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UGF was incorporated in 1958, but its establishment really began two years earlier on November 20, 1956, at Cooper’s Restaurant.  Paul Crow, county fundraising campaign chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, and Walter Weatherly, who held the same position for the Red Cross, took the idea for the United Givers Fund from a similar organization in Gadsden.  But UGF needed a sponsor to get its start.  Mr. Crow presented the plan to the Ft. Payne Jaycees for support.  A motion was carried to look into this proposal for a United Fund Drive, as UGF was originally called.  Two months later the committee appointed to investigate returned with a good report, and the Jaycees decided to sponsor UGF.
On October 9, 1958, it was announced that the United Givers Fund was official.  Before a gathering of business and civic leaders, the founders of UGF adopted a constitution for their new organization.  Paul Crow was chosen to be the president, supported by Waldor Shirley of Fort Payne, Elmer Bailey Rainsville (who was also one of that city’s first councilmen), Sherman Crye of Henagar, and Wilson Appleton of Collinsville as vice presidents.  Walter Weatherly was appointed treasurer; M.C. Stewart, Chairman of Quota and Admissions; Bill Cobble, Chairman of the Office Committee; and Ralph Fowler, Chairman of the Prospect and Evaluation Committee.
The United Givers Fund set up its first office in a hallway on the second story of Fort Payne’s City Hall. It consisted of a desk, an adding machine, and a typewriter.  From that office a motorcade was sent out to publicize the first drive.  The drive began on November 3, 1958, and in only six days raised 79% of its $31,200 goal.  (With today’s inflation rate, that would equal approximately 10 times that amount or $312,000.)  Sixteen communities in DeKalb County helped out, each with its own goal and campaign director.  The money raised went to the six original member agencies: Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Salvation Army, Crippled Children (now CASA Helping Hands), and the Mental Health Association.

Our fundraising campaign is carried out by volunteers.  UGF’s Board President recruits a General Campaign Chairperson, who then recruits individuals to manage campaign divisions.  The campaign has
5 divisions: 1) Industrial, 2) Commercial, 3) Professional, 4) Public Service, 5) Town and County.  These divisions are  broken down further into groups for ease of making direct contacts to corporations, businesses and individuals. 
The fundraising campaign officially begins in early September and runs through October.  Planning for the campaign begins in the spring and volunteer preparation is made throughout the summer.  Companies who participate in payroll deduction are encouraged to begin their campaigns as early as possible. 
Incorporated in 1958, the United Givers Fund of DeKalb County has been dedicated to helping meet local needs for over fifty years. 
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© UGF DeKalb DEC 2022

160 3rd St SE or PO Box 680292, Fort Payne, AL  35968  ∙  256-845-4006