Current members of the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) gathered at the Junior Auxiliary office recently to install new officers for the 2019-2020 year, induct new Active Members and recognize several women for their contributions during the 2018-2019 year.
Board members serve one-year terms and are selected from the membership. The new board members are Marcia VanderLaan, President; Colleen Neill, Vice President; Shanna Tilley, Recording Secretary; Jennifer Costello, Corresponding Secretary; Lajean Wild, Treasurer; Jonne Morrissey, Assistant Treasurer; Paula Eighmy, Finance Director; Sue Kelly, Projects Chair; Anna Morrissey-Atkinson, Education Director; Sharon Seay, Membership Chair; and Bobbie Wydeen, Ex Officio.
JATC welcomed new Active Members Tami Bandy, Jennifer Costello, Sharmon Hagler, Annette Sain, Shanna Tilley, Amanda Trog, Laura Trog, and Raye Tucker. Women initially join as Provisional Members to determine if they wish to make a commitment to become Active Members with the organization to serve the community. These women who were inducted into the organization as Active Members had participated in service and finance projects, attended Chapter meetings and completed training during the 2018-2019 year.
Several members were recognized at the dinner for their contributions. The Gift of Service award was given to Cathy Brown and The Gift of Time award to Marcia VanderLaan. The Crown Award was given to Sharla Mooney, the member chosen by the current President who represents the 5 jewels on the NAJA Crown: Charity, Youth, Health, Leadership and Service. In addition to working on other projects, Sharla took over the Chairmanship of the Santa’s Gift House Project, a very time-consuming project which involves almost all the JATC members, in her first year as an Active member. Life Members received recognition at our Trivia event or at the dinner in honor of National Junior Auxiliaries Week.
JATC projects include Tender Critters; Santa’s Gift House; College Scholarships for seniors at all four Taney County public high schools; Prom Dresses for girls in need; labor support for the Crisis Center of Taney County along with kid care “Empowering the Little Dreamers” once a week so moms can attend counseling; School Supplies “refreshment” in January for elementary schools; Book Swap where children in extended-stay motels are supplied new books to read once a month; Christmas Assistance supporting Branson Schools Social Work Office; and Halloween Grape Stomp in Hollister, MO. We are also working on a Playground Project for the children at the Crisis Center.
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 19th Annual Trivia Challenge and Silent Auction were held at the Radisson Hotel in Branson on April 6, 2019. Over $20,000 was raised, all of which is reinvested in our community.
Also, JATC raises money from other events such as Belk’s Charity Days, AmazonSmile, Mr. G’s Annual JATC Days, grants and individual donations.
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, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.