The Milford Junior Chamber (Milford Jaycees) held their first recruitment meeting on Thursday, February 10 to reintroduce the organization to the community. The Milford Jaycees first joined the Milford community in 1954 and was prominent into the 1990’s. Jaycees were first brought to Delaware under the vision of J. Caleb Boggs in 1939, who later became Governor of Delaware. There was a national movement of young men looking to advance themselves personally and professionally sweeping the nation under a fairly new organization known as The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees). The purpose was to develop young men into becoming strong leaders. This was accomplished through training programs and being involved in the community through the implementation of various projects.
The Milford Jaycees learned from their neighboring chapters and became to be one of the strongest chapters in the state. They were instrumental for various projects and events you may be familiar with but may not realize they were powered by the Jaycees. Events like festivals, leadership seminars, haunted houses and parades. Always in support of the U.S. Jaycees first project in 1920, they regularly ran “Get Out The Vote” campaigns and even helped develop several of the members to become great elected leaders in Milford and Delaware.
Milford is proud to have had Mayor Rogers as a former member and past State Representative Bob Walls as a past chapter president. In 1973, the Milford Jaycees were instrumental in assisting the Union Cemetary regain respect deserved by clearing the overgrown brush and trees. Because the Jaycees are a young persons leadership organization, many of the members have gone on to remain active in the community through involvement as Lions, Kiwanis, Masons, Rotarians and others.
In the late 1980’s to the mid 1990’s the Milford Dover Jaycees struggled, as all civic organizations experienced a decline in membership for several years. As the Delaware Jaycees regained momentum in 2004, they have become a leader in developing young professionals and have begun to re-expand chapters that are vital to their communities.
The Milford Jaycees are now the fifth active chapter in the state and are poised to return as a leading chapter as they had done for decades. In addition to developing community wide elected officials, Milford Jaycees has had much success in building strong leaders within the statewide organization like Steve Clifton who went on to be Delaware Jaycees State President in 1984/85.
The Milford Jaycees follow the same purpose established in 1954 which is to develop leaders. They train members through involvement in the community and give opportunity to be stronger personally and professionally. They accept members willing to be an asset to themselves and the community. Remaining a young person’s leadership organization, members are limited to ages 18-40 but associate membership is available for dedicated individuals that prove value to the organization.
People interested in information about the Milford Jaycees can email info@milfordDEjaycees.org, visit the website www.MilfordDEJaycees.org or call Jeff at 302-545-1650.