Two years after the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce was incorporated, Greenville, South Carolina, organized a Junior Chamber of Commerce, naming R. W. Arrington as its first President. From 1922 until 1936, the organization was comparatively strange to South Carolina.
In 1926, Bob Condon, a National Vice-President, was on board a special airmail flight between Atlanta and New York City. The flight was sponsored by the Atlanta Junior Chamber in hopes that the government would establish a regular flight between the cities.
About an hour after leaving Atlanta, the airplane developed engine trouble and was forced to make an emergency landing. The pilot set down in a field, and the plane ended up with its right wing in an apple tree. Repairs were to take most of the day.
With this in mind, the passengers, including Atlanta Junior Chamber officers, set out for Abbeville, South Carolina, four miles away. When they arrived, they discovered that there was no Junior Chamber in the town.
With the help of the editor of the local newspaper, Condon and the others called a meeting of the businessmen of the town. As one local man later described it, “at 8:00 a.m. this morning, we had never thought of a Junior Chamber of Commerce organization; at 8:00 p.m. this evening, we have a live, going, paid-up, chartered chapter.”
However, with no state organization to assist this chapter, located in a small community, the organization folded sometime later. In 1936, the Greenville club saw the need of forming a state organization in order to spread to other communities. The four existing chapters in South Carolina; Anderson, Columbia, Greenville and Rock Hill; came together to form a state organization. On July 17, 1937, the South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce received the National Charter, Number 386. Robert T. Ashmore, then President of the South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce, with George Chaplin as Secretary-Treasurer.
In September of 1937, the second convention was held in Spartanburg, which by then had been chartered. At this meeting, Rock Hill was named the first winner of the Ashmore Achievement Cup, the Annual Convention award for the best-completed project. At this time, chapters did not present written reports of scrapbooks in competing for the award, but a representative of the participating chapters presented an oral report of the project before a group of judges.
George K. Willis of Rock Hill was elected President of the South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce for the year 1937-38. Under his administration, the first statewide publication was published under the title of “The South Carolina Jaycee Review.”
In November 1937, Cheraw was chartered by Columbia with assistance by Willis, bringing the total number of chapters in the state to seven, the others being Chester, Spartanburg and the four charter member chapters.
It was also during this period that Greenville presented one of the first Distinguished Service Awards in the state to James H. Woodside, a non-member for leadership of a Community Chest drive.
On October 4,1938, members of the SCJCC returned to Columbia for the third annual convention. The Willis Cup was initiated at the Convention and awarded to the Chamber whose members traveled the greatest number of miles in behalf of the organization. It may be noted that during the thirties, the convention was a one-day affair. The cost to the members was $2.00 for all activities, which included a stag party. The price for the ladies was $1.00 for the banquet and dance.
During these early years, one of the major statewide programs was an Anti-Syphilis Campaign, which was also promoted by USJCC. Most of the programs conducted statewide were nationally sponsored projects.
Following Willis as President came Devant of Columbia who served the 1938-39 term. During his year, Robert T. Ashmore was elected Vice-President of the USJCC.
Following Bostick, came Joe Mullen, 1940-41; Rev. Edwin Hough, 1942-43 and Claude Tate, 1943. In 1943, J. Francis Brenner was elected President. Under his administration, the State publication came to be called ACTION, but still in the newspaper format. By this year and the year of R. L. Avinger, 1944-45, the organization had grown to seventeen chapters. During these years, the efforts of the organization and sponsored the “Grocer-Consumer Anti-Inflation Campaign.”
Brenner, in 1944, became Extension Chairman of USJCC and during that year presented a plan to the national organization for organizing an international organization of chapters. In 1945, he became Vice-President of USJCC.
1945-46, under the leadership of President G.B. “Goodboy” Stokes of Florence, the Jaycees received their first magazine type publication still under the title of ACTION. During Stokes’ administration, emphasis was placed on voting machine promotion. That year, the organization grew to twenty-four chapters. At the end of the year, Stokes presented the membership cup, for the first time, to the chapter with the largest percentage increase in membership.
Following Stokes as president was John Hamrick, 1946-47; Sherwood Price, 1947-48; R. E. “Zip” Zipperer, 1948-49; and A. D. Griffith, 1949-50.
On August 16, 1949, a Certificate of Incorporation was granted to the South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce with its headquarters in Orangeburg. The purpose of this organization was listed “to promote and foster the growth of young mens’ civic organizations and to provide a means of touching young men civic consciousness through constructive action.”
In 1950, Matt Hiers was elected President. By this time, the organization had grown to 62 chapters. Safety was one of the major program areas during this period. It may be noted that in 1950, Greenville conducted probably one of the first air pollution prevention projects.
ACTION magazine, during this period, was reduced in size to a pocket size publication, but this lasted only a few years.
In 1951, Ben B. Boatwright was elected President and was succeeded by R. A. Jolly, 1952-53. During this period, Teen-age Rodeo was organized and Junior Golf was initiated in South Carolina, thus program emphasis was turned to sports.
In 1953, the organization had only grown by two chapters (64); March of Dimes was a major statewide project as was Mental Health.
In the early organization, the Executive Committee of SCJCC consisted of the President, First and Second Vice-Presidents, Secretary-Treasurer, District Governors (RVPs) and a National Director. By the early fifties, the office of Second Vice-President has been dropped and two National Directors were added. Presidents of SCJCC during this period were Lem Harper, 1953-54 and James Simkins, 1954-55.
On May 14, 1955, a statewide wives organization was organized in Charleston as a social club to meet during the Jaycee State meetings. There were seventeen chartered chapters.
Mrs. Carl Young of North Charleston was elected as the first President of the state organization, which was called the South Carolina Jaycee-ettes. Since that time, the organization has grown from an organization which was started as a social club, to those whose purposes are assistance to Jaycees and benefit to communities, in addition to their original purpose – fellowship with all Jaycee wives.
At the 1955 State Convention, William “Bill” Risher was elected for the year 1955-56. During Risher’s administration, the Outstanding Young Farmer was conducted and Speak Up Jaycee was initiated. Risher was elected USJCC Vice-President in 1956. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the office of USJCC President.
In 1956, emphasis was placed on leadership training. Another project was “Operation Blackboard”, a statewide project promoting pay increases for school teachers. During this year, the Jay-Service Memorial Trophy was presented for excellence in Youth Welfare.
Also during 1956, the Board of Directors passed to establish a headquarters of SCJCC’s. Bids were submitted by Abbeville, Camden, Columbia, Greenville, and Orangeburg; in addition to the Sumter bid to have the State Headquarters in their hometown. The Sumter Jaycees won the bid and built and donated the building to the State Jaycees. The SCJCC increased the dues for the operation of the headquarters. On September 9, 1956, the formal dedication and opening of the newly constructed SCJCC headquarters was held.
Another highlight of 1956 was that Marion McKnight of Manning, South Carolina was selected MISS AMERICA. It was around this time that the Miss South Carolina pageant was held separately from the Sun-Fun Festival in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
In 1957 (January 8th), the Incorporate Seal was re-registered with the Secretary of State in regards to moving the headquarters to Sumter to be him principal place of business. A major statewide project was a tourist survey. With the assistance of the Highway patrol, the SCJCC’s attempted to determine the number of tourists who came through or came to South Carolina.
It was also during this year that the office of First Vice-President was dropped from the Executive Committee, and the office of International Relations Director added. This showed a concern of the SCJCC’s for international relations.
In 1958, the state publication, ACTION, reverted back to a pocketsize edition. By this time, the organization had grown to eighty (80) chapters. State Presidents during this period were E. P. Ellis, 1956-57; Richard Moses, 1957-58; and Ray Mahaffey, 1958-59.
In 1959, the time when Ramon Schwartz was elected President, the SCJCC’s had added nine additional chapters. Parade of cities was highly stressed during Schwartz year as President. The efforts were rewarding, for South Carolina marched Number One in the Parade of States for the first time.
It was during Schwartz’ term that the state uniform was stressed. To march as one of the first, the SCJCC’s wanted an outstanding uniform. They decided upon a white shirt on which navy blue palmetto trees were printed. Navy blue slacks were worn with the white shirts.
Another project of interest during Schwartz’ term was the “My True Surety Contest,’ which was an essay contest that had been conducted for the past several years along with several other governmental projects. Also, the then famous Cadillac project of the SCJCC’s was replaced by another Ways and Means project, the T-Bird project.
