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The Chamber Blog

This space features conversations about issues affecting the Decatur-Morgan County area from leaders in our community.

Not your grandfather's Jaycees

The Decatur Jaycees have been called many things; everything from “good stewards” and “the future of our community” to “wild” and “rowdy young folks.” Many people have heard of the Jaycees, maybe because of Riverfest, or maybe even from the Morgan County Fair back in the day. But few know who we really are or our true purpose in the city of Decatur.

The Jaycees are the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Decatur-Morgan County. We serve as a separately paid membership organization under the Chamber whose purpose is to connect young professionals and give back to the community through fundraising projects and charitable volunteer work. The Jaycees serve many local charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, FACES, Habitat for Humanity, and the Morgan County Rescue Squad.

Finding quality members who put service over self is not as easy as it once was. The Jaycees membership has fluctuated from an original Decatur charter of 110 members in 1946, to more than 200 members in the glory days of our parents, to around 30 members at present day.

Some people would see this as a failure, but we see it as the complete opposite. With just 30 members the Jaycees put on a successful 10,000 plus attendee event like Riverfest, watched more than 100 kids grow up at our Easter party each year, and helped each other grow into successful business men and women.

The Jaycees aren’t who we once were – but that doesn’t mean we are any less motivated, hard-working, philanthropic, or passionate about making Decatur the greatest city in north Alabama. Even through years of changes for the Decatur Jaycees, we have still held true to our core beliefs and purpose as stated in the Jaycee creed: “That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations…and that service to humanity is the best work of life.”

Kelly Thomas is president and Kaleigh Stovall is secretary of Decatur Jaycees, and both are natives of the River City. To learn more about the Jaycees, you can email Kelly by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Kaleigh by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To visit the Jaycees website, click here

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