The Marceline Junior Chamber of Commerce is a comparatively newcomer on the scene when compared with some of the older organizations in town, however, since the club was founded in 1954, a great many things have been accomplished for the community.
The Marceline Jay-Cees are an extension from the International Junior Chamber of Commerce. The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce and The Missouri Junior Chamber of Commerce. The first President of the local organization was Max Randal, a local insurance man, who led the club through its first year with flying colors.
In the Jay-Cee file is a letter from the Marceline Mayor and City councilmen thanking the club for its help in promoting the Walt Disney Swimming Pool in 1955, when the bond issue was passed.
Through the years since that time the club has helped with many important things that have since become part of Marceline life. The first project of the group was the purchasing of the city street signs which still grace the corners of the city’s streets. Shelters for rural children riding the school buses was another project which has eased the mind of many a Mother on cold winter days. One of the projects still in wide use today is the playground equipment, and shelter house at the Disney Park and Swimming Pool area.
One project which received high public praise was the Tri-County Fair of 1955. Race Fans of the area thrilled many a Wednesday night the spills and chills of the roaring stock cars at the Jay-Cees’ Speedway, which was located near St. Catherine. This project lasting about three years brought in cars from all over the state of Missouri and several times out of state cars ran at this very popular track.
At the Disney Pool Dedication, the Jay-Cees sponsored a beauty Queen contest, Walt Disney came to Marceline for this event and crowned the Queen – Miss Deanne Kelly (Hayes). The club also built several picnic tables, and individual bar-b-que pits for use at the Disney park.
The public schools have not been forgotten in many of the Jay-Cee projects. An award is presented each year for outstanding Sportsmanship in football and basketball at the Marceline High School; The Reserve bleachers at the football field were donated to the school after the closing of the Jay-Cee stock car track; Football games are much more enjoyable for the fans since the new electric scoreboard has been erected, another Jay-Cee project. During the drive to secure new uniforms for the Marching Band, the club voted a $100 donation, and recently a camera with special telephoto lens was purchased for the school’s use in filming football games to be used in coaching.
Several annual events sponsored by the Jay-Cees have become a well-received part of community life; The annual Christmas Lighting contest, and a trip to Marceline for Santa Claus is Jay-Cee sponsored; There is also the annual Easter Egg Hunt which is enjoyed by several hundred children of all age groups. And too, there is the gala 4th of July celebration which has been promoted by the Jay-Cees for several years; The Jay-Cee Peanut Day the past 2 years has been a day and night of fun.
Worthy causes always receive an open ear and an outstretched hand at the Jay-Cee meetings, and more than not, a check is in the hand. Donations to many important community functions are a part of Jay-Cee Service; Many times the Club has sponsored a project to raise funds for the Polio Drive, Cerebral Palsy, and other worthy causes.
The Marceline rural fire truck drive of last year was helped along by a sizable Jay-Cee gift; Christmas baskets are a part of the every year projects of the club.
The Jay-Cees have purchased several items for their own use and the use of the community, for instance, the large Public Address system, which you have no doubt heard during the 4th of July celebration, also several metal folding chairs which are used in many local functions.
In the past, several other projects have been Jay-Cee sponsored, such as the Teen-Age Rodeo, Trap Shoots at the Marceline Airport, and also many dances, and the highly successful dedication of the Whiteway lighting and new street surfacing on Kansas Avenue.
In the few short years the Jay-Cee Organization has been in Marceline, it is hoped that they have carved a notch that will be remembered as making for a better way of life in the community. Plans for the future of the club call for more of the same, the same dedicated service to the community in which we all live and strive to make a good life.
Jay-Cee leaders who have contributed to this are well known not only here, but all across this country and in several foreign countries; Past president Max Randal is an underwriter for the Hawkeye Insurance Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was the first President, reigning in the years of 1954-55; Louis O’Connor, who was the leader in 1955-56, is a successful insurance and real estate agent; Rush Johnson, Jr., who held the club reigns in 1956-57 is now the Sales Manager for Walsworth Publishing Company, one of the largest in the world; E. L. Stanley, Jr., president in 1957-58, is a local postal clerk; Frankie Stanley and John Leopold who shared the 1958-59 duties are both successful in their roles on the Santa Fe Railroad and the City Light Company respectively; John Allison, who presided in 1959-60 is now the local postmaster; John Klumb who took over for 1960-61 is a District Sales Manager for Walsworth Publishing Company in Chicago; Ivan Buckman who led the organization in 1961-62 is the Assistant Cashier at the Marceline State Bank; and the current president Larry Smith is associated wit his father and brother in the Smith Motor Company in Marceline.
The Jay-Cees of this year and all the way back to those first few who helped organize the club in Marceline are proud of their accomplishments, but are quick to remember that only with the continued support of the public can an organization such as this successfully exist, and they would like to take this time, and opportunity to thank you each and everyone.
That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of men;
That earth’s great treasure Iles in human personality;
And that service to humanity Is the best work of life.