The Denton Benefit League was established in May 1973 for the purposes of promoting volunteerism in the community and raising funds for charitable projects. It was Mrs. J. B. Floyd (Maurine) who set the example for such an organization in Denton.In the spring of 1969, the Denton City County Day Nursery was trying to retire the indebtedness on its child care facility. To raise funds, Mrs. Floyd, who was then President of the group’s Board of Directors, proposed Denton’s first Benefit Ball. She and another member of the Board, Mrs. Mack Gay (Mary Claude), enlisted the assistance of friends, and the “Guys and Dolls Ball” was held in November of 1969. Eight thousand dollars was raised to help secure the future of the Day Nursery’s program.
In 1971, the Cross Timbers Girl Scout Council approached Mrs. Floyd for help in fundraising for the Lake Texoma Girl Scout Camp. Mrs. R.A. Nichols (Juliette) and a number of other local women helped Mrs. Floyd organize a “Harvest Ball”, which was held in the Civic Center in November of 1971. Approximately $5,000 was raised toward the establishment of the camp.
When the Denton Fine Arts Council sought her help in 1973, Mrs. Floyd agreed to serve as an advisor for the third Benefit Ball. She secured Kathy Orr as Chairman and Mrs. L. A. Nelson (Martha Len) as Vice Chairman for the “Fine Arts Ball”, which was held at the Civic Center in Febrary 1973. They raised $6,500 for the Denton Fine Arts Council, the Community Theater, and the Community Choir.
Following the 1973 ball, Mmes. Floyd, Orr, and Nelson saw the need for continuing fundraising support in the community. They invited the 1973 ball participants to a meeting and presented their ideas. This group endorsed the formation of an organization, and committees were appointed to compose the structure. The By-Laws Committee was comprised of Mrs. Riley Robbins (Martha), Chairman; Mrs. W.R. Knight (Lynn), and Mrs. R. John Nelson (Lou). The Nominating Committee included Mary Claude Gay, Juliette Nichols, and Kathy Orr.
The next organizational meeting was held May 3, 1973 in the home of Juliette Nichols. By-Laws were adopted, the organization was named Denton Benefit League, and officers were elected. The first General Meetings was held May 21, 1973 in the home of Lou Nelson, with over 100 members attending.
We honor such admirable examples of community spirit and dedication, and we are extremely proud of this legacy of above-and-beyond love of community, displayed by the creativity, vision, and hours of thought, organization, and work of these founding members. We are also proud of the continuing history of the many talented, kind, and committed women of Denton who have carried on this mission – dedicated women, who for 50 years have worked hard to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the community.
Through the donation of many hours of volunteer work, the tapping of our outstanding members’ educational fields, utilizing the strong leadership skills offered, and raising over $6,302,690 million in grant monies.
…the members of DBL are making a difference!