The theme for the year was “The Spirit of Aloha”. We are glad you’re here. Have a great time while you are here and when you have to leave, we hope you can not wait to come back. This was our message throughout the year.
Using this Hawaiian theme it only made sense that our official shirts for the year were Aloha Hawaiian shirts. Starting with the Fall BOD in Idaho our shirt started showing up all over the country. Senate President Jerry Wendelken #23161 from MI was the first to wear our shirt outside of Missouri. Soon Aloha shirts started showing up at all meetings. We were the trendsetters for the whole country. We certainly were identifiable.
We had 42 different activities including 32 Return The Favor projects for the Missouri Jaycees. Our organization grew from 230 members to 256 and we became the 7th largest Senate state in America.
For the second year in a row we were one to the top Return The Favor states in the country. We judged, trained, recruited, and mentored all year long for the Missouri Jaycees. Our biggest RTF projects were Access Day at the State Fair, Outstanding Young Missourians, Wonderland Camp, provided dinner at the Spring Jaycee Meeting, and LOTS. I personally was recognized by the USJCI Senate and the U.S. Jaycees with a Return The Favor Award.
We ran some fantastic projects all over Missouri. We sold corn at the St. Louis Strassenfest. We had a hospitality party and tailgated at the Rams/Chiefs game in Kansas City and held the ‘Big Kahuna Open’ to raise money for the Junior Chamber Mission Inn project (now JCFAN) in Eldon.
The biggest, best and most fun project of the year was the 25th Anniversary Celebration held in St. Louis and chaired by Mary Sawyer #43930. We had hospitality on Friday and then went to a Cardinals game on Saturday we had a golf outing and barbecue lunch with a formal dinner/dance on Saturday night. We had a total attendance of 62 Senators, including 12 past Missouri Presidents, our Region 6 National Vice President D.J. Leppla #44743 from MN, USJCI Senate Administrative Vice President Denny DeGroot #40222 from IL, and the National President Jerry Wendelken #23161 from MI. This was our Project of the Year.
I had a fantastic Executive Board starting with Barbie Huff #52252 from Joplin as Vice President, Randy Johnson # 56636 from Monett as Treasurer, Donna DeLaney #55560 from Jefferson City (Capital City) as Secretary, and John Raeuchle #47511 from St. Louis as Chairman of the Board. They were the most fantastic crew that any President could ask for. John Raeuchle #47911 was our Senator of the year.
Regionally Donna was recognized as an Outstanding State Secretary. Randy was recognized as an Outstanding State Treasurer, and I was recognized as the Outstanding State President in Region 6.
Nationally as mentioned before we were recognized as one of the top states in the nation for Return The Favor. We were recognized for Outstanding Jaycee Mission Inn fund raising. Randy Johnson #56636 was recognized as the Outstanding State Treasurer in the nation and I was recognized with the Thomas E. Humphrey Memorial Award as the Outstanding State Senate President in the nation.
It truly was the most outstanding Jaycee/Senate year in my whole 25 years of being affiliated with the organization. It was truly magical. We really did express not only to Missouri but the nation the true “Spirit of Aloha”.