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Chapter History

The Wilmington chapter of Jack and Jill was conceptualized in the spring of 1973 by the mothers of Girl Scout Troop 210 from Wilmington and a mother’s club known as “The Group” from Newark. Both groups unknowingly contacted the Regional Director of Jack and Jill for membership. The Director suggested that the two groups merge, which they did in late October of the same year.

The Group

The Wilmington chapter of Jack and Jill was conceptualized in the spring of 1973 by the mothers of Girl Scout Troop 210 from Wilmington and a mother’s club known as “The Group” from Newark.
Approximately thirty-five women joined and formed the provisional organization named the “Les Mere Interresse” (The Interested Mothers). This provisional group functioned for two years under the sponsorship of the South Jersey Chapter and other mothers were encouraged to join.

This interest group grew at an impressive rate with mothers and fathers collectively working together to ensure its success. On January 19, 1975 National President, Dr. Pearl W. Boschulte, at a heartfelt ceremony at the Pike Creek Country Club, formally installed the provisional group into Jack and Jill. The new Jack and Jill chapter was named “The Wilmington Chapter”, and the occasion was celebrated by founding members: Rosie Mickey, LaWanda Newton, *Thelma Noisette, Juanita Pritchett, Mattie Stallings, Evelyn Sills, Marguerite Hart, Kathryn Hazeur, Gloria Hinson, Yvonne Jensen, *Telanna Johnson, Kay Leigh, Lucy McLamb, Ruby McMillan, Deidra Mercer. The first chartering members contributed to the success of the chapter also: Brenda Amos, Sonja Brown, Pat Clark, Dorothy Cuff, Claudia Dorman, Millicent Ferrell, Margaree Fitchett, Yvonne Fleming, Florence Gaines, Dorothy Gardiner, Yvonne Harper, Margaret Henry, Gloria Hinson, Carole Martin, Patricia Moody, Florese Moore, Lucille Morris, Vera Murray, LaWanda Newton, Gloria Noel, Thelma Noisette, Charity Patton, Etta Rose, Suzanne Rouselle, Peggy Spaulding, LaVern Waters and Vivian Williams. 

The Chapter’s membership increased and members got involved in local, regional and national activities of Jack and Jill. In 1975, for the first time as an official chapter, delegates were sent to the Regional Teen Conference and the chapter made its first contribution of $100.00 to the National Foundation. Due to the progressive growth of the chapter not only in Wilmington but also in its surrounding communities, the chapter, in its 1980-81 activity year, changed its name to the “New Castle County, DE Chapter” to embrace our commitment to provide more services to our youth and the community at large.

In May 2012, the Chapter initiated six new members and welcomed two legacy members plus one transfer member. We also said goodbye to two graduating mothers, including one who had been a member of the Chapter for 25 years. She smoothly transitioned into the Associates Group.

2013

In April 2013, our families traveled to Washington, DC for a tour and dinner sponsored by the Black Family Day, Legislative and Health Committees. Families embarked on a guided tour of the Capitol Building, walked by the White House and visited the MLK Memorial site. As families toured, individual pedometers distributed by the Health Committee counted their steps. The children learned a great deal about the inner workings of the federal government while interacting with one another and engaging in a healthy activity Sunday, April 28, 2013. The Chapter hosted a wine and dinner fundraiser in support of the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware and the Jack and Jill Foundation.

During the Eastern Region’s Conference in July 2013, the Chapter was recognized as one of the top five Chapters in the Region for total poundage collected to fight hunger! November,2013, brought about great change in our chapter, as the boundary of NCC was expanded to include Northern Kent County, Delaware. 2013 we welcomed Crystal Barrow as our newest Chapter President and thanked Angela Lane for her service.

2014

In 2014 Program Director, Brenda Collins & Asst. Program Director, Andrea Squire achieved a SUPERIOR rating on our 2013-2014 Program Handbook. We also received a grant for Nativity Prep - EMS2: Exciting Minority Students about the Sciences. 2015 In April 2015, New Castle County Chapter hosted the 65th Annual Teen Conference at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel. Approximately 1,000 teens representing 56 chapters attended the conference. Fifty of our Jillers volunteered to Ring the Bells for Salvation Army during the weekends in November and December of 2015. The children of the Chapter participated in a variety of activities during the 2015-16 program year in the categories of cultural, civic/community service, educational, health, recreational, social, and legislative, leadership development and financial literacy. In July 2015, Regional Director Mondi Kumbula-Fraser appointed Mother Ronnette Finch to the Eastern Regional Leadership Team as the Regional Events and Logistics Chair.

2016-2017

In February 2016, the children of the Chapter commemorated Presidents Day with our annual service project sorting non-perishable food items donated to replenish food pantries at local schools within one of our county’s school districts. This is an annual chapter service project that has continued since 2013. The children sorted and made seven hundred and twenty-seven lunches during President’s Day. In 2016, we also joined the regional campaign to stomp out hunger and increase literacy. Our children prepared five hundred and seventy backpacks containing five meals each for a total of two thousand eight hundred and fifty meals. These meals were donated to local school in the city most deprived areas in Delaware.

