program was an all-request program where listeners could call in by phone the song they would like to hear, and state at that time how much they would give to the March of Dimes in amounts of a dollar or more.
"At the onset of the program we promised to stay on as long as people would call in their requests and pledges. After 127 hours of continuous broadcasting we finally came to the last pledge.
"By Friday night the station staff was a pretty haggard-looking lot but not feeling at all bad considering what a small part we were able to play in such a worthy cause. One man in particular, Sergeant First Class Don Gibbons, continued for 39 consecutive hours before he finally gave up from exhaustion.
"Requests came in for all types of music, and the pledges went as high as $249 for an individual, this being from a private first class who said a member of his family had been stricken with polio.
"Yes, even though there is an ocean separating us from America, the spirit of co-operation and brotherly aid peculiar to Americans knows no bounds. We are truly thankful to be able to add to this perpetual memorial of a man whose example is ever before us."
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1950, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC., REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 17, 1950
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
- Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
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