There's good news from the pipeline today. Constant reminders directed at the large group of "procrastinators" have paid off. Several of today's contributors admitted their dilatory ways, paying penance generously.
Don't expect any less pressure from this corner. Before Jan. 31, I hope many more well-intentioned District Liners will react.
If you insist in delaying until Feb. 1, you might as well wait until next December. Our annual fund-raiser for Children's Hospital has an absolute cut-off on Jan. 31. Letters postmarked after that date won't reach the children until the start of our next effort.
In case you're interrupted before you finish reading today's report, here's my addess up top. Please send your tax-deductible check, made payable to Children's Hospital, to: Scott Chase c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, washington, D.C. 20071. Please do it now.
Here's a letter from a couple who saw the light in time, and sent >TO>.
"With our busy schedules, the past weeks have flown by. Tonight we have put first things first and have ended our days of procrastination. January 31 is just around the corner.
"Please accept our contribution 'For the Love of Children.' We are expecting our first child this year and it warms and comforts our hearts to know that our child, and every child, can be treated at the hospital."
Another $20 contribution came with a letter relating this tale:
"For the past seven years I've followed Bill Gold's drive for Children's and each year I say I should send some money to help the cause. This year is the first the thought was followed through. Thank you for reminding me that it is time I stopped being a procrastinator and started being a contributor."
Get the hint? Don't delay!
"I read your column every day," another discerning District Liner wrote. "And every day I say I am going to send a check but something else always comes up. Today I decided to put Children's Hospital first regardless of everything else. My contribution of $30 may be small, but if everyone would send this much, I am sure we would go over last year's total." That's true.
Those former procrastinators joined 17 other anonymous individuals in bringing $581 to the shoebox.
A small handful of contributions also arrived from "informal groups" and organizations. Even on the corporate level, many admitted to unintentional delays. Today at least a few of them have arrived.
Holding bake sales and two annual bazaars has enabled the Resident Council members at the Manor Care Largo Nursing Center to send $10 a month to Children's Hospital since last July. They sent their Dec. contribution to the hospital through this column.
Junior Girl Scout Troop 404 of Georgetown Hill Elementary School in Potomac was "happy to be able to enclose a check for $16 for Children's Hospital." The girls raised the money by singing Christmas carols in their neighborhood. Customers and employees of Martin Wiegand, Inc. combined efforts to raise $29. The nine clothiers of the "Sixteenth Street Sewing Club" in South Arlington once again sent the children a gift -- $45 this year.
A check for $50 came from the alumni of the 1931 graduating class of Armstrong High School. Thank you very much and happy anniversary. Have you any personal stories to tell about Children's Hospital in the Roaring 20s?
When the folks at the U.S. Army MERADCOM at Ft. Belvoir went on "flextime," a collection was established whereby employees were penalized a quarter each time they forgot to sign in and out on office time sheets. Diligent enforcement resulted in a total of $75 for the hospital and a promise of better things in the future.
"Perhaps we will be more forgetful next year; after all, we will be another year older," they wrote.
The owners and employees of Genco Tool and Engineering Co. broke the triple-digit barrier with their gift of $100. A Santa Claus collected the money at their Christmas party.
Two checks totaling $400 and earmarked for the Michael Gitelson Cancer Research Fund administered by Children's Hospital arrived from the real estate investment firm of Lawrence D. Diamond Enterprises, Inc. To mention contributions designated to any project other than aiding and treating indigent children is contrary to the "ground rules" of this column. However, the checks represent a tiny fraction of a $175,000 pledge to the fund. And the results of research to be conducted there will become available to all patients everywhere.
For $175,000 I'm flexible.
Counting the cancer research contribution, our eight organizations contributed a total of $725. Add that to the $581 sent by unnamed District Liners, and our total for today is $1,306. When we tucked the shoebox away yesterday, our tally was $167,022.69, so today we leave with $168,328.69.