The Santa Clothes Club was organized in 1946 to provide new clothing for needy youngsters in the Tri-State who would not otherwise be warmly clothed. Its founders were Dick Anderson, the Sports Editor for the Evansville Press, and Don Menke, then Manager of WEOA Radio (now WIKY). Charter members Sam Medlicott, Executive Director of the YMCA; Eddie Edwards, Youth Director of the YMCA; and Meyer Siegel, owner of Siegel’s Men’s Store, screened the children referred by schools or civic groups, purchased the clothing, and distributed it to the children at a YMCA party a few days prior to Christmas each year.
In November of 1981, the Santa Clothes Club was incorporated as a non-profit organization and, in January of 1982, officers and a board of directors were elected. This group is the core of the volunteers who oversee the annual fund drive, including the solicitation of funds, obtaining the names and addresses of the needy children, purchase and distribution of clothing, producing the telethon and any other programs in the community. Planning and coordinating of this project is a yearlong effort.
The actual fund drive begins early-September, when direct mail solicitation letters are mailed to approximately 500 past patrons of the Santa Clothes Club and, write-in donations are encouraged.