Imagine not being able to attend your High School Senior Prom because you cannot afford a dress or shoes. The ladies of Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) decided nine years ago that this rite of passage to adulthood was something that all girls should be able to participate in, if they so desired.
On February 28 and March 1, 39 girls from the four high schools in Taney County – Bradleyville, Branson, Forsyth and Hollister – came to the “prom preparation center” at the JATC office and “shopped for” a prom dress, shoes and jewelry to wear to their prom. The items, which were new or almost new, had been obtained from generous donors as well as purchased as a result of the organization’s fund-raising efforts.
The girls will keep these items and be able to use them in the future, at no cost to themselves. The girls were identified by their School Counselors for participation in this project.
Members of Junior Auxiliary helped the girls make their selections and gave them tips on preparing themselves for the prom, including applying make-up and hair styles. The girls were given sachets of make-up to take home. Many girls commented that they would not be able to attend their prom if not for the support of JATC.
The Prom Dress Project is one of many service projects that JATC members carry out during the year. Others include College Readiness web site, college scholarships, Santa’s Gift House, stuffed animals for the local hospitals, mid-year replenishment of school supplies and hygiene products for Taney County schools, mentoring young women, Taneyhills Library Summer Reading Program, and Adopt-A-Cottage for the Women’s Crisis Center.
JATC members raise money for these projects through one major event, which is on March 29, 2014 at Branson’s Radisson Hotel – a fun Trivia Challenge with dinner, live entertainment, a raffle and a Silent Auction. The funds raised through this event are 100% reinvested in our community.
Tickets are still available for this event by calling Linda at 417-527-3963. Raffle tickets may be purchased by calling Mary at 417-335-8745.
JATC is a group of women dedicated to improving the lives of children in Taney County, Missouri. The organization has approximately 50 members who annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County.
JATC is a local chapter of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc. (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi. Their slogan is “Care Today – Character Tomorrow”.
The Taney County chapter was established by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1997 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County.
More information on JATC, local projects and the Trivia Challenge fund-raising event can be found on their Facebook page, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on NAJA can be found at www.najanet.org.
Source: Branson Daily Independent, March 14-15, 2014