At the beginning of the 1960-61 year, after Isadore Louri was elected President, the Executive Committee approved an expansion for the Jaycee State Headquarters. This addition was made to the Conference Room for approximately $3,500. In November, 1960, the South Carolina Jaycee-ettes adopted their Creed.
In 1961-62, Nick Theodore of Greenville was elected President. By this time the organization had grown to 104 chapters. It was during this period that the first JCI Senatorship was presented in South Carolina.
The Jaycee-ettes had become more active during this period. They had adopted a navy blue dress to wear at the National Convention. Also, the first President’s article of the Jaycee-ettes appeared in ACTION.
In 1962, the SCJCC’s elected James Smith as their President. Operation Free Enterprise was probably the most outstanding project during this year. The Jaycees sold “Operation Free Enterprise Glasses.” The state publication, in December of 1962, reverted back to a newsletter type tabloid and was called ACTION REPORTER.
Frank S. Hanckel, Jr., of Charleston was elected President of the SCJCC’s for the year 1963-64. The organization had grown at this time to 124 chapters. It was during 1963 that Dan Taft, an outstanding Jaycee and a National Director, had suddenly died. He was later memorialized in the Outstanding National Director’s award.
During this year the Easley Jaycees donated a flagpole for the front yard of the State Jaycee’s Headquarters.
It was also during Hanckel’s year that the first annual Government Affairs Seminar was held in Columbia. The state publication resumed the name of ACTION, but dropped “Reporter” in September, 1963. In October, the publication was reduced in size slightly, but retained its newspaper look.
Joe Norman of Columbia was elected for the 1965-66 year. In August of that year ACTION magazine reverted back to a magazine type issue, but more on the level of our present day magazine. Health programs too, began to be emphasized. The first Community Development Seminar was held in October of 1964 in Columbia.
Reorganization of Regions was started, and in February, 1965, 15 Regions were approved by the Board of Directors. Prior to this, there had been 10. In nearly thirty (30) years, the SCJCC had gone from three District Governors for upper, middle and lower state to six to eight to ten to fifteen Regional Vice-Presidents.
At the close of the 1964-65 year, the new uniform of a navy blue shirt with South Carolina Jaycees patch on the back and white Bermuda shorts or white slacks had been adopted.
In March 1965, the first annual Mental Health Seminar was held. The second Seminar was held in October, 1965, with equal emphasis placed on Mental Retardation. Larry Rogers was President at this time.
On December 16, 1965, it was the desire of Larry Rogers, Joe Norman, Don Wilson, Jim Brantley, Bill Nichols and Marshall Cain to change the name of the corporation to “THE SOUTH CAROLINA JAYCEES.”
In 1966, the T-Bird Ways and Means project was voted out, being substituted by the Jaycee Football Classic, a professional exhibition game. This project, however, lasted only two years, which marked an end to a major perennial ways and means project.
Hick Harwell of Florence was elected as President of the South Carolina Jaycees. During Harwell’s years, permanent Tri-State Records and Recognition judging was established between South Carolina North Carolina and Virginia. In January, 1967, the Central Correctional Institute Chapter was established, marking the first penal institution chapter in the state.
After his year as President, Harwell was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice-President of the U.S. Jaycees, losing by only three votes. He was later appointed as Associate Legal Counsel of the U.S. Jaycees.
Jack Moree of Lancaster served as President of the South Carolina Jaycees in 1967-68. At the beginning of his year, the South Carolina General Assembly endorsed a con-current resolution to urge support for the Jaycee sponsored R.S.V.P. (Rally Support for Vietnam Personnel) program.
In 1968, Jack Brantley was elected President. During his term, outstanding projects as Honey Sunday, a ways and means project for Mental Health/Mental Retardation; Halloween Safety Patrol; and Adult Education were initiated as annual projects and successfully carried out. The latter two projects were later adopted by the U.S. Jaycees. At the end of Brantley’s term, Outstanding Young Educator program was established in South Carolina.
In 1969, Brantley was elected Vice-President of the U.S. Jaycees and the following year was defeated for the office of U.S. Jaycees President.
On December 28, 1968, Preston C. Jacobs of Spartanburg, State SPOKE and Spark Plug Chairman, was killed in an automobile accident. The Spartanburg Jaycees present annually an award in his memory to the Outstanding State SPOKE winner.
At the close of the 1969 year, Rita Allison of the South Carolina Jaycee-ettes was elected as one of five Regional Directors for the U.S. Jaycees Auxiliary. The following year she was elected to the office of National Liaison officer, the equivalent of the National Jaycee President.
In 1969, Dan Winchester was elected President. During Winchester’s year, revitalized interest was placed upon the Vietnam conflict by passing a POW/MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing in Action) program. A Drug Abuse program was also adopted during his term. Toward the end of the year, the Board of Directors voted for the establishment of a Local President’s Club, which came into operation at the beginning of the 1970-71 year.
In 1970, Jim Foster of Liberty, a former Regional Vice-President and State Community Development Chairman, was killed in an automobile accident while serving his community. Each year the Liberty Jaycees present an award in his memory to the Outstanding District Director.
In 1970, Ron D. Owenby of Gaffney was elected President of the South Carolina Jaycees. In the late sixties, and the early seventies it was apparent that the Jaycees became more concerned with their environment surroundings and the “today” problems. In Owenby’s year, more emphasis was placed on Drug Abuse, including legislation and Mental Health programs. With more and more emphasis being placed on the “today’s problems,” it was apparent that more manpower was needed to conduct these programs. Early in 1970, chapters in South Carolina were already conducting the nationally sponsored, “Do Something Program,” a volunteer service solicitation and organizer program. 1970 was truly the “Do Something” Decade.
John Every of Rock Hill was elected President in 1971 and had “Building with Performance” as the theme for his year. And build he did, as the Presidents’ College became an annual event; the South Carolina Jaycees turned out 300 going; and membership increased by 17 percent as South Carolina marched strong at the first ever Camp Hope Day to see where their hard-earned money #10 in Atlanta at National Convention.
Billy Ayres of Florence became President in 1972 and his year saw a 26 percent growth in membership, reaching the 5000 member mark for the first time since 1967. The theme for the year was “Excel Through Service.” At the National Convention in Minneapolis, South Carolina proudly marched in the #6 position.
1973 saw Laxton Hinson of Rock Hill become President and the South Carolina Jaycees began to take some new directions in programming. With the theme of “Up Your Attitude,” emphasis was placed on Energy Conservation. The Jaycees co-sponsored a car-pooling program with the Governors office and this partnership held through several other energy projects. With the assistance of Legal Counsel Lee Alford of York, the South Carolina Jaycees Foundation was formed and Camp Hope monies were channeled through this new organization. It was also during this year that the South Carolina Jaycees made a commitment of $125,000 for brick and mortar to build a permanent Camp Hope on Lake Hartwell.
The year of 1974 was a year of service to the local chapters as Rudy Starnes of Williston traveled the state as President. By staying on the road most of the time, Rudy was able to visit nearly 100 chapters during the year. With Bill Efronson of Pickens as State Editor, communications were stressed as ACTION returned to a monthly publication, and the Update Review became the President’s weekly newsletter. The commitment to Camp Hope was not taken lightly as the Jaycees and Jaycee-ettes raised the largest sum of money than in any other year. Camp Hope was to become a reality. Rudy’s tight financial management policies were recognized outside the state as he was honored with the Clayton Frost Award at National Convention in Miami.
The delegates at State Convention 1975 saw Sam Raney of Inman become the youngest State President that South Carolina has ever had. At the mature age of 23, Sam led the state to a record 36 extensions and a #19 finish in the National Parade. District Director Skeeter Collins of Florence was honored with the M. Keith Upson Award at the National Convention.
In 1976, Cecil Watkins of Hartsville became President. Under this leadership, the South Carolina Jaycees saw a dream come true. The Camp Hope commitment was met and exceeded and the permanent camp at Lake Hartwell became a reality. A close working relationship was established with Clemson University and Dr. Charlie White, a partnership that would last for years to come, and one that would prove to be a godsend to the campers at Jaycee Camp Hope.
