The long, rich history of the Statesboro Jaycees was the focus of the monthly meeting of the Bulloch County Historical Society on Monday at Pittman Park Church.
Three members of the Historical Society who also held leadership positions in the Jaycee’ during the 1960’s led the program.
- Jack Henry, President 1965-1966
- Edwin Akins, President 1967-1968
- Rodney Harville, State Director 1967-1968
They Statesboro Jaycees was chartered in 1940 with the late Josh Lanier serving as the clubs founding president.
Their first action was to help end a ban on showing movies on Sunday at the local theater. This also became their first fundraiser as they were given a portion of the admission fees for role in obtaining the rights to show movies on Sunday.
- They used these fund to create a college scholarship fund and build a swimming pool at the recreation center. It took almost four years of fundraising to get the funds to build the pool. It opened in the summer of 1949.
- Built a wading pool and 30×60 picnic shelter and skating rink known as the pavalon which was a served as a skating rink.
- Funded the marking of city streets including painting center lines and parking spaces.
- In 1951 the Jaycees empty stocking drive began.
- 1963 the polio vaccine became available. They Jaycees sponsored a county wide mass vaccine clinic. They vaccinated over 21,000 residents which was 92% of the county population at the time.
- Helped with a bond referendum to build a new Bulloch Memorial Hospital
Watch video of the program below:
The Statesboro Jaycees continue to make a difference
With nearly 40 members, the Statesboro Jaycees remain very active in our community. They continue to operate a version of the empty stocking drive, which is now the annual Toys for Tots campaign and many other difference making activities in the community.
The current leadership attended the meeting.