The Middle Years (1977-1987)

The second decade of the Illinois JCI Senate began under the leadership of the eleventh President, H.M. “Tiney” Nix #18321 (Herrin). The office of Secretary-Treasurer was divided into two separate positions. Past President and charter member Bernie Storjohann #7907 passed away. Tiney donated the large “tree trunk” gavel to the Illinois JCI Senate to be passed on to all succeeding Presidents for use during their term. The original gavel is still being used today. Past President Chuck Fries #18344 served as National Vice President of the US JCI Senate.

Mike Kauffman #21168 (Tinley Park) served as the 12th President of the Illinois JCI Senate in 1978-79. Past President Chuck Fries #18344 became the second Illinois Senator to serve as President of the US JCI Senate. It was during Mike’s term that the Illinois JCI Senate put most of their time into investigating the formation of a Credit Union for JCI Senators in Illinois. All the Association being granted to move forward. Unfortunately, when it came time to vote on this undertaking by the general membership, it was defeated, thus ending any formation of a Credit Union. The financial rewards would have been overwhelming, but the initial cash contributions to start and operate a credit union appeared to be the major roadblock and concern. Mike was the first President to receive a Past President’s plaque upon the completion of his term. This practice continues today.

Val Koble #13921 (Champaign) served as President in 1979-80. The Illinois JCI Senate reached 100 life memberships. Life membership dues were increased from $100 to $150. Senate hospitality rooms were completely donated at no expense to the Illinois JCI Senate since a members’s admission was based on providing a bottle of liquor or food. The Summer Picnic activities were changed to have the Business Meeting on Saturday either proceeding the picnic or following the picnic, thus enabling participants to return home on Saturday evening or early Sunday morning.

Fred Fischer #21307 (Park Forest) became the 14th President of the Illinois JCI Senate. It was during Fred’s term that the major emphasis of activity was centered around visiting the other neighboring states. Delegations from the Illinois Senate made numerous visits to Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky Senate functions during the year in order to establish strong lasting friendships, which in turn led to the formation of the Mid-America Institute within the US JCI Senate. The Illinois JCI Senate was the main catalyst in developing this relationship. Because of the ever increasing number of Senators in Illinois, it was determined to only send the newsletter to those Senators who were members of the Illinois JCI Senate. The Illinois JCI Senate began electing a Region Director for each region of the state similar to the manner of the Illinois Jaycees. Harold Miller #3607 (Alton) and Marie Olsen, wife of Larry Olsen #4563 (Moline), passed away during this year.

While under the leadership of Spike Bryant #19653 (Collinsville), the Illinois JCI Senate membership surpassed the 300 member mark, the hospitality room ribbon was initiated to identify Senators authorized for admission, the Illinois Jaycee Charitable Foundation Board was started and the main fund raising project was JCI Senate license plates. The Illinois JCI Senate became involved in the campaign to elect Gene Honn #28311 (Tinley Park) the first President of the US Jaycees from Illinois. It was determined to maintain the original “Standing Abe” Senate pin but also design a new pin each year for trading. Past President Fred Fischer #21307 served as National Vice President.

Charlie Gouveia #18294 (Lombard) was elected President for 1982-83. It was during this year that Past President Fred Fischer #21307 became the third Illinois Senator to be elected President of the US JCI Senate. The Illinois JCI Senate hosted the US JCI senate Fall Board Meeting in Homewood. The blue and orange Illinois Senate shirts were first introduced and made available to the membership for a cost of $15. The Life Account Board of Trustees was established and it was first determined to divide the $150 received from a life membership with $100 going into the Life Account and $50 into the general fund. The Bud Miller Award was started in which the Illinois JCI Senate awarded $250 to the chapter who conducted the top Community project of the year for the Illinois Jaycees. This award is still presented today in honor of the late Harold “Bud” Miller #3607 from Alton.

Ed Townsend #19490 (Fairview Heights) served as President in 1983-84. It was during his term that US JCI Senate dues increased from $1.50 to $3.00 per member. The cost of a JCI Senatorship increased to $175. The Illinois JCI Senate was requested to provide a representative on the Camp New Hope Board. Weldon Greeneberg #26977 was selected as that individual. The Illinois JCI Senate went over 200 life members. The first Illinois Senate/Missouri Senate hospitality social was held in conjunction with the Illinois-Missouri basketball game in St. Louis. John Olson (JDO) #35308 was the youngest Senator at the 1984 Winter meeting.

Ted Lang #26718 (Paris) was elected President for 1984-85. The annual dues were increased from $10 to $15. The membership surpassed the 400 member level. the Illinois JCI Senate became a not-for-profit corporation in Illinois. the Illinois JCI Senate ran their first TOYP program for the Illinois Jaycees with Senators Mike Kelley #33910 and Fred Fischer #21307 serving as co-chairmen. Larry Olsen #4563 from Moline became the first inductee into the Illinois Jaycees Hall of Fame. Doug Hincker (Michigan) became the recipient of Honorary Life Member #1. Ted was recognized as an Outstanding State president by the US JCI Senate. Denny Birt #37116 was the youngest Senator at the 1984 Fall meeting. The US JCI Senate changed it’s geographical goupings of states from Institutes to Regions. Past President Val Koble #13821 served as Region V Vice President of the US JCI Senate.

Weldon Greeneberg #26977 (Pontiac) served as President for 1985-86. The annual dues increased again from $15 to $20 and the cost of a life membership increased from $150 to $200. Gerry Moore (Missouri) received Honorary Life Member #2. It was during Weldon’s term the Senate Contingency Fund was started. The purpose of the contingency fund was to put 50% of all life membership money received hereafter into a separate fund from that destined for the building fund to insure the life membership account did not totally deplete. The Illinois JCI Senate hosted the Ohio Senate, Wisconsin Senate and Michigan Senate all the same year at three University of Illinois football games.

Bill Willett #17398 (Dixon) was elected the 20th Illinois JCI Senate President. A 20th Anniversary dinner was held in Decatur. Membership in the Illinois JCI Senate reached 500 members. The Railsplitter Corp was founded during Bill’s term with Past President Ted Lang #26718 serving as the first Commander. The purpose of the Railsplitter Corp was to raise money to be donated equally between Camp New Hope and the Jaycee Building Fund. The Illinois JCI Senate first introduced “Hours of Power” to the Illinois Jaycees through the efforts of Terry Vaughn #36143 and Doc Mahoney #29075. The special Illinois JCI Senate logo was created with a side view of Abe within the Jaycee shield. The Illinois JCI Senate began hosting the Jaycee President’s cocktail parties at state meetings. The most memorable highlight though was when a delegation of Illinois Senators traveled to Ohio in April to play in the Ohio Senate golf outing and awoke the next morning prior to tee off to find 22 inches of snow on the ground.