Drew Wilder of Barnwell became President in 1977 and his year saw success in many areas. The Camp Hope relationship continued, the Brick and Mortar commitment was paid and a yearly operating budget established for the camp. Membership once again topped the 5000 levels as Drew encouraged over forty new chapters to become involved in Jaycee activities. In Atlantic City, New Jersey, the South Carolina Jaycees marched #14.
State Convention in 1978 in Rock Hill saw Jeff Lee of Florence become State President in one of the closest elections the state has ever had. A fireball of enthusiasm, Lee promoted membership and led the state to a new record number of extensions. The reward was a #6 finish in the National Parade and a National Vice-President position for Lee. Don Rhodes of Hickory Grove received the Dennis Hamilton Award as one of the nation’s top State Vice-Presidents.
Dick Jackson of Clover became President in 1979. He was assisted during his year by the first full-time salaried Executive Vice-President that the South Carolina Jaycees ever had. It was also during Jackson’s administration that the South Carolina Jaycees Model Legislature had its beginning.
Gene Martin of Mullins, “The Round Man with the Square Deal,” was elected President in 1980. CCI’s Sesame Street project was recognized as the outstanding project of its type in the world at the JCI World Congress.
The South Carolina watermelon wagon pulled by two Texas mules and directed by two Texas Rangers won second prize in a rain soaked parade at the National Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
In 1981, the shoe repairman from Bamberg, Frank Dickson, took South Carolina into the top 10. Under his direction the State grew in membership every month, the first time since Ramon Schwartz marched #1 in 1960. President Frank visited every local chapter at least once by traveling almost every night.
Stressing communications, Frank appointed Felix “Butch” Clayton of North Charleston as Editor to revive ACTION Magazine, and “Scoop” promptly increased publication to a quality bi-monthly magazine. Benjee Reisinger became the first Jaycee Camp Hope Poster Child, and made the cover of ACTION as well as coverage in FUTURE, the U.S. Jaycee Magazine.
Hilton Head’s MDA Celebrity Gold Tournament featuring actor Telly Savalas, pool great Willie Mosconi actor Hugh O’Brien and other stars were featured in FUTURE magazine for the second straight year.
Frank Dickson was nominated as National Vice-President at the National Jaycee Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Even though the NVP bid was not successful, Frank was honored with the Clayton Frost Award recognizing him as one of the Top 5 State Presidents. Seven other South Carolina Jaycees won national recognition for their efforts during the year, including Benny Williams, Tim Raney, Jerry Grainger, Tom Clapp, P.A. Pournell, Jeff Sweitzer, and Jesse Strickland.
Jim Jumper of Cayce became President in 1982 and continued to lead the state with sound management and financial guidance. Camp Hope remained the state’s #1 project as Chairman Benny Williams set a $50,000 goal to be raised during the year. Chapters not only met, but doubled their quotas to help raise over $32,000 in a most successful campaign. Continuing the communications stressed during the previous year, Jim appointed Boyd Black of Camden as State Editor. Following the examples set by Butch Clayton, Boyd instantly upgraded local chapters’ coverage in the state magazine. With a new advertising agency and a new publisher, an 88-page issue became the largest published since the mid 1940′s.
Tim Raney of Inman became the 49th State President of the South Carolina Jaycees in Greenville, making history in the process. This marked the first time that brothers had ever served as State Presidents. Tim’s year of growth was one of excitement as # District Director Robby Dawkins and #1 Regional Director Milton Dickson led the way. The South Carolina Jaycees “Stuck with Grits” as they elected Tom Russo their 50th State President in Myrtle Beach. A first class Directory was published to commemorate “those dedicated young men of the past, who made the Commitment to see that young men of the future would have the opportunity of leadership training that they have had since 1936″ as the state organization “Celebrated 50 Years of Community Service.” Under Russo’s leadership, the state was off to their greatest start in 25 years.
On July 3, 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the opportunities Jaycees offered to young men must now be shared with young women. At a “Special Meeting” called by the Executive Committee August 16, the U.S. Jaycee Delegates voted to open their membership to women after serving young men exclusively for 65 years. It became apparent that while young women would gain from this change, those dedicated Jaycee women would be forced to give up an association with the Jaycee organization that saw two sets of Jaycee leaders trained each year and after thirty years in South Carolina. The SC Jaycee Women “Jumped for It” for the last time with their #12 State President Bonnie Jumper to a #5 finish.
Stressing the theme of involving people in the Jaycee movement; Tom’s year was characterized by tremendous excitement, renewed emphasis on leadership training, increased services to state and local officers, Blue Chip and Green Chip chapters, monthly membership growth, 50 Year Incentives, and more chapters involved in state programming than ever before. A renovation project began on State headquarters as over $5,000 was put back into the 1956 building.
The Camp Hope Rat saw lots of cheese as the SC Jaycees coughed up over $43,800 for Jaycee Camp Hope, raising more funds than the previous record of $38,000 set in 1974 with Honey Sunday. Many new statewide programs were begun including Shooters Education, Child Safe, and Make-A-Wish. The State’s TOYM took on a new image as SCOYA and a new standard of excellence was set under the direction of Benny Williams. Over fifty chapters conducted Shooter’s Education as Jeff Neal and the program were selected the most outstanding in America.
In Indianapolis, South Carolina marched #4 in the Parade of States, the highest finish since 1970 and only the fifth time since 1960 the organization finished in the top five. The Jaycees won national honors for their efforts including Ray Parlier, Renee Ballentine, Norman Nagel, Kevin Wilson, Jeff Neal, Dickie Jones, Danny Treece, Miles Thomas and Steve Yacobi, Steve was President of the #1 Chapter, Wade Hampton-Taylors, and a 4th place Clarence Howard Memorial Award winner. Tom Russo was honored with the Clayton Frost Memorial Award recognizing him as one of the Top 5 State Presidents in America. As a result of a Supreme Court ruling, the South Carolina Jaycees admitted female members for the first time in the history of the organization.
Tom Rapp was elected State President thus becoming the 51st President of South Carolina Jaycees. Robbie Bell served as Camp Hope Chairman; Winter Board brought chapter donations to exceed $27,000. ACTION Magazine took on a newspaper format under the direction of Editor Russ Gantt. South Carolina worked very hard to “Create an Impact” and will continue to do so in the future.
Jeff Morgan was elected President for the 1986-87 year. During his year Camp Hope was funded the most money under the direction of Ray Parlier. South Carolina marched #5 at National Convention in Reno, Nevada.
During Robbie Dawkins year as President, 1987-88, South Carolina marched #1 in the Parade of States in Richmond, Virginia. As a result of his successful year, Robbie Dawkins was elected a National Vice-President.
Ray Parlier was elected the 54th President of the South Carolina Jaycees for the 1988-89 year. As of this writing, 11/9/88, South Carolina has remained #1 in the Parade of States for each month in this Jaycee year.
Coach Ray Parlier began 1988-89 Jaycee year with “The Winning Tradition” as South Carolina Jaycees have been #1 in America and the #1 growth state in America month after month. Over $100,000 has been raised for March of Dimes, over $65,000 for Jaycee Camp Hope, record setting year for Individual Development programming, record setting year for attendance at all Board Meetings. Family Life excelled as Pam Chavis brought new concepts into the program making President Parlier’s priority a reality. South Carolina Jaycees have the top 3 RD’s in America; Katy Zobel, Walter Brooker and Dennis Brewer. Top ten DD’s are Linda Reeves, Miles Thomas, C.B. Brasington, Becky Leonard, Marc Johnson and Suzie Helms.
With the end of the 1980′s a young man from Orangeburg was elected President of the South Carolina Jaycees. 55th President Milton Dixon stepped into the Coach’s shoes to lead a “Decade of Excellence” year. Serving under President Dixon was Administrative VP Bill Russell from Rock Hill, CDVP Susie Helms of Aiken, Management VP Doug Griffin of Sumter, Individual Development VP Jeff McMurdy of Myrtle Beach, and Membership VP Greg Shepard of Cayce West Columbia. The balance of the board of directors was a who’s who of well trained Jaycees coming off of a great 1988 year: Secretary Jim Price, Treasurer Allen Young, Chaplain Don Easler, Legal Council Doug Gay, Action Editor Sunny Riffle, Chairman of the Local Presidents Robbie Robbins, Camp Hope Program Manager Dan Chambers and Scoya program manager Bonnie Jumper. At the 1989 – 1990 Summer Board meeting, held in Clemson, the 70th National President and our past 53rd President Robby Dawkins (Florence Jaycees) was the speaker. It was the 50th anniversary of the United States Jaycees and a very exciting time for the Nation and our State.
