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Holding Hands

About Us

Turning Interest Into Action

Administration of the Foundation is conducted by elected Trustees, each serving a three-year term. In addition to these Trustees, the California Jaycee State President is an ex-officio member of the board during their term of office. Today, Trustees are successful business and professional people, often with Jaycee experience, no longer active members.

In 1963, the Camelot years of President John F. Kennedy were in full swing with the altruistic fervor of the Peace Corp., freedom marches, and community involvement sweeping the nation. Meaningful community development projects and leadership training were the drive and energy of the California Jaycees. “Leadership training through Community Service” was the mantra of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, AND they delivered. The Jaycees were the community’s vitality and the “movers and shakers”.

Significant to this period, community, State, and Federally funded programs, coupled with generous tax incentives for charitable and educational contributions were the tempo of the time. The California Jaycees were able to expand their already dynamic community activism by capturing some of this largess, but needed an IRS approved vehicle.  The Foundation was born.

JFK was soon gone but the spirit of involvement lived on as did the Foundation. For the next ten years, a variety of funds passed through the Foundation driving large projects. During the era of LBJ’s Great Society, the Foundation applied for and received federal grants. The Foundation was a conduit for the California Special Olympics funds, the San Jose State Jaycee headquarters, flood relief for the Mexico Jaycees, earthquake disaster relief, the Five outstanding Young Men/Farmers/Educators programs, portfolio sponsorships, the Junior Miss pageant, the Veterans Memorial Scholarships, and many other programs.

Sponsors such as the Bank of America, Sears Roebuck Foundation, Connecticut Mutual Life, Standard Oil, provided portfolio funds that were managed via the Foundation. The Foundation did not solicit these funds, the Jaycee Executive Committee and state chairmen did because it was “part of the job’ as volunteers to help fund projects

In the mid 70’s the idea of a building fund was born. Many of us can remember, as State Officers, we were infrequently presented travel pay and asked to step to the stage to receive the check – I can also clearly see Dick Davenport, COB at the time, standing at the foot of the steps accepting the checks being returned by state officers, donating their expense reimbursements to the building fund. Toward the end of the 70’s the Foundation became less dynamic. There was some money raised for a building although not enough to really get serious and enthusiasm had waned. During this time the Foundation was structured with the State President of the Jaycees also serving as the President of the Foundation with the Vice Presidents and Regional Directors serving as the Trustees. Membership and growth were a priority in the early 80’s and little time was left to oversee any activity for the Foundation and it became somewhat dormant.

All this changed in 1984 when the California Jaycees again utilized the Foundation as a vehicle to manage a generous donation of $10,000 through earnings on sales of Blue Diamond Almonds to be presented at the Jaycees National Convention for the Restoration of the Statue of Liberty. This resurrection of the Foundation again raised the idea of a permanent building from which the state could provide service to the then 200+ chapters in California. So serious was the organization that the Jaycees passed a bylaw provision that assessed a $2.50 per member addition to the State dues to fund the venture.

In 1988 the Foundation was restructured to operate autonomously from the Jaycee organization. The Board of Directors and Trustees were nominated from candidates that were no longer officers or active members of the Jaycees and therefore were free of conflicting responsibilities. Greg Stavish, past California Jaycee president was the first Foundation president under the restructuring.  In 1988 past Jaycee president Ed Arnold approached the Foundation with an idea concerning an office building that the Chino Bank wanted to dispose of. The Foundation purchased the building that year with a down payment of $60,000 and a 20-year note.

The dream of a permanent building for the California Jaycees was finally realized and they occupied the building for over 5 years. A significant decrease in Membership of the California Jaycees and the resulting loss of revenue forced the Foundation to take drastic steps to save the building. The Jaycees moved into a smaller office that was donated by JCI Senator Ray Noxsel, although they continued to contribute to the retirement of the note through their yearly dues. The Foundation then found a tenant to lease the building which covered the costs of maintaining the building and the mortgage. The Foundation also conducted many fund-raising programs tapping the Jaycee Alumni and Senators for contributions some of which were substantial amounts retiring the mortgage. The Foundation sold the building in the late 1990’s and now administer an  annuity through the monies received as interest on the funds earned.

So what does this mean to the Jaycees?? The major benefit to the California Junior Chamber of Commerce arises from its status as an “IRS 501-C-3 Non-Profit charitable organization.” Simply stated monies, goods, and services donated to the Foundation are tax deductible (donations to the California Jaycees are NOT!) This can facilitate fundraising efforts for the California Jaycees on projects managed with the Foundation. Deductibility of contributions provides the needed incentive to many, especially larger donors and corporations. Proper utilization of the Foundation may provide the added deductibility incentive which could result in an increase in contributions to Jaycee programs and allow us to more effectively live our creed and serve humanity in larger ways and numbers. The Foundation files US and California State Tax reports annually.

Through the years countless numbers of people have worked together to make this happen including every person that has passed through the Jaycee experience since 1984 to 1999.

Doug Meyers
Past President, 1999-2001
California Jaycee Foundation

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