April 28th, 2009
WATSONTOWN JUNIOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE / LOWER WEST BRANCH JAYCEES
On October 15, 1946, the Watsontown Junior Chamber of Commerce was organized as a service organization teaching self improvement and community involvement while creating fellowship among young men between the ages of 21 and 35. The first officers to serve from 1946 to 1947 were: William R. Rickert, president; Ned S. Bly, first vice president; Robert A. Batdorf, second vice president; Kenneth R Fairchild, secretary; Donald O. Gross, treasurer; Robert Whitmoyer, Jr, state director; and Harry L. Carson, Joseph G. Iredell, Walter J. McMillen, Wilbur C. Williams, and Robert Whitmoyer, Jr – directors. Over the next forty years the Jaycees sponsored such things as community Halloween Parades, Easter Egg Hunts, Christmas House Decorating Contests, Community Christmas Caroling, Football Skills Programs, High School History Awards, and many other projects. The Jaycees have raised money in numerous ways including a Hunters Ball in the fall and Monte Carlo Nite in the winter. The Jaycees have also contributed to the American Field Service, the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation, and the Watsontown Area Business Association.
On May 8, 1956 the Jaycee-ettes were formed as the female counterpart of the Jaycees. About 1970, the Watsontown Jaycees used the name Warrior Run Jaycees and included members from the Turbotville area. In June 1972, the Milton Junior Chamber of Commerce which was chartered on February 25, 1964 merged with the Watsontown Jaycees to form the Lower West Branch Jaycees. The national organization opened the membership to include women and in January 1985, Melody Baysore and Cynthia Buss became the first women to join the Lower West Branch Jaycees. In the late 1980s interest and support began to dwindle and due to the lack of membership the organization disbanded.
The Jaycee Creed continues to be:
That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That the 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 lies in human personality;
And that service to humanity is the best work of life.
Last Modified: 04.28.09