Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 5, 2013

Jaycees remembered

Good works of defunct organization continue

ASHLAND — Although the Jaycees have been defunct in Ashland since 1992, many of their accomplishments live on.

Getting started

In 1939, a few young businessmen in Ashland met to discuss the possibility of forming a chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, which would be known as Jaycees. In 1940, the Ashland chapter got its national charter, which was celebrated Dec. 6, 1940, with a charter anniversary dinner. The group’s first president was Clifford Goff.

Speaker Charles R. Hook, president of the American Rolling Mill Co., spoke about what he saw as the mission for the group, naming four crucial points: keep out of war, prevent attack, give England aid and call for young men.

“I say to you members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce,” Hook said. “If we are to save America, young men must do it, young men must carry on.”

Americanism was a large part of the organization’s mission, donating books about Americanism and American lifestyles to local libraries.

According to papers obtained by the Boyd County Public Library, the Ashland chapter participated in the state and national organization by sending members to conventions.

The first project the Ashland chapter organized was the “Keep Us Out of War” campaign, which became a national campaign of Jaycees. It was the first time a new chapter’s first project was adopted by the national organization.

Accomplishments

Local projects to improve life in Ashland, however, were of the greatest importance to the members.

Some of the earliest projects included the Finnish Relief campaign and presenting a distinguished service award.

Part of the mission was to provide healthy, wholesome activities for Ashland’s youth. Jaycees did so by sponsoring such activities as sports games and trips to see games as well as a table tennis exhibition.

Other early projects included support for the completion of the Mayo Trail (U.S. 23), city cleanup and decoration, which included installing trash receptacles through town, and projects for Fire Prevention Week.

In 1949, as part of the health and safety portion of Jaycees’ mission, a blood typing campaign began which formed the basis of a local blood donor list.

That same year, Jaycees raised money to install lighting on the YMCA baseball fields so children would have more play time.

The Jaycees provided entertainment for everyone with its Turtle Derby to raise funds for a new youth center.

In 1949, the Jaycees helped raise money to send Ashland High School Marching Band to the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C. AHS’s band was the first to be invited to the inaugural that year. Fundraising was relatively easy in the generous town. In 1949, a story in The Independent quoted Jaycee George Wallace as saying about his fundraising efforts “people stop me on the street and start reaching in their pockets.”

Jim Terreo served three terms as secretary before becoming Jaycees president from 1959 to 1960.

The Beckley, W.Va., native found his way to Ashland when he was hired by Shaffer Office Supply in 1953.

In 1956, he founded Terreo Office Machines after Shaffer closed.

He said being a Jaycee was helpful to his business because it allowed him to meet people and make business connections.

However, the Jaycees gave a great deal to the community, too.

Terreo said under his presidency, the group had a Bucket Brigade to collect money for the March of Dimes.

“We had the first one in town and we collected $3,000,” he said.

The group organized the first Ashland Home Show, during which the first beauty contest, a forerunner of the Miss Ashland Scholarship Pageant, was offered.

Jaycees also started an awards program for high school students that was the forerunner of AK Steel’s Self-Reliance Awards.

Terreo said he enjoyed the group selling Benson’s Fruitcake as a fundraiser for Jaycees.

“It was good fruitcake,” he said.

His wife, Janie Terreo, said she and their six children enjoyed attending some of the functions the Jaycees organized for members and their families, which included the awards dinners and picnics.

Mike Garlinger, president from 1983 to 1984, said he recalls the Jaycees giving Christmas parties for the seniors who lived in SCOPE towners, which was subsidized senior living, and creating the Outstanding Young Man and Boss of the Year awards.

“The gazebo in Ashland's Central Park was the brain child of the Ashland Area Jaycees. We made the first financial contribution to the project,” he said, noting seeing the gazebo brings back good memories. “I obtained the plans from the Staunton, Va., Lion’s Club ... Then, a local architect redrew them for our site. The Ashland Area Jaycees are listed on the sponsor plaque on the gazebo.  Now, we have this wonderful structure that so many people enjoy.”

He said Jaycees also were active in the local Soap Box Derby, had a fundraising haunted house, manned phones for the Jerry Lewis Telethon, worked with local prisoners, helped maintain the Hack Estep home and the Miss Ashland Area Scholarship pageant. He said they made it a point to shovel snow for their neighbors — a small project that meant a lot of those who needed help.

One of the first raffles in town, according to Garlinger, the group raffled a Corvette.

“Someone donated a Corvette for us to raffle,” he said. “We did it for five years. The first two years were Corvettes but after that, we switched to money.”

He said one of the programs begun by Jaycees continues today, despite the club becoming defunct.

Ashland Jaycees Senators Foundation established a scholarship for local students at Paul G. Blazer High School and Fairview High School based on community service as well as grade point average and extra-curricular activities.

To become a Jaycees senator, Garlinger said members are nominated by their chapter; senators retain their title for life.

Garlinger said money from the Jaycees’ building sale was invested and the scholarship is now perpetual; each school year, recipients receive a $1,000 award.