Hurricane Hugo marched through South Carolina in September, putting the state on the National news. Jaycees from coast to coast heard the call for help as the Hurricane relief effort was conducted. Outstanding local President from Bowman, Hamp Whetsell, was killed in a car wreck after leaving a Jaycee meeting, which placed the entire state in mourning. But the true strength of the SC Jaycees was brightly shining. The SC Jaycee Congresswomen hosted their final event by sponsoring the South Carolina Outstanding Young Americans program at the winter board meeting in Columbia, S.C. The year ended with a bang as the two chapters dueling for the #1 slot stepped up their hard work. Between the Newberry and Greenville Jaycee chapters there were seven new chapters extended. At the Annual year end meeting, held in Charleston, Antebellum 1990 (theme), the Newberry Jaycee President Kim Sligh accepted the Robert Ashmore award for Outstanding Local President. The Greenville Jaycees and Greenville President Terry Cooper accepted the #1 Chapter plaque. The Newberry Jaycees finished #2 and accepted the Goodboy Stokes award, Management Development Chapter of the Year, Membership Development project of the Year, Membership Development Chapter of the Year, Largest number of chapter affiliations in a year (Hilton Head, Prosperity, North, and Ninety-Six), and the Sweepstakes winner in ID, CD, and Membership. These two outstanding local presidents went on to the 70th National Convention in Louisville, KY to accept the National Charles Kulp awards for Outstanding Local Presidents.
At the 1990 State Convention in North Charleston, Bill Russell from Rock Hill was elected the 56th President of the South Carolina Jaycees. During the first Board of Directors Meeting, the Board voted to change the name of the organization back to The South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce. The year 1990 also marked the year for South Carolina’s First Woman Senator, Cathleen Cleary from Columbia. It also saw South Carolina’s return to the “Top Ten” in the Parade of States, placing Number Six for much of the year. Once again, our local chapters grew with a “slow and steady” pace. Early in the year, when floods ravaged Middle America, our state responded with The Ohio Relief Program, touching the lives of people and changing the face of America. The year 1991 will be remembered as the year America went to war in the Persian Gulf. Once again, the Jaycees answered the call with “Operation Home Front,” providing relief to the families of Jaycees service men and women stationed in the Gulf. The year 1990-1991 will be remembered as the year our local chapters found their place in the sun and were “The Best of the Best!”
At the 1991 State Convention, at Myrtle Beach, Jeff McMurdy from Myrtle Beach was elected 57th President of the South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce. In the 1991-92 Jaycee year 300 members attended Camp Hope Sunday in July. Over 150 radio stations across South Carolina participated in “Jaycee Commercials” between September and December. Jaycees from around the state gather at the State House in Columbia for the annual Model Legislature in January. National President Greg Thomas attends Winter Board Meeting in Columbia assisting in honoring SCOYA recipients. Over Community Service Awards were presented to David M. Harvin from Columbia, Richard M. Quinn, Jr., from Irmo, and Terence Murchison from Rock Hill. Roy Wilson Baxley from Ocean Drive was recognized for Agriculture. The Education Award was presented to James R. Littlejohn from Irmo. Donald Mitchell Houston from Newberry won the Religious Leadership Award. Lula H. Altman of Summerville was recognized with the Business Leadership Award. The Public Service Award was presented to Richard M. Attaway, Jr., from Newberry. Jaycees plant 12,000 trees in 1 day on Saturday, February 29th. Camp Hope donation tops $50,000. Wade Hampton-Taylors and WSSL Radio raise $114,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during a 2-day radiothon. Eleven communities across South Carolina receive new Jaycee chapters. Cheraw Jaycees charter as the largest new chapter in America with 59 members. First quarter the Florence Jaycees were recognized as the Number I chapter. Second and third quarter the Johnston Jaycees were the Number 1 Chapter.
The Johnston Jaycees finished with a strong Number 1 finish. The South Carolina Jaycees finished Number 4 in the Parade of States. Outgoing President Jeff McMurdy was elected National Vice President. NVP Russell was elected National President in Portland, Oregon.
1992-93 ushered in the election of “Daddy” Doug Griffin with his slate of officers including Tina Morrison, Dan Chambers, Donna Belk, Teresa Baxley, David Gettys, Liz Young, Becky Tedder, Pat Speth and Dale Henslee-Smith. With a theme of “Leadership with Vision,” Doug and his board developed a vision statement that has formed the basis for our activities in all areas. Starting his year off in Portland, Oregon, and ending in Greensboro, North Carolina, Doug counts GALS as being one of the highlights of his year.
Outstanding team players for the year included Regional Director Sunny Riffle and District Director Rita Bowles. Camp Hope program managers Terry Cooper and George Bailey, Jr. raised over $100,000 during their year as officers. The #1 District Director was William Herrin of Johnston. This year again found Newberry pitted against the Johnston Jaycees in a race for #1. The Giessenbier award went to the Newberry Jaycees for outstanding programming while Johnston ranked number one in the Parade of Chapters.
Elizabeth Young, from the Wade Hampton-Taylors Jaycees, was elected as the first female President in a highly contested election for the 1993-94 year. For the first time in our history, President Liz did not establish a theme. It was the goal of the Executive Committee to reinforce that our organization is “Leadership Training through Community Service.” Her officers were Teresa Baxley, AVP from Goose Creek; Dale Henslee-Smith, MDVP from Greater Charleston; Sylvia Saunders, IDVP from Columbia; Misty West, CDVP from Newberry; Dean Campbell, Membership VP from Johnston; Wade Greer, State Secretary, from Pickens; Randy Skinner, Legal Counsel from Rock Hill; Rodney Stone, Treasurer from Ninety Six; and Donna Belk, Chaplain from Florence. The South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce set the foundation for growth for administrations to follow with strong policy adopted and enforced.
President Liz excelled in managing her chapters and their members. For the first time in many years, she included the institutional chapters in training activities. The Newberry Jaycees, under the leadership of Joey Westwood, were recognized as the #1 chapter in the Parade of Chapters. Newberry again made history as being the first chapter to win the Giessenbier two consecutive years. The Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees, under the leadership of Donna Harrington, were the #2 chapter and Myrtle Beach Jaycees, under the leadership of Ron Cantrell, were recognized as the #3 chapter in the Parade of Chapters.
The South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce adopted two new corporate sponsored programs, Project KidCare and the Nike Golf Tournament. CDVP Misty West administered both programs to a successful completion. Project KidCare, sponsored by Buick, Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce, identified children through fingerprints and photographs. 100% of all Buick dealers were adopted by Jaycee Chapters across the state with more than 10,000 children participating. The Nike Golf Tournament, held at Verdae Greens in Greenville was successful conducted with $10,000 being donated to Jaycee Camp Hope.
New national programs included the Neon Project. IDVP Sylvia Saunders accepted a new position in Tulsa at the National Headquarters for the J.A.Y.S. (Jaycees Against Youth Smoking) program, sponsored through a grant by the R.J. Reynolds Company.
South Carolina was represented at National Competitions by many outstanding competitors. TOYA (Ten Outstanding Young American) saw Ms. Gabrielle Van de Velde as our competitor for both Write-Up and Speak-Up. Gabrielle placed top ten in Write-Up representing our state with dignity and style. At National Convention in Orlando, Florida, the South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce were represented by Gabrielle Van de Velde in Speak-Up; Erik & Kelly Smith in Family of the Year; Becky Jumper in Armbruster and Joan Reeves in Brownfield Competition. William Harper 3 received the Clint Dunagan Memorial Award as one of the outstanding District Director. Joey Westwood, of the Newberry Jaycees, was recognized as one of the most outstanding local presidents in the nation with a KuIp Award.
