Doris Dammann Day was born in North Dakota. At an early age, she moved with her mother and father, Christine and Will Dammann, to Rock Island. Will Dammann and his brother Henry were co-founders of the Bear Manufacturing Company, the first company in the nation to manufacture wheel alignment equipment for the automotive industry.
Mrs. Day was educated in the Rock Island Public school system, attended Augustana College, and graduated from the National Kindergarten and Elementary college in Evanston, Illinois. She taught for a time in the Rock Island schools.
Doris Dammann and Victor Day were married in Evanston on May 8, 1930. Victor Day was born in Davenport, Iowa, and was educated in the Davenport schools. He was a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and worked as a registered pharmacist before joining the Bear Manufacturing firm in 1936.
Bear Manufacturing began in Rock Island in 1917 by Doris Day’s father and uncle, William and Henry Damman and continued to operate until 1972 when it merged with Applied Power Industries. In 1953, Mr. Day became president of the Bear Manufacturing Company. Mrs. Day became chairman of the Board of Directors. Both served until 1972 when the firm merged with Applied Power Industries, Inc.
Doris and Victor Day established this foundation bearing their names on July 16, 1965, as a means of giving financial support to charitable activities. Funding in excess of $10,000,000 occurred following the death of Mrs. Day in 1987.
FOUNDATION GRANT HISTORY
Click on the year to see a complete listing of grants
Total Impact: $22,094,540
As long-time Quad Citians know, Bear Manufacturing Company was, at one time, the largest home-owned industry in Rock Island. The business, which made its mark with wheel alignments and other auto services, created jobs and business opportunities for people in all parts of the company, provided new services for motorists, gave fine demonstration of free enterprise and made a sustainable contribution to the growth of Rock Island.
A "better place" is a community in which all of the citizens share a good life with adequate shelter, food, and medical care.