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Williamsport Sun: June 4, 1941 – 300 Workers Launch U.S.O. Campaign for $10,000 County Quota

Three hundred enthusiastic volunteer workers joined last night in launching the Lycoming County campaign for $10,000 for the religious, recreational, and social welfare of American youth now training in U.S. Army camps or concentrated in defense industrial centers.

They attended a “Dutch treat” dinner at the Y.W.C.A where the county chapter of the United Service Organization opened its 10-day drive for contributions.

Simultaneously throughout the United States hundreds of like groups were held, setting in motion a vast nationwide effort to raise more than $10.75 million for the moral, physical and social well-being of the country’s citizen soldiers.

Phillip Shay, past commander of Garrett Cochran Post 1 American Legion, chairman of the county U.S.O. presided. He emphasized the importance of the enterprise, pointing out that the U.S.O. program represents a cooperative effort to provide healthy entertainment at the 300 army camps and defense points in the U.S. and its island possessions.

Graphically, he pointed out, “What would Williamsport do, if it had an army camp of 40,000 men and 20,000 of them coming here for nightly entertainment?”

This is the problem of communities within travel radius of army camps, many of them boasting resident populations of between up to 30,000. They lack facilities to accommodate the influx of soldiers.

The keynote of the campaign was sounded by Chairman Shay when he urged every patriotic citizen to “join the army behind the army by contributing to the U.S.O.

Rabbi Charles Mantinband, veteran of Jewish welfare work during the World War, enlarged upon this theme.

The rabbi spoke from his experience when he declared, “It is the job of Uncle Sam to feed, clothe, house and train the new army. But providing for the religious, recreational and social life of these boys is the job of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters and neighbors.”

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