Children Hip Hop into Fitness at Junior Auxiliary of Taney County Event

Approximately 40 children at the Mark Twain School joined in the fun this month at the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) Hip Hop Into Fitness event. This event promotes “fun exercise” through various activity stations in which the children get to experience movement and healthy activities.  This was the second time the members were invited to Mark Twain School after their first successful experience in the Spring. 

The activity takes approximately 30 minutes.  The stations include exercises such as Superman, Burpees, Hula Hoops, Jump Rope, Butterfly Wands, Ball Toss, Wheel Barrow, Scissor Shuffle and Stepping Stones.  JATC members supervise the children at each station.

Each child who completes all the stations receives a fun gift (jump rope or wrist band) and a water bottle donated for this project by the Morrissey Law Firm.  JATC members also spoke to the children, who are in Pre-K through 4th grades, about good eating habits using the “Eat a Rainbow Everyday” philosophy.   JATC is pleased to offer this activity to any school or organization that in interested in holding it.  Contact Paula Gillispie at 417-294-2745 for more information.

This project represents the Health point of the five virtues that JATC members strive to uphold.  The JATC logo, a 5-pointed crown, represents the virtues of Health, Charity, Youth, Leadership and Community Service.  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.

More information on JATC can be found on the Junior Auxiliary website JATCMO.ORG, their Facebook page, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County or via email at

JATC projects include Tender Critters for children in trauma; Santa’s Gift House; College Scholarships for a senior at all four Taney County public high schools; Scholar Care provides financial and monthly support for a college student each year; Prom Dresses for girls in need; Heart of the Arts supporting arts activities for clients of the Developmental Center; financial and labor support for the Women’s Crisis Center including birthday parties and child watch for the children; School Supplies “refreshment” in January for elementary schools; and Homework Helpers for children who live in extended-stay motels.

Members raise money for these projects through one major event - a fun Trivia Challenge with dinner, live entertainment, a raffle and a Silent Auction held in the spring each year. This year the 18th Annual Trivia Challenge and Silent Auction will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Branson on April 14, 2018.  Last year nearly $20,000 was raised, all of which was reinvested in our community.   This year the theme is Sherlock Holmes; after all “It’s elementary, my dear Watson.”

Also, JATC raises money from other events such as Belk’s Charity Days, Schwan’s Cares, AmazonSmile, Mr. G’s Annual JATC Days, the Branson Women’s Expo, grants and individual donations.  Generous local businesses also donate to JATC’s various events including Doug Baker State Farm Insurance, Ozark Mountain Ear Nose & Throat, Mr. G’s Pizza, Binswanger Glass, Chateau on the Lake, Big Cedar, State Park Marina, 417 Fundraising, Usborne Books, Central Bank, Dale Sanders American Family Insurance and Branson Bank.

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: Tri-Lakes Branson News, December 13, 2017