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The Springfield Junior Chamber of Commerce, a civic organization for men aged 21-40, was organized March 10, 1939. Ten young Springfield men, plus members of the local Pill Rollers Club, a young men’s organization, attended the first meeting to plan the new Jaycee chapter. William B. McKenzie Jr. was elected charter president for the balance of the 1939-40 year and the 1940-41 year. The purpose of the Jaycees - leadership training through community service - has remained constant since the establishment of the national organization in St. Louis. The Junior Chamber of Commerce officially changed its name to "Jaycees" in the 1950s. Membership was opened to women in August of 1980.

Throughout the years, the Springfield Jaycees have remained a vital part of the community. In the 1940s, Jaycees were directly responsible for the establishment of the Springfield Airport Authority. They also developed plans for the salvage of scrap metal, tin cans and paper in the area as requested by the War Production Board and gained nationwide recognition for this effort. Over a million pounds of scrap was collected during the drive. In 1948, street signs were placed throughout the city of Springfield by the Jaycees. After a study of the community to determine the organizational needs of boys, a charter of incorporation was presented on April 3, 1956 and the Boys Clubs of Springfield was formed. The program promoted the health, social, educational, vocational and character development of boys from eight to eighteen , regardless of race, creed or color. Lincoln Greens, a golf course located at Lake Springfield, was developed by the Jaycees and opened for business on June 1, 1957. The decade of the sixties saw the Jaycees involved in many activities to benefit the citizens of Springfield. Governmental action included campaigns to eliminate municipal garbage collection, add water fluoridation, pass sewer and school bond issues, and sponsor candidate information programs. Many projects targeting the youth of the area were also ran. From the introduction of the Haunted House in 1970 to the donation of a crime prevention trailer to local law enforcement agencies in 1980, the Springfield Jaycees organized and ran a multitude of projects to benefit the community. In 1976, the Bicentennial Freedom Train rolled into town with the Jaycees distributing coloring books to commemorate the event. In September 1981, the Harvard Park Dad’s Club signed over the deed for the property at 2525 South 12th to the Springfield Jaycees, giving us a permanent place to call home.

The Springfield Jaycees also helped form the original Crimestoppers in 1982. The chapter has become one of the outstanding chapters in Illinois and the nation, producing many inter-organization and governmental leaders.

 

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New 2013

Capital City Celebration

Pageant Form

2013 Parade Entry Form

Previous Projects

IBF

 

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Lawnmower Clinic

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