At the 1994-95 State Convention, Donna Belk, from the Florence Jaycees was elected the 60th State President. President Donna’s theme was “Training for Success”. State officers were Administrative VP Chad Williams, MDVP Wade Greer, IDVP Sunny Riffle, CDVP Ron Cockman, MVP Melissa Russell, Chaplain Deborah Mimms, Secretary Dale Henslee-Smith, Treasurer Rodney Stone, Legal Counsel Randy Skinner, and ACTION Editor Lisa Wheeler. The Camp Hope team was comprised of William Harper 3 and Randy Skinner who raised $82,000 for our special friends at Camp Hope. The Training for Success Team worked hard to be financially accountable by implementing new sources of income and cutting expenses. The team promoted the total Jaycee concept and the SCJCC grew for the first time in years. The SCJCC also Blue Chipped for the first time ever on the national level. The Rock Hill Jaycees finished the year #1 and won the prestigious Giessenbier and the Wade Hampton-Taylors Jaycees were #2. On-To St Louis Chairman Susan Greer orchestrated an incredible program, taking a large delegation to national convention for the 75th Anniversary of the USJCC, where Donna Belk was elected National Vice President. SCJCC received many national awards, including the George O Wilson Memorial Award for top state in state division three, and was named in the winner in the State Pinnacle Sweepstakes in the area of Planning and Evaluation. The Newberry Jaycees received the prestigious Gold Chip; Chad Williams, Outstanding Statewide Vice President; Melissa Russell, Steve Little Memorial Award; Paul Lamb, Clint Dunagin Memorial Award; Patti DeVine and Pam Chavis, Charles KuIp, Jr. Memorial Awards; Rodney Stone, Outstanding State Treasurer; Laura Smith-Lamb, C. William Brownfield Memorial Award; Julie Pitts, Bill Butler Memorial Award; and Donna R. Belk, Allen Whitfield Memorial Award.
In 1995 at the Annual State Convention and Board of Directors Meeting in Greenville, Misty West, from Newberry was elected the 61st President of the South Carolina Jaycees.
Working on “Building South Carolina”, President Misty’s theme, the first order of business was to reestablish the state headquarters building as a Jaycee source for information and contact. The office was reopened for business with a new computer and a revitalization of materials.
Jaycee Camp Hope saw a tremendous crowd during Jaycee open house and the official kickoff of the fundraising drive that would meet the goal of over $65,000.00. The first quarter meeting, in Columbia would crown the Johnston Jaycees as the number I chapter for the first quarter and they would hold that position throughout the year. The Newberry Jaycees, South Carolina’s only Gold Chip chapter and the largest at 176 members would hold the number 2 place for all four quarters. Model Legislature was held in Columbia with Daniel Stone as the chairman. The second quarterly meeting conducted in Mt. Pleasant, was a phenomenal success with the visiting of the NVP Ken Davis.
Working closely with South Carolina Jaycee Foundation President Elizabeth Young, President Misty West and the executive committee transferred ownership of the South Carolina Jaycee headquarters building to the Foundation, with the agreement that both organizations would use the facility, located in Sumter. This would lead to them much needed repairs to the facility. The third quarterly meeting, held in Greenville, hosted the South Carolina Outstanding Young Americans event. This would be the most outstanding SCOYA in years with a large array of guests and entertainment, conducted by Program Manager Liz Young of the Wade Hampton-Taylors Jaycees.
The March Planning Session led to the quick and efficient establishment of the plan program and a two way race for President. Sylvia Saunders of Columbia and Dwayne Altman, Management Development VP for SC from Greater Greer looked to take this office in May. After a constant decline over the past several years, membership showed a leveling off with growth in March. April completed this cycle with five provisional chapters going back to regular status and many chapters looking toward ACS. At the 1996 State Convention, Dwayne Altman was elected the 62nd President. The Newberry Jaycees were crowned the Number I chapter and the Overall Programming Winner. The Newberry Jaycees received the Bob Wise for Community Development Project of the Year, Walk America. Regional Director Eddie Haynes became the Number one Regional Director and Debra Aston was the Number one District Director. The new administration went right to work with an executive retreat and LOTS planning. The fourth quarter is always a busy time for South Carolina, 96-97 was no different. Planning Session was held in Sumter and provided a backdrop for the official Kickoff to the campaign season. Teresa Baxley from Trident announced her intentions to be the 63rd President of the SC Jaycees. Eric Ramos was the only person to file for a Vice-President position, Individual Development. During Planning Session, the unofficial theme was “Business Not as Usual”. The State Plan of Action was reviewed intensely and changes in the area of Membership, Community and Individual Development were approved. As the year came to an end, the Membership of South Carolina rallied to finish strong and set the state for the coming year. The Fort Mill Jaycees were extended while Johnston completed 2 in-house extensions in April and Trident completed a double up year.
State Convention in Rock Hill saw the election of Teresa Baxley from Trident as the 63rd President of the SC Jaycees, Eric Ramos from Cayce-West Columbia as the Individual Development Vice President and Kathy Knichel as the Management Development Vice President. The Newberry Jaycees edged out the Johnston Jaycees for the #1 ranking in the state thus continuing Newberry’s Gold Chip tradition. Dannette Duffie the current Management Development Vice President was selected as the Every Memorial Award winner. As the Leadership Chain was passed from Dwayne Altman to Teresa Baxley, a new year was off to a blazing start.
Teresa Baxley was elected the 63rd President of South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce on May 17, 1997 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. She held Local Officer Training School in Columbia and had over 100 Jaycees in attendance. She had 11 people attend Jaycee Officer Training School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her team returned excited and ready to put their new knowledge into action.
August saw the South Carolina Jaycees bring in their first extension and also the first month of growth for this administration. South Carolina continued to grow in September, October, and November. During this time, the chapters continued to run project and programs at home, making a great impact upon their community. In November, Teresa went to World Congress in Hawaii. Also during November, the state began discussions on proposed changes in the structure of our organization. The National Organization proposed to institute a President Elect system, whereby a National President Elect would be elected at our June National Convention. There was also a proposal to change our “Jaycee” year to a calendar year. This change would allow for the “President Elect” to serve in an “elect” position for 6 months, and assume office in January.
The Board of Directors met at Winter Board in Columbia, on Sunday, February 22, 1998. The Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the National Bylaw change establishing a President Elect system and the move to a Calendar year in lieu of the current “Jaycee” year (May to April). The Board took this issue one step further. They decided to go ahead and have South Carolina adopt these proposed national changes to be effective in South Carolina immediately. Thus, with a unanimous vote, South Carolina will implement the changes effective with the upcoming election in May. The person elected as president will serve a 6 month term as “President Elect” and will rise to office in January. The same will hold true for all officers elected at that time. The Board also voted to have trimester meetings instead of quarterly meeting. This issue was not unanimous, but the majority prevailed. Finally, the Board voted, again unanimously, to have the current administration serve a second term in office from May through December. By doing so, the administration elected in May will have a period of time to plan for their upcoming year. This will be the first time in South Carolina Jaycee history that a President, in addition to an entire executive board, will have the opportunity to serve 2 terms. This is a rare and great opportunity, and this administration looks forward to implementing the changes made during its term.
The 1998 year also saw a South Carolina Jaycee’s first with the Newberry Jaycees accepting the prestigious Diamond Chip Award for 10 years of consecutive Blue Chip status. The Newberry Jaycees sent a large group of Jaycees to National Convention to receive this award.
Eddie Haynes, of the Boiling Springs Jaycees, was elected to serve as the 64th President of the SCJCC at State Convention. His elected officers are Sam Elliott, MDVP; William Harper 3, IDVP; and Wes Spurrier, CDVP. These gentlemen, along with numerous appointments, took office January 1, 1999. President Eddie’s theme is “Building Tomorrow, Today”.
A cold, snowy Saturday night at state convention in Spartanburg saw William Harper 3 (of Hartsville and Trident) inducted as the 65th President of the South Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce. President Bill’s full Executive Board consisted of Tina Morrison of Johnston as Management Development VP, Tony McCraney of Columbia as Individual Development VP, Barry Brown of Cayce-West as Community Development VP, Kim Andrews of Hartsville as Administrative VP, Dannette Duffie of Newberry as Secretary, Becky Jumper of Cayce-West as Treasurer, and Julia Kelly of Spartanburg as Chaplain. Rounding out the board, Deb Gibart of Hartsville via Minnesota (where she had a national award-winning Jaycee career. Minnesota’s loss was definitely South Carolina’s gain as Deb and the SC “Close-out Team” saw South Carolina grow seven out of eleven months. This helped us stay in the top 15 states across the nation, even ranking in the #5 spot once during the year. Three new extensions also helped tremendously. Outstanding membership growth chapters (Clover +13, Spartanburg +20, Hartsville +16, Trident +11, and Rock Hill +12) led the way and could always be counted on during final closeouts.
