From the book Optimist Club History, in the fourteenth year of the Optimist club
in 1936, Santa Pal
was formalized for the first time:
This was due solely to the efforts of the Optimist Club
and its great Santa Pal
chairman,, Les Owen.
Unquestionably this year's Santa Pal
was the most satisfactory and successful yet. $200.00 was raised for underwriting which covered the expenditures necessarily assumed.
Optimist J. Nelson Jarrett was originally elected Santa Pal President but owing to his removal from the city for approximately a year he was suceeded by Optimist Fred Gray who was assisted by the following Santa Pal officers: New, Vice President; Currence, Treasury; Church, Secretary.
A total of 1308 unfortunate children who otherwise would not have received a visit from Santa Claus were served.
The affairs of the campaign were magnificently handled by Optimist Gray, who had been elected Santa Pal
President upon short notice and thrust into the work without preparation.
was ably assisted by numerous Optimists and practically the entire membership cooperated in the pre-campaign investigation of the children and their residential locations, return postal cards being left with families so that Santa Pal headquarters might be notified in case of change of address."
In the years that followed, each year Santa Pal
performed better and more efficiently than the last, responding to war time needs and the children of soldiers as well.
celebrates its 77th year in 2013, having adjusted its methods and fundraising to fit the new generations and modern technology, and now stocks a store where underprivileged families can come and pick out a toy for Christmas.