The New London Jaycees has dissolved as an organization after 68 years of service to the New London community.
A spokesperson speaking on behalf of the New London Jaycees members said in a press release that there were several reasons behind the group’s decision to close out the local chapter.
“The bulk of the group is getting into the range of ‘aging-out’ as the ‘junior chamber’ was designed for 18-40 year olds,” said the spokesperson.
“Many goals have been accomplished over the last 68 years and there is much more to accomplish to keep the city of New London ‘Reflecting the Pride,’” they said.
“If you followed the Jaycees on Facebook and supported them at events, please keep an eye on the other groups in New London that make a difference with similar goals.”
The press release urged interested volunteers to check out the numerous other civic clubs in New London such as Raise Up New London, the Shamrock Club, New London Lions, the 7-11 Club, and New London Rotary.
“The former members of the New London Jaycees urged everyone in the community to find a community organization that speaks to their heart, talents and abilities. There is something for everyone in New London, as the slogan goes, “New London – We’ve got it,” the release said.
History of the New London Jaycees
The New London chapter of the Jaycees started in early 1947 with a handful of men aiming to do right by their neighbors and have a good time together. Dues were set at $6 per year. The local group became affiliated with the national organization later that year.
In 1966, prior to women being allowed to join the group (in 1984); the New London Jaycettes formed enabling the men’s spouses to socialize and assist the men’s group with projects.
In 1987, a Jayteens group was also formed to promote leadership development, teamwork, and service to the community by high school-aged members. Incorporation with the state organization—and now a national and international organization called JCI, for Junior Chamber International, helped widen the impact that the New London groups’ members had around the state and world.
Many past New London Jaycees members have held leadership positions in the state organization, and many are JCI-Wisconsin Senators. Over the years, many local members have participated in state events such as volleyball tournaments and Indoor Olympics and helped, out in other community events and attending state and national level conventions.
The Jaycees were also instrumental in the construction of the original park buildings at Pfeifer Park and Memorial Park.
According to Press-Star archives, in August 1980 a group of former New London Jaycees that wanted to continue their community service started the Wolf River Men’s Club. New London’s current 7-11 Club also consists of a large contingency of former Jaycee members. Membership in these clubs is open to anyone, and is not limited to former Jaycee members.
In recent years, the New London Jaycees remained focused on building relationships with neighbors and community leaders by event hosting and personal development activities.
The group has been active in helping other clubs with food and beverage service at Irish Fest, the Hatten Stadium Foundation, New London Car Show, Memorial Park Concessions.
The monies raised through events went back into the New London community through major projects like the Jaycees Dog Park, Hatten Park’s ADA playground expansion and scholarships for New London High School graduates as well as many other smaller donations to area projects.
Annually, the Jaycees were involved in service projects such as the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition, community Easter Egg Hunt, sandbox fills, lawn raking for New London residents, and highway clean-up.
The newly formed group (January 2015), Raise Up New London will be taking on the Easter Egg Hunt, Sandbox Fill and annual Punt, Pass and Kick event.