FEBRUARY 1, 1937
WASHINGTON, Sunday—I want to begin my column today by thanking the many people who have written me kind letters about it in the past few days. It makes me very happy to feel that they enjoy the little things as well as the more serious things which must of necessity come into it now and then.
I think after the President's speech last night that everyone must now understand just where the money raised for crippled children by the Birthday Balls, goes. The medical Committee created by the Warm Springs Foundation, picks out the institutions best fitted for research and spends the thirty percent not left in the communities in an effort to discover preventive measures for this dreadful disease.
It is perhaps unwise for me to make a suggestion to the Committee, but I want to register here the fact that I wish every year a certain percentage of this research fund could go to the Patients' Aid Fund at Warm Springs, so that more free patients could be taken there. This is, of course, selfish on my part for I am always getting letters which seem to me very pathetic from people who can not afford to pay and who live very often in localities where there are no Birthday Balls Committees who might allocate some of their seventy percent for treatment at Warm Springs.
I had a grand luncheon party yesterday, having invited to the White House the artists who had come to entertain at the different Birthday Balls here. They have taken long trips because of their interest in crippled children and their admiration for the President, and I am very grateful. After luncheon we became a sightseeing party and when we reached the President's office one of the girls said: "Let's write on a piece of paper 'Happy Birthday to You', for the President and all of us sign it." So sitting in his chair they each of them signed their names:
The old gang of 1920 dined with us as usual last night but when I got up to say Happy Birthday to my husband and then to drink a toast to all our absent friends, everyone of the old gang present, I know, thought at once of Louis Howe. As the years have gone by we have added a few new members to the original gang and this year we added a few more. As the talk ranged to South America, the President added a special toast to the memory of Gus Gennerich, a friend whom everyone present remembered.
Everyone contributed something in verse or in prose, most of them however in verse, so the President said that in the future all communications should be brought to his desk in verse as it would tend to more brevity of expression.
I got away from the dinner in very good time and started only a little late on my round of Birthday Balls. All the arrangements were beautifully made this year. I even went to Alexandria and was home by twelve-thirty.