Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 400



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 400

a Y. M. C. A. gymnasium at the League Island Navy Yard accommodating two thousand sailor-boys.

In the summer of 1918, the eight leading war-work agencies, excepting the Red Cross, were merged, for the purpose of one drive for funds, into the United War Work Campaign, and Bok was made chairman for Pennsylvania. In November a country-wide campaign was launched, the quota for Pennsylvania being twenty millions of dollars—the largest amount ever asked of the commonwealth. Bok organized a committee of the representative men of Pennsylvania, and proceeded to set up the machinery to secure the huge sum. He had no sooner done this, however, than he had to sail for France, returning only a month before the beginning of the campaign.

But the efficient committee had done its work; upon his return Bok found the organization complete. On the first day of the campaign, the false rumor that an armistice had been signed made the raising of the large amount seem almost hopeless; furthermore, owing to the influenza raging throughout the commonwealth, no public meetings had been permitted or held. Still, despite all these obstacles, not only was the twenty millions subscribed but oversubscribed to the extent of nearly a million dollars; and in face of the fact that every penny of this large total had to be collected after the signing of the armistice, twenty millions of dollars was paid in and turned over to the war agencies.

It is indeed a question whether any single war act on the part of the people of Pennsylvania redounds



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