The West End Jaycees has a rich 57 year history full of memories and accomplishments. It all began in 1956 when the Suburban Young Men’s Club was formed in the West End of Richmond. The Richmond Junior Chamber decided to extend the West End Junior Chamber of Commerce. The charter night was held at the Wakefield Grill on Broad Street on January 23, 1957 with Lewis C. Markel, Jr. elected as the first President.
Throughout our 51 years, we have impacted our local community as well as others outside our community. In the 1960’s the polio disease was affecting children in our community. There were no facilities in place to vaccinate the large population affected. The West End Jaycees acquired the money by personally applying for bank loans and purchased enough vaccine to serve the Richmond population.
In 1993, during the presidency of Tracy Hale (who later went on to become Virginia State President), the West End Jaycees spearheaded a flood relief campaign to help the people of the mid-west. Chris Brown, the project Chairperson and a former chapter president himself, rallied the Chapter and other surrounding chapters to provide manpower for the collection of donated money and goods to send to the mid-west. When all was said and done, and 15 semi-trucks later, we had raised $150,000 and 50,000 pounds of goods. This helped the flood ravaged people of the mid-west begin their journey back to getting on their feet again.
Throughout the years the West End Jaycees have played an integral part in our community. Each year we raise money to send mentally and physically challenged citizens to summer camp. We also take disadvantaged children shopping at Christmas time as well as goodie bags at the Faison School for Autistic children.
In addition to the extensive community service, we provide our members professional training. In every project, members develop project management skills. When elected to a position on the Executive Board, they learn delegation and leadership skills. Often times we bring in guest speakers, as well as provide our members with time management, stress management and many other courses to prepare and enhance their careers.
The West End Jaycees offer a wide variety of projects and events for our members. We are proud to have many successful business leaders and prominent community officials who have developed through the Jaycees. We are the organization of choice for young leaders and employers. Not only do we provide a service to our community; we provide a service to our members by building the leaders of tomorrow.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at WestEndJaycees@gmail.com or come to one of our monthly meetings.