The year 2000 also was a banner year as 100% of our chapters submitted the first section of Blue Chip paperwork. National programs were also a priority as many chapters participated in the JAYS program and made contributions to Mission Inn. SC had built a strong league of competitors the previous Jaycee year which was demonstrated beginning at TOYA. Lee Waldron of Florence ranked in the top ten in Speak-Up, and Sue Hollingsworth of Whitmire proved to be a top three Write-Up winner. During the national convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee, our state was well represented. Mickey “Country” Rogers of Hartsville competed in the C. William Brownfield competition, and Lee Waldron of Florence competed in Advanced Speak-Up. SC saw two top ten competitors with Betsy Codispoti of Spartanburg in the John H. Armbruster competition and Sue Hollingsworth of Whitmire in Impromptu Write-Up. SC also was represented in the new Debate competition with a team consisting of Lee Waldron of Florence and Betsy and Paul Codispoti of Spartanburg. During the 2000 Midyear Awards Ceremony, Deb Gibart and Kim Andrews were recognized as Outstanding Vice Presidents while Annette Adams of Clover and Dennis Walker of Low Country were presented Presidential Medallions for outstanding efforts in the Jaycee movement. The year 2000 for the South Carolina Jaycees reflected President Bill’s theme Back to FUNdamentals through basic Jaycee ideas and lots of chapter interaction. August of 2000 brought the election of new officers for 2001. Dannette Duffie of the Newberry Jaycees was elected President and served as President-elect until January 2001. Laura Lamb of the Spartanburg Jaycees was elected Management Development VP.
During the state’s planning session it was decided to return to 4 quarters rather than the 3 trimesters we were currently using. With the plan in hand, President Dannette held a retreat for her VPs. An action plan was developed, President Dannette’s theme of “It’s got to start with you” was unveiled and the VPs left motivated and ready to work together as a team toward the success of the state.
2000 Year-End Convention was hosted by the Spartanburg Jaycees in February 2001. That year the Spartanburg Jaycees walked #1 in the Parade of Chapters for the 2nd year in a row and also received the Giessenbier award for overall programming. Dannette Duffie, the 66th President of the SC Jaycees and her executive committee were installed at the year end convention. In addition to her and Laura Lamb as elected officers the following appointments were made: IDVP, Christina Lauscher of Summerville; CDVP, Laura McDivitt of Wade Hampton-Taylors; Membership VP, Will Chester of Myrtle Beach; Admin VP, Wes Spurrier of Clover; Secretary, Melissa Servedio of Florence; Treasurer, Becky Jumper of Cayce-West Columbia and Legal counsel, Noel Turner of Spartanburg.
President Dannette and her team built upon a strong foundation laid by Bill Harper’s administration. With “It’s got to start with you!” as her battle cry, she stressed the power of one, and what we could accomplish as a team. The Hope Jaycees were extended by Hartsville in August and by the end of September the state was knocking on growth’s door.
The 2001 year marked the sale of our state headquarters. Jaycees from across the state converged on our state headquarters in Sumter to pack up decades of history and memorabilia to be safeguarded in storage until a new headquarters or office is identified. During the packing, stories of days gone by were told and memories of our long history and our many successes were relived and shared. With the loss of our headquarters, executive meetings were held at the Newberry Hut.
With Michelle Owensby as web-master, the state was able to successfully maintain a website, www.scjaycees.org as a valuable communication tool for its members for the first time. Newsletters, rosters, forms, pictures and links were posted and available for everyone’s use and updated as need and in a timely manner.
At the national convention in Dayton, OH, Deb Gibart received the R. Bradley Trafton Award for outstanding state officer for the 2000 year. Alice Smith of the Spartanburg Jaycees and Michael Whitesides of the Clover Jaycees both received Presidential Medallions for their work as local membership VPs. Competitors representing the state were Mary Sprague in Armbruster, Barb Hassis in Write-up and Stephanie Meeks in Brownfield. 2001 State membership VP, Will Chester received a mid-year Presidential Award of Merit from National President Sydney Ward. Also in Dayton, Eddie Haynes of the Boiling Springs Jaycees was installed as a National VP for the 2001 year.
The SCOYA board meeting in May was hosted by the Charleston Jaycees. Sally Hebert served as SCOYA program manager and did an outstanding job recognizing deserving young people. This board meeting had the Florence Jaycees walking #1 with Hartsville on their heels.
Summer board was hosted by the Greenwood Jaycees. Elections for 2002 were held and Wes Spurrier of Clover was elected President-Elect with a theme of “Get in the Game”. Also elected were Laura McDivitt from WHT as IDVP and Lee Waldron from Florence as CDVP. Again, the Florence Jaycees were #1 and the Hartsville Jaycees were #2. Fall board was hosted by the Hartsville Jaycees at the Landmark Inn.
CDVP Laura McDivitt did an outstanding job organizing Model Legislature. For the first time it was held away from the Capital Building in Columbia. The program was held in Greenville at the Greenville Technical College.
Two new state fundraisers were introduced by MDVP Laura Lamb; The BI-LO Booster Program, and The Soda Project. Both were again included in the state’s 2002 plan.
The State’s newsletter was named “The Carousel” and Deborah Barnett of the Clover Jaycees served as our newsletter editor. In August, Deborah died from an asthma-induced heart attack. She was a triple crown, past president of the Columbia Jaycees and was serving as President of the SC Senate. She was a dear friend to every member and her warmth and love will be sorely missed.
September 11, 2001 will forever be remembered for the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center Towers. When needed the Jaycees did what they do best – respond. The South Carolina Jaycees immediately started relief efforts at the request of the New York Jaycees. A collection point in Newberry was announced. After hearing of the relief efforts, the Hartsville Jaycees strongly supported the state’s efforts and manned collection points in their town, Florence and Darlington to collect items to be added to the waiting trucks in Newberry. On September 24th, the trucks full of supplies headed to NY. 2001 will best be remembered as the year America was attacked by terrorism, but united the world in the War against it. The South Carolina Jaycees also saw unity in 2001. With a strong team, determined leaders, and dedicated members, the South Carolina Jaycees were at growth for the first time in 7 years. All of the South Carolina Jaycees took president Dannette’s theme to heart and they all “Let it start with them”.
At the year-end convention in Rock Hill, the Hartsville Jaycees were the #1 chapter in the state, followed by Florence at #2. The Greenville Jaycees won the Henry Giessenbier award for most outstanding chapter in the state. At year-end convention in Tulsa, the following SC Jaycees took home awards: Charles Kulp award, Kristi Keenan; Seiji Horiuchi Award, Paul Codispoti; R. Bradley Trafton award, Wes Spurrier; Dennis Hamilton Award, Laura Lamb; Presidential Award of Honor, Will Chester; Special Award of appreciation, Dannette Duffie. National Blue chip chapters were: Florence, Greenville, Greenwood, Summerville, York and Whitmire. York was a Double-up chapter and Clover and Hartsville were Gold Chip chapters. The SC Jaycees proudly finished as one of the top 15 chapters in the nation.
In January, 2002, Wes Spurrier of Clover was inducted as the 67th President of the SC Jaycees by his father-in-law, 1979-80 State President Dick Jackson. Also inducted were Management VP Kristi Keenan from Greenville, Community VP Lee Waldron from Florence, IDVP Laura McDivitt from Wade Hampton Taylors, Admin VP Sam Elliott from Greenville and Membership VP Scotty Taylor from York.
From the very beginning of 2002, the South Carolina Jaycees made incredible strides in membership across the state. In addition to flying the SC flag as the top growth state in March, the state was at growth every month of the year and well on their way to meeting the board’s membership goal of being +125 for the year. Membership VP Scotty Taylor helped spread a contagious enthusiasm across the state, encouraging chapters to “get in the game”, and chapters responded with solid growth. The Greenville Jaycees helped get things started early in the year by extending the Easley Jaycees and redlining the Anderson Jaycees, making the SC Jaycees the #1 chapter in the US for the 1st quarter of 2002, a title not held since 1989. But membership was not the only focus of the year. The SC Jaycees gave more money than ever before to the Junior Chamber Family AIDS Network and had many new chapters participating in competitions, CPG’s, Blue Chip and Camp Hope.
