Who We Are
Jack and Jill of America, Inc. was founded January 24, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from a meeting of 20 mothers by the leadership of Marion Stubbs Thomas with the idea of bringing together children in a social and cultural environment. In 1964, as more groups became active, bylaws were drawn up and incorporated under the laws of Delaware. We are a non profit organization by mothers of children between the ages of 2 and 19 holding membership.
The goals serve as our constant guides. They are as follows:
• To create a medium of contact for children which will stimulate their growth and development.
• To provide constructive educational, cultural, civic, social and service programs for children.
• To aid mothers in learning more about their children through educational conferences and workshops.
If you are interested in becoming a member of Jack and Jill you must be sponsored by a member(s) of the local chapter. You will be invited to attend a meeting where pertinent information, such as the qualifications, cost, selection process, and other information will be discussed.
If you are a child or the spouse of a child whose mother graduated from a chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., in good standing and you meet the other criteria for membership, you are eligible for membership as a Legacy Member. Legacy forms can be obtained from our National Office.
The Atlantic City, NJ Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated was chartered on May 15, 1948. At the Third National Convention held in Washington, D.C., the Atlantic City, NJ Chapter was officially installed and recognized as the 16th chapter inducted into Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated. Our boundaries included both Atlantic County and Cape May County. At the time of our chartering, Mrs. Dorothy Wright was National President. Our charter members, fourteen pioneering women, with a crystal clear vision were: Mrs. Wilmer Nelson, President Emeritus, Mrs. Lucille Barbour, Mrs. Lillian Bryant, Mrs. Carrie Harrison, Mrs. Harriet Lamkin, Mrs. Edythe Marshall, Mrs. Alice Carter, Mrs. Juanita Fowler, Mrs. Hugh Gregory, Mrs. Elveta Harris, Mrs. Cecelia Hawkes, Mrs. Margaret Hawkins, Mrs. Florence Johnson, First President, and Mrs. Erma Spencer. The past deeds of these wonderful women, our foremothers, continue to inspire and strengthen our membership.
Our activities regionally have been stellar. Our chapter hosted the Eastern Regional Mothers’ Conference, “Changing Aspects of Family Life in Today’s World” in 1965. In 1951, Teens from the Atlantic City, NJ Chapter participated in a Philadelphia program entitled, “A Haitian Festival”. This program was the summation of the Philadelphia Teens’ yearlong program of study and research on Haiti, and served as a forerunner to the annual Regional Teenage Conferences. Later, in 1957, the Atlantic City, NJ Chapter hosted the 7th annual Eastern Regional Teenage Conference, “Youth’s Responsibility.” The Atlantic City, NJ Chapter sponsored the South Jersey Chapter which was officially installed on October 13, 1954.
In 1995 we expanded our chapter boundaries to include Cumberland County, New Jersey. In addition, we joined with the Burlington-Willingboro Chapter in hosting the 1999 Eastern Regional Teen Conference, “SOAR”, in Cherry Hill, NJ. The Delaware Valley Cluster was hosted by our chapter in 1990 at The Flagship Resort. In 2004, the chapter hosted a second cluster, “Protecting Your Chapter’s Future . . . Building on a Firm Foundation”, under the direction of Regional Director Darkes, at the new Atlantic City Convention Center. Attendance at the 2004 cluster was noteworthy. The Atlantic City, NJ Chapter proudly hosted the 2011 Eastern Region Children’s Cluster at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey where over 200 attendees with children between the ages of 2 to 12 were represented.
We are proud to be the home of the 17th Eastern Regional Director, Mrs. Vivian M. J. Darkes, who served with distinction from 2001 to 2005. Mrs. Darkes also served as the Eastern Regional Teen Advisor from 1999 to 2001. Legacy member, Mrs. Dianna Williams-Fauntleroy served as the National and Eastern Regional Bylaws Chair from 2001 to 2004. In addition, our Chapter boasts being the home of Mrs. Barbara Washington, who, with her husband Bill, was named the 2006-2007 Foundation Legacy Family of the Year. Miss JayLyn Harris, a member of our teen group, has served two consecutive terms on the Eastern Regional Teen Board in the appointed positions of Eastern Regional Parliamentarian (2010-2011) and Eastern Regional Legislative Chair (2009-2010).
As a premier family organization, fathers play a vital role in chapters across the nation. In 2003, the Atlantic City, NJ Chapter formed a Father’s Auxiliary. President Harris appointed Richard T. Fauntleroy as the first chair. The fathers coordinate at least two programs for our families annually under the leadership of the auxiliary chair.
The Atlantic City, NJ Chapter celebrated sixty (60) years of service in our community on September 27, 2008. To commemorate the occasion the chapter sponsored a luncheon, hat show and silent auction at the Carriage House in Galloway Township, New Jersey. The proceeds from the auction benefited the Atlantic City, NJ Boys and Girls Club and the Jackand Jill of America Foundation. The Chapter honored former Regional Director, Darkes and the past presidents who served throughout our distinguished sixty (60) year history. Additionally, we selected and also honored two former members, Mrs. Louise Forrest Johnson (posthumously) and Mrs. Jane Flipping, who exemplified the mission of Jack and Jill during their membership in the Chapter, as well as through their professional careers and volunteerism in the community.
Our Chapter has endured the years with strength and a determination to continue the legacy that our founders and charter members envisioned for the families that thrive under our programmatic thrusts. We continue to nurture our membership so that they, along with our children, blossom and flourish. Women who have lead our chapter in service as president over the past sixty-three years include: Mrs. Wilmer Nelson, Mrs. Florence Johnson, Mrs. Lillian Bryant, Mrs. Erma Spencer, Mrs. Florence Turner, Mrs. Lucille Barbour, Mrs. Joan Hayes, Mrs. Carrie Harrison, Mrs. Louise Forrest Johnson, Mrs. Dorothie Dorrington, Mrs. Wanda Harris, Mrs. Doris Carter, Mrs. Matilda Peterson, Mrs. Elaine Scott, Mrs. Claudette Yancy, Mrs. Ada Evans, Mrs. Linda Steele (1983-1985), Mrs. Rosetta Johnson (1985-1989), Mrs. Linda Steele (1989-1991), Mrs. Lynda V. Browne-Kidd (1991-1995), Mrs.Vivian M. J. Darkes (1995-1999), Mrs. Dianna Williams-Fauntleroy (1999-2003), Mrs. Sonya Gillespie-Harris (2003-2007), Mrs. Annie B. Clark (2007-2009), Mrs. Dianna Williams-Fauntleroy (2009-2011) and our current president, Mrs. Robin Peterson-Brown (2011-2015).