The “Marvelous” Macon Chapter of Jack and Jill of America celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a spectacular Gala on Saturday evening, February 25th, at the Macon Marriott City Center. The grand celebration was the successful culmination of months of planning and preparation led by Chairperson Kimberly Barnes, the members of the 40th Anniversary Founder’s Day Committee and the entire membership of the Macon
The speaker for the evening was Tribune Publisher Shirley Barber James, who was the 15th National President of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., having led the organization from 1994 to 1996. James was introduced by Sylvia Williams McGee, who James called her “friend and soul sister.” In addition to serving in several positions in the Macon Chapter, McGee was Jack and Jill Southeastern Region Member-at-Large, Southeastern Regional Director and National Vice President.
James recalled that she was present in 1997, 20 years ago, when the Macon Chapter commemorated its 20th Anniversary. She said, “This is a time of celebration, jubilation and thanksgiving.” She continued, “To each of you who are present, and to those who will come in the future, please keep in mind that you are on a bridge that was built with a solid foundation and you must keep it in good shape.”
James praised the efforts of the African American mothers who organized in 1975 and two years later, on February 26, 1977, were officially chartered and installed as the 154th Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. James called the names of the organizer, Geraldine Williams who was in attendance, and each of the charter members of the Macon Chapter.
The 15th National President urged the mothers of the Macon Chapter to “be mothers who consciously choose to help children, to teach children, and to show children how to make things better as they get better, even during these uncertain and challenging times in our country.
Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, was founded by the late Marion Stubbs Thomas on January 24, 1938, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Twenty mothers came together to create an organization to provide social, cultural and educational opportunities for youth between the ages of 2 and 19. Today, Jack and Jill boasts more than 230 chapters nationwide, representing more than 40,000 family members.
Audrey Manson is President of the Macon Chapter. Takeysha Ray is Vice President.