In support of our mother member, Pamela Sharpe, the health committee, led by mothers Marlo Green and Kisha Riviere organized a New Castle County Participant group for the 8th annual Pearls of Hope memorial 5k in October. New Castle County was the recipient of the Largest Registered Team Award. In addition, Jiller Madison Squire won first place for her age group, and father Alex McManus won first place in his age group.

We partnered with many groups to support our regional efforts to promote literacy. We worked with the A.I. DuPont Hospital to support five monthly literacy events for children hospitalized. Our Senior Teens donated one hundred and four books and eighteen board games at hosted a literacy day with Bancroft Elementary. Our senior teens made cupcakes and cookies for the children from the community that attended. Our very own Camryn Lane received the 2017 Distinguished Teen award and was recognized at the 2017 Teen Conference in Boston (MA). In May 2017 during a ceremony held at the Greenville County Club, we welcomed Ronnette Finch as our Chapter President and thanked Crystal Barrow for her service as President of New Castle County Chapter (2013-2017). The additional (2017-2018) officers installed include: Vice President Jackie Ridgley, Program Director Karen Chapman, Recording Secretary Adrienne Smith, Corresponding Secretary Licelis Brewington, Treasurer Shawn Hill, Financial Secretary Andre Squire, Editor Crystal Barrow and Historian Marlo Green. Kennedy Crowder was installed as the 2017-2018 Teen President. In addition, we welcomed three new mothers to our chapter: Carla Booker, Maria Glover-Morton and Anita Hester-Croker.

 

2017-2018

July 2017, President Ronnette Finch and Vice President Jackie Ridgley served as Chapter Alternate and Delegate at the 30th Biennial Regional Mothers Conference in Orlando, FL. Mother Crystal Barrow was recognized as New Castle County Chapter’s Distinguished Mother. In September 2017, our 2017-2018 Program Year started off with a Mothers Retreat (Theme: Engage, Inform and Transform) held at the Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, MD. During the meeting President Ronnette presented her biennial theme: Mission Focused? Children First.

In November, we were honored to celebrate with Kendall Barrow, Leslie Butler, Alonzo Finch, Taryn-Marie Jenkins, Troy Oglesby, Justin Sharpe and Gabe Wedgewood on the completion of their year-long Rites of Passage Journey. The closing gala was held at the Chase Center, Wilmington, DE. Immediate Past President Crystal Barrow served as one of the 2018 Rites of Passage Co-Chairs.

20 Mothers, 4 Middle School and 2 Teens attended our Eastern Region Mothers Cluster, held at the Westin Hotel, Princeton, NJ. In December of 2017, our Senior Teens completed their inaugural Poinsettia Sale raising close to $800 for Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Foundation and a local charity. The Teens selected Children and Families 25 First Community School Program as the local charity, with the funds equally divided between Stubbs Elementary School and Bancroft Elementary. In addition, our children supported the National Loose Change Initiative donating $189.13 to our Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Foundation.

In January 2018, New Castle County Chapter along with (7) other Delaware Valley Chapters celebrated the 80th Anniversary of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The Legacy Luncheon- Celebrating 80 Years of Excellence was held at the Hilton on City Line Avenue in Philadelphia. National President, Joli Cooper-Nelson, was the keynote speaker. In support of our National partnership with NAMI, New Castle County Chapter established a partnership with NAMI Delaware and facilitated two programs, a Speak Easy Event and NAMI Walk, to promote awareness of mental illness. New Castle County Chapter conducted two-chapter wide service projects focused on Foster Care. Under the leadership of Foundation Chair, Louse Butler, Zip Code Wilmington was awarded a $10,000 Independent STEM Grant through our Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Foundation. Mothers Rhonda Crowder and Stephanie Eldridge drafted the grant submission. Under the leadership of Programming Director Karen Chapman and Assistant Program Director Stephanie Eldridge, New Castle County Chapter scored a Superior Rating on our Program Handbook.

In April 2018, (16) New Castle Teens attended the 68th Annual Eastern Region Teen Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor Hotel, Maryland. During the conference, Teen President Kennedy Crowder was recognized as New Castle County Chapter’s Distinguished Teen. Mother Stephanie Eldridge was appointed Program Director to complete the 2017-2019 term of Mother Karen Chapman, who transferred to Virginia. The following mothers served on Regional Committees during the 2017-2018 Program Year: Shawn Hill (Regional Budget and Finance Committee); Crystal Barrow (Regional Education Committee); Adrianne Quarles (Regional Grievance Committee); Myoshi Aubain (Eastern Regional Grant Reading Committee) and Ronnette Finch (Chair, Regional Events and Logistics Committee).

