Established in the 1938, the Key West Jaycee’s has a history of doing big things on the island.
“I want to take the deep roots and use the club to create the next generation of leaders. I am bringing it back from the dead,” said new club president Yadaris Wood.
Smoldering like an ember, the Jaycees have been dormant for 10 years until now. Wood — a Conch, FSU graduate and president of the Key West Realtors Association — wants to do community outreach in the town she grew up in.
The Jaycees, sometimes called the Junior Chamber, is a leadership training and civic organization for people between the ages of 18 and 40. Areas of emphasis are business, development, organization skills, individual training, community service, and international connections. The not-for-profit organization was originally founded in 1920. Notable Jaycees include Charles Lindbergh, Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon.
Casual meetings are at the club’s headquarters on Flagler Avenue, the same building as Ministerio Unidos en Amor, where members have drinks and discuss ideas for the group. Right now, they are busy brainstorming a defining event to brand the club. New member Anthony Porcelli is tossing around the idea of a sporting event.
“Maybe we can have a softball tournament with a DJ,” Porcelli said.
The club is currently recruiting new members who have leadership qualities, want to make a change, and are willing to donate time for a good cause.
The club’s next event is Shredfest 2015 set for Friday, April 17 at 1 p.m. at Office Max. Community members are invited to bring items to shred after tax season and are educated about the most undocumented crime in America, identity theft. In June the club is planning to organize a career and educational seminar for Key West High School graduates.
Find and like their Facebook page by searching Key West Jaycees and contact the club at 305-414-4139 during the day and 305-453-6971 in the evening. The next meeting is Wednesday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jaycee Clubhouse on 3825 Flagler Ave., Key West.