It was a cheerful celebration at the most recent Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) chapter meeting when a check for the proceeds from the first annual Branson Women’s Expo was presented to JATC. JATC Finance Director Joyce Wood and JATC President Nina Grayson graciously accepted the check for $500 from Angie Greeno and Joy Penrod, who conceptualized and organized the very successful event. The Women’s Expo was held in the fall to promote a mixture of local businesses and direct sales opportunities with the common focus of health, home ideas, and style trends – all of which give women something to feel good about!
Approximately 300 people attended the event in which 63 vendors represented a variety of products and industries including insurance, home improvements, beauty, health and fitness, jewelry, clothing, kitchen, food and books. Businesses such as Cox Health, The Vacation Channel, Tanger Outlets, KRZK-FM, 102.9 and KOMC were the generous sponsors.
JATC had been selected as the sole beneficiary of the first Branson Women’s Expo and received all proceeds from the $2.00 admission fee. One of the vendors, Usborne Books & More gave 50% of their proceeds to JATC in books, which JATC used to stock the libraries that they provide for the children at two of the Extended-Stay motels in Branson.
The Second Branson Women’s Expo will be held October 22-23, 2016 at the West Wing Conference Center in the White House Theatre on Gretna Road in Branson. Commitments have already been received from several of the 2015 vendors for the 2016 event. More information is available at www.bransonwomensexpo.com or contact Ozarks’ Kirkwood Hospitality at 417-335-4668.
Currently, JATC members support and operate eleven projects including Women’s Crisis Center, Santa’s Gift House; College Readiness programs and scholarships; prom dresses for girls in need; stuffed animals for children in the local hospitals; Journey, a mentoring project for young women; Homework Helpers and Book Swap Stop, in which they provide snacks, enrichment programs, reading and homework help for children who live in extended-stay hotels/motels, and Heart of Arts, in which members donate art & craft materials for adults with disabilities at Developmental Connections. Check out the organization’s website, www.JATCMO.org or call Membership Chair, Linda Lewis, at (417) 527-3963, to find out more or to get involved.
Members raise money for these projects through one major event - a fun Trivia Challenge with dinner, live entertainment and a Silent Auction. This year the 16th Annual Trivia Challenge and Silent Auction will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Branson on April 2, 2016. Also, JATC raises money from other events such as Belk’s Charity Days, Schwan’s Cares and the Branson Women’s Expo as well as donations from businesses including Doug Baker State Farm Insurance, Branson Airport, Ozark Mountain Ear Nose & Throat and Combs Hotel Properties.
JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it’s a group of women united by a single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County. That’s the magic of JATC. It was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1998 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County. Approximately 50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County.
JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi. NAJA has more than 15,500 active, associate and life members in 98 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.
Published: Hometown Daily News, January 23, 2016; Branson Tri-Lakes News, January 23, 2016