Jaycee spirit was alive across the state as chapters strived to improve their programming and increase their membership base.
The SC Jaycees honored some of South Carolina’s finest young men and women at the May SCOYA convention at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville. The SCOYA ceremonies were hosted by WSPA-TV personality Amy Wood, with a keynote address from Rep. Rita Allison, past president of the SC Jayceettes. The Spartanburg Jaycees marched #1 and Greenville at #2. At the same convention, the SC Jaycees voted to support our own President Wes Spurrier in his bid for National Vice President for 2003. Wes was unanimously elected to that position in Sioux Falls, SD a few months later at national convention. At that convention, the SC Jaycees placed third for the first half of the year, and Wes was recognized as the top President of that period.
SC Jaycees came together for the second year to play in the Camp Hope Weekend State Softball Tournament in Greenville, proceeds from which benefited Camp Hope. The Clover Jaycees were the obvious winners of the day, but everyone enjoyed a good time. National Vice President Lon Fox, from Tennessee, was on hand to speak to the Jaycee delegation the next day at Camp Hope Sunday. He was very inspired by the SC Jaycees’ love for the camp and the hard work it took to make the camp a reality each year.
The August convention was held in McCormick, once again hosted by the Greenwood Jaycees. The Greenville Jaycees took the #1 spot, followed by Spartanburg at #2. NVP Lon Fox visited once again to address the state. Sam Elliott of the Greenville Jaycees was elected to serve as the 68th President of the SC Jaycees, with a theme of “Keep the Fire Burning”. Also elected were Barb Hasis, IDVP and Melissa Servedio, CDVP.
The SC Jaycees continued their membership growth in the third and fourth quarters and continued to also focus on Camp Hope and Junior Chamber Family Aids Network. The year-end meeting was held in Rock Hill and was hosted by the Clover Jaycees. In his final speech, President Wes ended his year by utilizing the membership revenue to subsidize the Camp Hope shortfall by designating $10,000 to go from the general fund to Jaycee Camp Hope, making the 2002 commitment.
The SC Jaycees went to Dallas, TX, for the national year-end meeting, where they received many awards. They had three groups and individuals place in competitions in Amy Alexander (Greenville-Top 10 Brownfield), Cheryl Banaszak (Greenville-Top 10 Speak-Up), and the Greenville Jaycees (Debate). In addition to several chapters receiving Blue Chip certificates, the Clover Jaycees collected their third consecutive Gold Chip, the Jaycees in District 1 recorded Blue Chip status, and SC earned Blue Chip as a state. Kristi Keenan (Greenville) and Stephanie Canale (York) were honored as “Change Your World” recipients, and Scott Boling (Clover) and Steve Pelissier (Greenville) were recognized as Outstanding Local Vice Presidents. Other prestigious individual awards given are Brian Ashworth (Greenville-Kulp), Julie Hamm (Newberry-Dunagen), Lisa Elliott (Greenville-Upson), Craig Cox (Greenville-Horiuchi), Scotty Taylor (York-Little), and Brantlee Jackson Spurrier (Clover-1st Partner). District 1, led by Lisa Elliott (Greenville), finished as the #6 district, the Clover Jaycees ended as 17th best chapter, and the Greenville Jaycees finished #7 in America behind Kulp winner Brian Ashworth. Finally, because of all of the hard work by the chapters in SC, the state finished as the Top Growth State in America at +116, #3 in the Parade of States, and President Wes Spurrier (Clover) was one of three state presidents awarded the prestigious Clayton Frost Memorial.
The South Carolina Jaycees in 2002 should be remembered for the excitement created by the “Get in the Game” sports theme, the membership success, the national recognition, and the spirit and teamwork contributed by the chapters in the state.
President Sam Elliott took over as the 68th President in Rock Hill with a theme of “Keep the Fire Burning”. Serving on his board were Kristi Keenan (Greenville) as Administrative VP, Melissa Servedio (Florence) as Community VP, Barb Hasis (Columbia) as Individual VP and Elizabeth Saulter (Columbia) as Membership VP.
President Sam ignited the state as he made immediate changes with the return of the general session to the convention agenda and the consolidation of state events so that Jaycees could remain in and focus on their communities. He promoted the Jaycee name as he used a new corporate logo on all his promotional materials, including his exec shirts, name tags and incentives. He placed an emphasis on District and Regional directors with responsibilities and accountabilities. He stressed the importance on developing our existing chapters and worked on an aggressive extension plan to help get more chapters along the coastal areas. He also focused on Jaycee Camp Hope as this year marked a new modern promotional brochure for the chapters to use to solicit funding.
In March, President Sam and First Lady Lisa welcomed their first child, Caroline Abbey Elliott. Abbey hit the road running visiting chapters all over our state, including Laurens, North Myrtle Beach, Pickens and Columbia to name a few.
At first quarter convention in Columbia, the Johnston Jaycees, led by President Alicia Morrison, were named the #1 chapter, with the Greenville Jaycees, led by President Steve Pelissier were #2.
During the second quarter, things began to take off. President Sam encouraged the Laurens Jaycees to regroup and under Alan Brouillette’s leadership, they did just that, making a name for themselves throughout the state.
At the second quarter convention in Spartanburg, the parade stayed the same with Johnston at #1 followed by Greenville at #2.
At the US Jaycees National Convention in Anaheim, the South Carolina Jaycees were proud to take home several awards. The state was recognized as the #10 state in America. Alicia Morrison, President of the Johnston Jaycees received a mid-year Kulp award. William Herrin, District 11 Director received a mid-year Upson award. Craig Cox of Greenville placed first in the Masters Speak Up Competition.
At the third quarter convention in Hilton Head, the Greenville Jaycees moved to #1, followed by the Clover Jaycees at #2, led by President Tim Readett. It was at this convention that the elections for 2004 were held. Brian Ashworth (Greenville) was elected the 69th President with a theme of “Soaring to New Heights”. This election marks the first time since 1939, that a State President has been elected from the same chapter in consecutive years. Also elected was Jennifer Paramore (Golden Strip). In November, South Carolina welcomed its first extension of the year, the North Myrtle Beach Jaycees, the first extension along the coast in many years.
At the year-end convention in Greenville, the Greenville Jaycees finished #1 and also won the Giessenbier Most Outstanding Chapter Award. The South Carolina Jaycees finished at membership growth for the 3rd year in a row and raised $50,000 for Jaycee Camp Hope. At the National Convention in Tulsa, the South Carolina Jaycees finished #11 in the Nation and also Blue Chipped. Many individuals and chapters were honored with awards including Allen Whitfield Memorial Award – Sam Elliott, R. Bradley Trafton Award – Kristi Keenan, Seiji Horiuchi Memorial Award – Craig Cox, and Presidential Awards of Honor were presented to Brian Ashworth, Cheryl Banaszak, Allan Brouillette, Steve Pelissier, Kelly Pickering. Double-up Chapters – Johnston and Laurens.
In January 2004 Brian Ashworth took office as the 69th President of the South Carolina Jaycees at the Year-end convention hosted by the Greenville Jaycees. President Brian’s Theme was “Soaring to New Heights”
The Spring SCOYA Meeting was hosted in May by the SC Jaycees in Myrtle Beach. The board meeting had the Newberry Jaycees walking number one lead by Alicia Hendrix. The Spartanburg Jaycees lead by President Scott Bryant followed at #2 and the Charleston Jaycees lead by President David Riggs finished in the third spot.
The summer board meeting, hosted by the Columbia Jaycees was a Jungle of a time! Again the Newberry Jaycees were on top with Spartanburg still running a close second. Clover under President Cindi Collins moved up to the #3 spot.
After much deliberation by the USJ executive committee the decision was made to postpone the US Jaycees Annual Meeting to be held in New Orleans in mid September. We shook our fist at Hurricane Ivan, but with our members’ safety first and foremost, the prudent decision was made to postpone the meeting. While hindsight is always 20/20, we now know that Ivan was not Ivan the Terrible in New Orleans. The re-scheduled Annual meeting and elections now moved to Tulsa, OK took place one month later. Melinda Mazzone from the Summerville Jaycees was recognized as a mid year outstanding local President and one of the top recruiters in the US.
The Charleston Jaycees were recognized for their Community impact by means of their Harbor Cruise Project and received one of US Jaycee President Lon Fox’s Dream Catchers. It also saw Dr. Julie Metzger from Kentucky elected as our next National President.
