The Virginia Beach Jaycees were first formed in 1948 by a local group of young men and were officially chartered with the State Corporation Commission as the Virginia Beach/Princess Anne County Junior Chamber of Commerce. The members were informed that the Jaycees were not a political organization, but one that would serve the community and offer leadership training.
Although the Jaycees were originally founded as an organization for young men, today its members are men and women, age 21-39, who work to improve their own skills and abilities. Training is offered in areas of public speaking, writing, management skills, and financial planning. The Virginia Beach Jaycees are currently 150 members strong and have been one of the premier chapters in the state.
The first project that the Virginia Beach chapter undertook was the “Bench Project”. Benches were placed along the oceanfront boardwalk and local business owners advertised their business on the bench placards. The Jaycees then returned the advertising dollars back to the community.
The Virginia Beach Jaycees have a long history in the establishment of several important community projects. In addition to the East Coast Surfing Championships, the following is a brief list of our accomplishments:
* The Rescue Squad was started by the Jaycees in the early 1950′s after recognizing the lack of a reliable ambulance services at the beach. We purchased and ambulance, had it refurbished and under the guidance of Frank Whitehurst (a former Jaycee president), the first rescue squad was formed.
* The current Virginia Beach Library System was initiated by a Jaycee Fund drive that was the foundation for today’s extensive library network.
* The General Hospital of Virginia Beach located on First Colonial Road is a result of a Jaycee Fund drive.
* Projects in the 1970′s and 80′s include POW/MIA identification bracelet campaign, Seatack Park clean-up project, Haunted House projects, and Food for the Needy.