It was a very close race for President in 1980, but I was the only one to bring the filing fee of a case of cold beer so I was elected unanimously. The main objective of the year was to keep the new organization going and growing. This was accomplished by getting the word out in newsletters and the Missouri Jaycees Monday Morning Memo. Hospitality was not quite what it is today but we had some fun and beer and chips. The first formal hospitality was held in Belton courtesy of Gary Mallory #20884 and the Belton Senators Ė beer, booze, and turkey fries, and it just kept getting better from there on.
One of the new services the Senate was asked to do for the Jaycees by President Dennis Snelson #25254 was to review and recommend approval of new Senatorship applications. We also assisted in judging and eventually took responsibility for judging at state meetings. As for growth, we started the Life Membership program at the last meeting of my year; the cost was $100. Membership picked up and more Senators started coming to meetings and helping out with judging and get-togethers. We continued with the Third Annual Tan-Tar-A retreat and more than 30 Senators and family members attended.
We also became more active in the national organization and with Senate groups from other states. This was mainly due to the efforts of Gerry Moore #26604. We started home and home football and basketball visits with Illinois and Nebraska and started going to nearby state meetings, picnics, and other events. On the national level, this was the first year the Missouri Senate was really involved. We backed a winner, Ray Noxel #8456 for President, and our own Ken Velten #22012 was appointed the Chaplain of the U.S. JCI Senate.
All in all, this year was a real start for the future of the Missouri Senate. We established ourselves as more than a group of older Jaycees who just showed up to party. We became involved in the organization which we cared for and helped us be the persons we are. This came about not because of one or a few Senators, but because everyone cared and got involved.
Earl Sawyer #28243 and I got involved in the formation of the Missouri Senate before we received our Senatorships. The real Senators who were there were Butch Robinson #19904, Ken Velten #22012, Gary Mallory #20884, Tom Wilders #22014, a few others I canít remember, and Tom Morrissey #19976 from Nebraska, who came to us and helped put the organization together.