The Fall board Meeting brought about for the first time the Senate President, Kim Sligh, along with the entire Senate hosting the Convention to “Return the Favor” to the South Carolina Jaycees. The convention returned to Savannah Lakes as it had just recently been reopened. Julie Hamm from Newberry was elected as the 70th State president. Other offices filled were Community VP Craig Cox from Greenville, Individual Development VP Will Chester from Myrtle Beach, and Management VP Becky Williams from Cayce West Columbia. The convention also saw changes in the Parade. President Scott and the Spartanburg Jaycees took over as the #1 Chapter. Following closely were the Clover Jaycees in #2 and the Newberry Jaycees in the third spot.
November brought a great honor as the South Carolina Jaycee Foundation was selected by the South Carolina Secretary of State, Mark Hammond, to be on the Angel List as one of the top ten charities in South Carolina. The late months also brought about changes in the Jaycee calendar and membership process. To follow the decision of the US Jaycees, the board unanimously choose to move a head and immediately follow a similar January through December Jaycee Calendar. Now, December projects will be included on the current year’s standings. It also brought about the return of membership in December. Additional changes also made were renewals will begin being due the month prior to their renewal date as of December 2004. In a separate effort, several bylaws changes were also put forth that would allow a chapter to decide on the upper and lower limits of the Jaycee Age range the upper age with lower age limit at 18 and the upper limit at 40. Also put forth was moving the elections from the Fall Meeting back to the Summer Board Meeting and designating the SCJ Foundation as the beneficiary of any assets by dissolved chapters.
January 2005 found the SC Jaycees back in Charleston with the year-end meeting hosted by the Charleston Jaycees at Folly Beach. During this meeting 70th president, Julie Hamm of the Newberry Jaycees and the 2005 board consisting of Will Chester (Myrtle Beach), Becky Williams (Cayce-West Columbia), and Scott Bryant (Spartanburg) took over. With a theme of “Racing to the Top”, the new board was off and running. January and February found SC once again at growth.
In May, the group was back in Columbia for the 1st quarterly convention of the year. Hosted by the Executive team, South Carolina’s Outstanding Young Americans were honored in a ceremony hosted by WLTX-TV morning show co-host Curtis Wilson. Also, during the weekend, Newberry was recognized as the #1 chapter for the 1st quarter.
In August the 2nd quarter convention was hosted by the Greenwood Jaycees at beautiful Savannah Lakes. Over the course of the weekend, we welcomed NVP Dewayne Sumner and recognized Cayce-West Columbia as the #1 chapter for the 2nd quarter. Becky Williams of the Cayce West Columbia Jaycees was elected as our 71st state president with a theme of “Success – one base at a time.” Next up was planning session for 2006, where the group came together to formulate a plan to ensure that success for 2006.
In November, SC Jaycees were at the beach for 3rd quarter convention where, once again, Cayce-West Columbia was recognized as the #1 chapter. We welcomed NVP Chris “Cowboy” Oldham in for the weekend. Also, over the weekend, the board of directors voted to re-structure the state Executive board to better utilize our members and their abilities as they step up to serve on the state level. The Management and Community Vice president positions have been combined into a Programming VP who will oversee the program managers and the Membership VP will now oversee all member services to include membership and competitions. In addition, the Secretary and Treasurer positions will be combined into one position.
In January, the 2005 year-end convention was held in Columbia, SC. The Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees were recognized as the #1 chapter in the state of South Carolina. It was a close race to the finish, but the Newberry Jaycees raced into Victory Lane and claimed the prestigious Henry Giessenbier award for outstanding chapter in the state. During the weekend, the South Carolina Jaycees celebrated their “Race to the Top” and prepared for “Success – one base at a time” by installing Becky Williams of the Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees of the 71st state President. As the daughter of former State President, Jim Jumper, they made history as the first daughter/father Presidential combination. President Becky was joined on her team by Rhe Adams (Columbia), Programming Vice President; Scott Bryant (Spartanburg), Secretary/Treasurer; Heather Behringer (Newberry), Camp Hope Program Manager; Amanda Black (Cayce-West Columbia), Chaplain; and Angie Beaty (Spartanburg), ONTO Program Manager.
In March, the US Jaycees descended upon Myrtle Beach for their 2005 National Convention. Outgoing President Julie Hamm and incoming President Becky Williams lead SC with a strong showing. During the weekend Scott Bryant of the Spartanburg Jaycees was recognized with the R. Bradley Trafton Award for Outstanding State Officer and Laura McDivitt of the Myrtle Beach Jaycees was recognized with the Seiji Horiuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding State Program Manager. Local Presidents Heather Behringer (Newberry), Shannon Tindall (Summerville), and Bobby Hamby (Greenwood) were recognized as part of the National program “100 to Watch”. It was a great weekend of training and fellowship with the US Jaycees!
In April the SC Jaycees had the unique opportunity of hosting both the National President Lisa Parrish from Virginia and the JC International President Lars Hajslund from Denmark in our great state. Their visit to our capitol city Columbia included meetings with local business leaders, chamber of commerce members and the Mayor to talk about then benefits of having a Jaycee chapter in every community in the state. Their visit ended with a night of Training for all local chapter members who were able to attend.
Also in April, President Becky led the SC Jaycees to Rock Hill to celebrate the First Quarter of the 2006 year. The state welcomed our National Vice President Jane Amend who spoke on the “Heart” she saw in the South Carolina Jaycees and the enthusiasm we all showed for this great organization. The Spartanburg Jaycees, under President John Beaty, marched # 1 in the Parade and the weekend was capped off by a speech from our new Camp Hope Director Norman McGee. Norman McGee took the place of Director Charlie White who retired from Jaycee Camp Hope after over 35 years of service. The SC Jaycees have had a great working relationship with Charlie White over the years and wish him the best of luck in the future and are looking forward to a starting that same great relationship with Norman. During the first quarter convention we also celebrated year to date growth for our state through the month of April and a new chapter The Pickens County Jaycees. A once thriving chapter who lost their charter a few years back but come together when the community felt the need to have a Jaycee chapter again.
July always brings the SC Jaycees annual visit to Jaycee Camp Hope and the State’s Camp Hope Softball Tournament. The Clover Jaycees were once again named State Champs as well over a hundred Jaycees gathered on Camp Hope Sunday. This year we had a huge number of Jaycees, Jr Jaycees and former members attend camp for the day. The attendance numbers were up thanks in part to the great promotion of this event by Camp Hope Program Manager Heather Behringer and her tireless efforts to increase awareness of our need to continue to support our state’s # 1 project.
August brought the SC Jaycees to Florence for the Second Quarter convention. Training conducted by National Vice President Denice O’Neil focused on membership recruitment, retention and activation, as the state continued to be at Year to Date growth through the month of August and were recognized as the #14 chapter in the Nation at mid-year. The SC Jaycees took the “Cowboy Up” On-To party theme to heart and continued to celebrate the State and Local Chapter’s membership successes. The Spartanburg Jaycees were the #1 chapter in the state for the 2nd straight quarter.
In September the SC Jaycees traveled to Indianapolis for the US Jaycees Annual Meeting and TOYA celebration. Two of our state officers were recognized as Certified State Officers, Heather Behringer, Camp Hope Program Manager and Dave Riggs, Training Coordinator. President Becky proudly represented the SC Jaycees on stage as we were recognized as the # 7 State in the Nation.
President Becky and the South Carolina Jaycees continued to celebrate another month of growth through October. November brought the celebration of the Third Quarter of the Jaycee year. The Spartanburg Jaycees continued their march as the # 1 chapter in the State for the third straight quarter and the SC Jaycees elected its 72nd State President Scott Bryant from the Spartanburg Jaycees. We also honored our 2006 SCOYA Winners: Outstanding Educator Lisa DiFabio, sponsored by the Charleston Jaycees; Outstanding Fitness Leader Amber Wright, sponsored by the Charleston Jaycees; Outstanding Business Leader Elizabeth Horton, sponsored by the Columbia Jaycees.
As 2006 comes to an end the SC Jaycees are working to accomplish some things that have not been done in several years, year to date growth for the State organization and meeting our Jaycee Camp Hope goal of $50,000. Working together with young energetic future leaders of this great organization we will achieve Success, One Base at a Time.