My fellow Jaycees and friends,
Today is New Years Eve and also the last time I will address all of you as your president. In a few hours, the sun will set on 2015 and my time will be over and it will usher in the next great year of the Westland Area Jaycees. This also marks the end of the year and all of the things we have done and gives us an opportunity to reflect on the year. As I look back at 2015, I am simply blown away. This chapter has accomplished amazing impact and growth. Our membership has swelled 100% from Jan 1st 2015 and over 200% since September 2014. I started racking my brain and I was amazed with what we have done.
Just a few of our community only focused projects were;
Easter Eggstravaganza in March – over 500 area children and their families were in attendance to celebrate and have fun with the Jaycees at the Wayne Ford Civic League.
TRU Fundraiser – The Westland Area Jaycees again hosted the poker night at the Tactical Response Unit Fundraiser by leveraging it existing license with the MGCB and the chapters private poker tables.
Jaycee Park Clean up in April – The chapter partnered with the Parks and Rec department and “took back” our park. We dredged the stream, removed graffiti, made repairs to facilities, and repainted a pavilion while also providing an opportunity for citizens to renew their interest and commitment to this city treasure.
Relay for Life – The Chapter took honors as being the most improved team in the Westland Relay for Life campaign by generating the most amount of revenue compared to the year prior.
All American Car Show in July – The Jaycees, in partnership with Westland Bowl and Don Nicholson Enterprises, hosted a charity car show where the proceeds were sent to Nothing but Nets, a global organization that provides lifesaving mosquito nets to areas most impacted by the spread of Malaria.
All American BBQ Throwdown – The Chapter partnered with the DDA, the City of Westland, and the Westland Chamber of Commerce to facilitate the annual Blues, Brews, and BBQ city evet. Working with the parties involved, the Jaycees chaired and hosted the first iteration of the BBQ Throwdown component, which invited amateur BBQ competitors to the event, drawing in larger crowds and improving the overall event offerings. The Chapter also manned the concessions booths, managed the grounds, and provided additional manpower support where needed.
Meet the Candidates – The Westland Area Jaycees partnered with the League of Women voters and the city to offer an open event to Meet the candidates for Westland City council and office of City Clerk. This event provided citizens and candidates a forum to hear the candidates platforms and respond to questions from the voters regarding their positions on certain issues in a fair and even arena.
Veterans 5K – The Westland Area Jaycees launched a new program designed to support local heroes in need. Citizens and veterans groups were on hand to participate in a 5K as well as provide fun family activities to be able to see some of our heroes in action as well as enjoy a day outdoors. The chapter was able to raise nearly $10,000 which was distributed to local veterans advocacy groups. It is expected that this event will continue in the coming years with the continued partnerships of local businesses, veterans advocacy groups, and the City of Westland.
Human Trafficking Community Awareness event. – The chapter held a community awareness event concerning the dangers, signs, and prevention of Human Trafficking. Guest speaker Deena Policcichio from Alternatives for Girls delivered a wonderful program and was able to engage with the community. This event was also recorded by WLND and will be available for review to those who were unable to attend the event, but still would like to watch the address.
Friendly Monster – New to this year as well was a partnership with HUSH Haunted house attraction. Local children were invited to this local business to have a fun day with their families in a zero cost environment with activities, prizes, and games. Children were also allowed to go through the haunted house with the lights on and the scary monsters off. It is estimated that over 500 area children were on site for this event.
Breakfast with Santa – The Chapter continued one of its legacy projects where it partnered with the Westland Salvation Army on Venoy Rd to provide breakfast and toys for area children and their families.
We have also re-tooled our ways and means methods to include Corporate Event Poker rooms, and being the First Chapter to develop and deploy a Business Sponsorship program, which has been adopted by a few other chapters based off of our success.
We also have the following honors;
1) Chapter of the Trimester – First Trimester
2) Civic Leadership Certification – First Place Second Trimester
3) Civic Leadership Certification – Second Place First Trimester
4) 2014 overall Impromptu Speak up Winner – Moved on to Nationals to represent Michigan
5) 2014 overall Impromptu Write-up Winner – Moved on to Nationals to represent Michigan
6) Write up Winner – Second Trimester
7) Speak up Winner – Second Trimester
8) Master Speak up Winner – Second Trimester
9) Advanced Policy Debate Winners – Second Trimester
10) Presidential Medallion – First Trimester
11) Best Sustaining Project – First Trimester
Then there were all of the socials and assistance we extended to other chapters in the state. Yes, we have had an amazing year.
Not a bad year at all. All of these things were made possible by the hard work, dedication, and efforts put in by all of you. This Chapter has risen from the ashes and has gone on to earn notoriety on not only a state level, but emerging on the national stage. We run real projects, which have real value in the community. We offer services that are wanted and needed. We have relationships with two cities and are developing them further every day. Even more impressive, you are all developing and improving your skills. I have seen vast growth in all of you. You are running projects, managing manpower, and performing planning sessions. Many of you are now doing things you never thought you would be capable of doing before. That, is the true measure of our success. That, is what makes me proud. I am proud of all of you and all that you have done for this chapter and mostly, yourselves.
I too, have learned and grown from all of the things that we have done together. This year has been one of the greatest experiences and honors in my life. Serving as the President of this organization is a great honor and responsibility, not to be discharged lightly. I thank all of you for entrusting me to perform this duty and I feel that I have done so with great success.
Looking forward, I am extremely excited to see What Sarah Austin and her team have in store. I fully believe Team 59 is fully capable and dedicated to taking this chapter to the next level and achieving greater things with all of your support. I encourage you to stay tuned to what is next! If you thought 2015 was exciting, wait til you see 2016!
IN closing, thank you. Thank you to all of you, Jaycees and Friends, who have helped us make this the best Civic group in our communities and best Chapter in the state. Thank you for doing the work, repeatedly and consistently, to make this organization stand out and putting a good face forward. Thank you for the praise, the good times, the celebrations, the laughter, and the joy. Thank you all. I look forward to seeing all of you at the Presidents Part on January 15th, where I will give my final address, pass out awards and recognition, and celebrate 2015! I look forward to continuing my service with you as your Chairman of the Board as well as serving the State as your District Director!
We are a Big Deal.
We Are Kinda Fantastic.
We are Strong.
We do the Work.
#58 – Signing off.