In a ceremony held at the DuPont Country Club, Wilmington, DE we welcomed the following new mothers: Amber Asbebu, Tonya Stone-Baynes, Kesha Anderson Clarke, Donna DeVaughn, Tamiko Glover, Yokahoma Johnson, D”Veda Mitchell, Tina Morris, Vanessa Phillips, Pamela Ridgeway and Ruth Mathis Tucker. Alonzo Finch was installed as the 2018-2019 Teen President.

The following officers were installed for 2017-2019:

Chapter Officers (Elected)

President - Ronnette Finch

Vice President - Jackie Santiago

Program Director - Stephanie Eldridge

Recording Secretary - Adrienne Smith

Corresponding Secretary - Licelis Brewington

Treasurer - Shawn Hill

Financial Secretary - Andrea Squire

Editor Crystal Barrow

Historian - Marlo Green

Chapter Officers (Appointed)

Assistant Recording Secretary - Karryl McManus

Assistant Treasurer - Myoshi Aubain

Chaplain - Chrishaun Fitzgerald

Parliamentarian - Adrianne Quarles

Sergeant-At-Arms - Judith Passley-DeLaine

Foundation - Louise Butler

Protocol - Rikki Warthen - rikki.warthen@verizon.net

Membership for 2017-2018 consisted of 52 Mothers and 78 Children.

2018-2019

July 2018, President Ronnette Finch and Vice President Jackie Ridgley served as Chapter Delegate and Alternate at the 43rd National Convention, Kansas City, Missouri. The theme was 80 years of Love, Leadership & Legacy. During the Regional Breakfast Mother Ronnette Finch was recognized as New Castle County Chapter’s Distinguished Mother and Associate Jewel Connie Fleming was honored as the Distinguished Associate.

The following mothers continued their service on Regional Committees during the 2018-2019 Program Year: Shawn Hill (Regional Budget and Finance Committee); Crystal Barrow (Regional Education Committee); Adrianne Quarles (Regional Grievance Committee); Myoshi Aubain (Eastern Regional Grant Reading Committee) and Ronnette Finch (Chair, Regional Events and Logistics Committee). Jackie Ridgley was appointed to the National Children’s Trip committee. Our Teens were led by the dedicated Teen Advisors (Crystal Barrow, Vicki Johnson and Kisha Riviere) during the annual Teen Conference held at The Gaylord in the National Harbor. We were recipients of the following awards: Chapter Awards: Most Original Handmade/Digital Banner, Scrapbook - 3rd place, Chapter Display (Overall) - 3rd place Individual Recognition: Carole Robertson Award Participant - Taryn Marie-Jenkins, Community Service Award Participant - Taryn Marie-Jenkins , Teen Academic Award for Distinguished Scholastic Merit (11th grade) - Chloe Barrow, Teen Academic Award for Distinguished Scholastic Merit (12th grade) - Alonzo Finch, Distinguished Teen - Taryn Marie-Jenkins.

 We concluded another successful year by welcoming 8 new members into our chapter (Michelle Berkeley-Ayers, Adrienne Brown, Cherise Winstead Casson, O'Shell Howell-Cooper, Erika Dennis, Tiffany Earle, Tamara Perry and Eleisha Smith) at Dupont Country Club in Wilmington, DE.

The following elected officers were installed for 2019-2021 biennium:

President - Jacqualine Santiago

Vice President - Andrea Squire

Program Director - Shawn Hill

Recording Secretary - Shawna Soto

Corresponding Secretary -  Chalanda Jones

Treasurer - Myoshi Aubain

Financial Secretary - Nicole Redd

Editor - Lynette Townes

2019-2020

In July 2019, President Jacqualine Santiago and Program Director Shawn Hill served as Chapter Delegate and Alternate at the 31st Biennial Eastern Region Mothers Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Festivities kicked off under the theme of "Jammin in Jamaica". Immediate Past President Ronnette Finch was recognized as New Castle County Chapter’s Distinguished Mother and Associate Jewel Josephine Reynolds was honored as our Distinguished Associate.

To kick off the program year, our chapter mother’s embarked on Philadelphia for our Mother’s Retreat. The retreat was a wonderful event focused on relaxing, bonding, fellowshipping, understanding, and creating the vision for the future of the chapter. On September 25-29, 2019, 5 teens from the New Castle County Chapter visited the biennial On the Hill Summit. The summit was a empowering experience for young advocates to meet and discuss issues/concerns affecting their peers and communities with their respective congressional leaders on Capitol Hill. They had an opportunity to address equity in education, gun violence safety and prevention, and voter registration and turnout. In October 2019, 23 mothers and 11 teens attached the Delaware Valley Mother's Cluster hosted by Atlantic City, NJ, Chapter. Teen Reagan Squire was the recipient of the Middle School Oratorical award. Today, New Castle County (DE) Chapter is 54 members, 86 children and 15 associates strong!

The New Castle County Delaware Chapter strives to continue in the footsteps of the founders of our Chapter as well as those of the founders of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.