World War II Paris had three local men – Dr. L.B. Stephens, J.A. McGill, and
Sam Weiss, who served as Texas State Directors of the National War Chest. War
Chest directors’ responsibilities included the raising of local funds to assist
men saw an opportunity to include local youth and social welfare agencies with
the War Chest drive and one united effort to raise funds for all.
contacting some local business people about the possibility of a “Community
Chest” for Paris, and receiving a positive reaction of eleven to one, letters
were mailed to prominent citizens inviting them to an organization meeting at
the Chamber of Commerce on August 24, 1943.
McGill presided over the meeting with Louis B. Williams as the acting secretary.
The minutes reflect considerable discussion with unanimous approval to appoint
an executive committee for the purpose of selecting a board of directors to govern
the fund raising efforts of a “Community Chest”.
On August 26, 1943 the Executive Committee appointed to nominate directors for the Community Chest selected and placed in office the first board.
goal of $62,000.00 was set for the first Community Chest drive; $34,000.00 to
be allocated to Community Chest agencies with $28,000.00 to be given to the
U.S.O. for the War Chest. The $62,000.00 goal of 1943 is equivalent to
$508,000.00 of 1993 dollars according the U.S. Government officials.
youth welfare agencies were included in the 1943 united drive for Community and
War Chest funds. These agencies were Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, King’s Daughters,
and the Salvation Army. Fifty years later these same four agencies are included
with eleven additional ones to make up the fifteen.