Garlinger said during the last 10 years of the group’s existence, it was more and more difficult to recruit new members, with more distractions and responsibilities for young people.

“The people we attracted, more and more got involved in other activites the their time got more and more precious and they lost interesst in Jaycees,” Garlinger said.

However, under Garlinger’s presidency, the chapter bylaws were changed to allow women to join Jaycees. This preceded the national organization’s OK for women to join.

The first woman to join Jaycees in Ashland was Sherry Pyles, who also was the first female president of the group, serving from 1987 to ’88.

Pyles had been a member of the Jayceettees, the organization of wives of Jaycees members, and served as that group’s leader from 1982 to 1983.

“It was an organization that supported the endeavors of the Jaycees, but as time went on and women had to start working full-time jobs, both male and female membership was dropping,” Pyles said. “We thought, what could we do to enhance it? Women were allowed in more places they hadn’t been before, so we thought it was time to allow women to be in Jaycees.”

Pyles joined Jaycees in the mid-1980s and a few years later was president.

“The Jaycees had three areas of interest — community development, management development and individual development,” she said, noting in all those areas, Jaycees stayed busy with practical programs.

Those that fell under the label of community development included things like the Self-Reliance Awards for high schoolers and the Scope Towers holiday parties.

“That was something they looked forward to and we’d get entertainment from local high schools, two or three different kinds of entertainment,” she said.

She said the Ashland chapter started the Jesse Stuart Book Project, which eventually was adopted by the state chapter. The program procured discounted Jesse Stuart books from the Jesse Stuart Foundation and distributed them to area sixth-graders, helping to teach morals and values.

“We got letters of commendation from then-First Lady Barbara Bush and then-First Lady of Kentucky Martha Wilkinson,” Pyles said.

Despite the good works of Jaycees, the Ashland chapter of the organization eventually folded.

“Corporations started offering their employees personal enhancement seminars so there wasn’t a need for that anymore,” Pyles said. “Fundraising for other organizations started falling to the United Way, which is much easier for people and they do such an excellent job.”

Plus, people became busier and busier making a living and raising their families and the time demands on Jaycees members were great.

Although the Jaycees gave way to Junior Achievement, which no longer exists, the group’s works live on in the form of the scholarship program established by the Ashland Jaycees Senators Foundation.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • jeremymccombs.jpg Jeremy McComb enjoys Tri-State's limelight

    Jeremy McComb’s career has been a wild ride, especialy in the last week.
    The lead single from his latest album was released on iTunes last week and it was a huge success right from the start.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Festival to showcase new plays

    The ACTC New Play Festival will feature 10 student and faculty written plays (short scenes, monologues, ten-minutes, one acts) that will premiere at 8 p.m. April 25 and 26 and at 2:30 p.m. April 27 at J.B. Sowards Theater on campus.

    April 17, 2014

  • 0420mongol1.JPG A ride to remember

    Riding 50 miles a day is no big deal to Amy Whelan.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418melodies.jpg Melodies & Masterpieces returns Friday

    Anyone strolling through downtown Ashland at lunchtime Friday will have a chance to enjoy the artistry of one of the area’s most-respected guitarists as Chris Kitchen kicks off the return of the Melodies & Masterpieces series on Judd Plaza.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418odell.jpg MSU professor appointed state geographer

    Dr. Gary O’Dell, a professor of physical geography at Morehead State University, was named state geographer in January.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill to benefit AK Steel

    During the 11th hour of the General Assembly, a bill extending important sustainable incentives for AK Steel’s Ashland Works was pushed through for approval Tuesday night.
    House Bill 483 was created to extend the plant's incentives provided by the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act in 2004.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pathways begins autism services

    Pathways has extended its community outreach in a big way by providing services for families facing autism.
    Lena Harmon, central director for the company's Kentucky Impact Youth Council, said these services can save families the trouble of being added to long queue lines in Cincinnati and Louisville.
    Harmon said she has heard some families testify having to wait up to 12 months for appointments in faraway cities.

    April 16, 2014

  • Russell academic new dean at OUS

    Nicole Pennington chose a two-year community college degree track in 1991 because she wanted to enter the nursing work force with as little delay as possible.

    April 16, 2014

  • 1936 Indian lasting wedding gift

    When it came time to present his future wife with a symbol of his undying devotion, Virgil Erskine gave her a 1936 Indian motorcycle instead of a diamond ring.
    “I’ve always called it my wedding present. It’s my diamond ring,” said Charlene Erskine, explaining she and her husband were married at Sturgis, S.D., in 1983, found the antique Indian Sport Scout in 1984 and had it restored and on the road in 1985.

    April 16, 2014

  • Boyd Democrats take floor at Elks

    Boyd County Democrats met at the Elks Lodge for a matchup between candidates for two of the hottest primary races in Boyd County: sheriff and judge-executive.
    The candidates, sponsored by the Boyd County Democratic Women’s Club, each took to the podium to face the crowd Tuesday night and discuss the candidacy and platforms for the race that is still over a month away.

    April 15, 2014