The untimely death of Douglas F. McKey in 1921 shocked the members of the club. As Christmas approached, the membership decided to continue operating as usual and voted to formally name the club “The Douglas F. McKey Christmas Club” as a tribute to Mr. McKey.
The Club Grows
In 1925, the University Club moved from its original site across from Cathedral Square to its present facility. With a larger facility available to the group, membership was expanded. In this same period, Max Friedman and his brother, Ralph, members of the family that owned the large Schuster’s Department Store chain, volunteered the services of the store to wrap individual gifts and pack each family’s basket. This major support allowed the club to continually expand the number of families that it served.
Schuster’s Store Milwaukee (1930’s Photo)
Mr. Friedman proved to be instrumental in the group’s expansion. By the 1960s, the club had added toys and other items that were not provided under the food and clothing programs of the Welfare Department. Food packages were expanded to include canned hams, raisins, sardines, cookies and candy. By 1970, the club was formally incorporated as a tax-exempt charity. The active membership was increased to 200, and businesswomen were admitted for the first time. In 1976, due to the severe inflation, the club responded to the need of adding assistance for the elderly – substantially increasing the number of people served.