The Hawaii Jaycees have a long heritage of service to our islands an achievement. Our organization will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2013. Our presence in Hawaii goes back to 1932 when several young men work to establish or organization and build upon its early foundations.
The Jaycee movement in Hawaii first began in 1932 with the formation of the Honolulu Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1940, when the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce President Perry Pipkin came to Hawaii to help start the state organization. The Hilo and Waihiawa Junior Chamber of Commerce were formed, followed by the Maui Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1941.
The advent of World War II, however delayed the formation of the territory wide organization as many Jaycees entered military service. Those who remained at home undertook many active programs of service by a participating in activities such as surveying potential air raid shelters, the Kiawe Corps, distributing gas coupons and establishing victory gardens.
Three large projects started in Honolulu were the “Serve in Silence” drive to discourage the spread rumors; “Newspaper for Servicemen” drive to send 90,000 newspapers into combat areas; and probably the most outstanding project, the “Salvage for Victory” drive in which tons of rubber, various metals and bottles were salvaged.
These projects were deemed so valuable to the war efforts that the United States government encouraged the Hawaii Junior Chamber of Commerce. The government also assisted in the coordination of the projects in order that the Jaycee war efforts could be better carried out throughout the territory.
Early in 1943, the Hawaii Junior Chamber of Commerce was formed. The Articles of Incorporation and the by-laws of the Hawaii Junior Chamber of Commerce were adopted. R. Allen Watkins, the past president of the Honolulu Junior Chamber of Commerce, was elected its first president of the state organization. During 1944, many vital projects were coordinated by the Hawaii Junior Chamber of Commerce across the territory. The Kauai Junior Chamber of Commerce was formed during that year.
An era of outstanding work by the Jaycees began with the election of D.K. Garrison of Wahiawa as state president in 1946. A project a benefited the membership was the state Oratorical contests (forerunner to the current Speak-Up program). The Jaycees were also instrumental in the organization of the Cancer Society. During the year the Jaycee movement expanded to other counties and on Oahu and the formation of many new chapters.
Forceful and constructive action made the Jaycee movement in Hawaii invaluable to every phase of Hawaiian life. Our organizationâﬁ™s many achievements include helping to start many projects that have since become institutions and Hawaii. Among these is the Blood Bank of Hawaii, the 50th State Fair, the Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant, the Honolulu Youth Symphony, Aloha Week, Teen Challenge, and the Special Olympics.
In 1969 the name of the organization was changed to the Hawaii state Jaycees. Â During that year, the Blue Moon Jaycees were organized in Oahu Community Correctional Center and became Hawaii’s first institutional chapter. In 1976 organization’s name was changed to the Hawaii Jaycees. The Hawaii Jayceettes were established in 1979, extending the Jaycee experienced to the young women of Hawaii.
The Hawaii Jaycees came to aid of the state during two major events in 1982. Hurricane Iwa devastated the island of Kauai. The Hawaii Jaycees responded to the emergency by initiating the transport of supplies to the needy families on the island. In 1983, the Hawaii Jaycees stepped forward to help fund Hawaii silver Jubilee Anniversary Program. Celebrity Hawaii’s 25 years of statehood, there was no money for these programs. The Jaycees stepped in with a fund-raising project through the sale of a silver jubilee coin and a souvenir magazine, monies from the sales help fund all the programs for the celebration that year.
In 1984, United States Jaycees and the Hawaii Jaycees voted to accept women into the organization. The dissolution of the Hawaii Jaycees Womens organization followed in 1985 and many members of organization joined the Hawaii Jaycees. The Hawaii Jaycees elected its first woman president, Brenda Yee, in 1987.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hawaii Jaycees continued their community contributions through projects such as the Great Hawaiian Rubber Duckie Race, for Cerebral Palsy Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, the mount Pinatubo Disaster relief fund, Magic Spectacular for the American Cancer Society, the Haunted House for March of Dimes, and the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Hawaii recognition program.
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