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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JAYCEES - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The JAYCEES, a leadership-training organization for men and women ages 18-36, was organized in 1938 as the Cleveland Junior Chamber of Commerce chapter for men only, with Charles J. Ford as the first president. Two years later, the group affiliated with the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. Although abbreviations of the organization's name had been used, such as J.C. or JayCees, the term Jaycee was officially sanctioned in 1947. The group's original purpose, to offer Cleveland's young men new opportunities for civic participation, was later expanded to include individual development through self-improvement programs, as well as community-service projects. Annual community events sponsored by the Cleveland Jaycees included the Holiday Shut-Ins Party for the elderly and handicapped, the Cleveland Easter Egg Hunt, and Parties-in-the-Park, downtown Friday night events held in the spring and summer. The Cleveland chapter also sponsored the National Jaycees Convention in 1980, which brought in over $15 million for the city. A prominent Cleveland member is selected annually by the chapter to receive its Distinguished Service Award, and in 1984 it was given to Jose Feliciano, Cleveland's chief prosecuting attorney. That year the organization began accepting women for full membership and Lauren Wintering was elected the first female Jaycees president for the year 1986-87. In 1995 the Cleveland Jaycees had a membership of about 200.

Cleveland Jaycees Records, WRHS.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 11:35:30 AM

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