It all began in Philadelphia in 1938, with a loving mother and a simple idea. Our founder, Marion Stubbs Thomas, approached a group of mothers with a vision for a new kind of club - one focused not on the mothers themselves, but on stimulating social and cultural relationships among their children - and instilling the values and leadership skills that would serve them well into adulthood.
Contra Costa County Chapter
In 1979, a group of mothers residing in the Contra Costa County area started a Jack and Jill of America Interest Group. The Oakland Chapter sponsored the Interest Group and worked very closely with the group to help them meet the requirements of the National Organization.
The Interest Group elected their first President, Ruth Lockhart, and began holding their first Mothers’ Meetings at the Breuner’s Furniture Store Meeting Room in Pleasanton, CA. Their goal was to create educational, cultural, civic, recreational and social programs for their 125 children. The Contra Costa County Interest Group met once a month and quickly hit their 75-member maximum and stayed at that level for their first 3 years. After meeting all the requirements, Contra Costa County Chapter was chartered by the National Organization of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. on March 6, 1982.
The chapter soon held their first fundraiser to contribute to the Jack and Jill Foundation. The event was a boat ride on San Francisco Bay. A good time was had by all, and lessons for fundraiser success were learned for the future.
In recent years, Contra Costa County Chapter has been honored several times as the top fundraising chapter in the Far West Region. We are blessed to enjoy the gift that gives twice, the gift of giving. Some of our sponsored charities over the years have included: The East County Boys and Girls Club, Judy Davis Leukemia Foundation, Westwind Foster Family Agency, EMQ Foster Family Agency, Pittsburg Pre-School Coordinating Council, UC Berkeley Partnership Program, Pillars of Strength, Girls Inc., Students Rising Above and several others.
Contra Costa County Chapter is very proud of our large roster of Associate Members, which currently exceeds 30. Over the years our Associate group has been acknowledged as the largest in the country and continually gains us recognition at Regional and National conferences. In 2010, our last founding member, Cheryl Grigsby, graduated out of the chapter and is now a proud legacy member of our Associate group. “These Are The Ties That Bind”! We are very proud to have such a phenomenal group of associate mothers actively supporting our chapter.
Some of our Associate Mothers are now beginning to see their own sons and daughters become members in the Chapter. In fact, for the first time in 2013 Jasmine Dartez, the daughter of our past president Thywara Porter, was voted in as President. Then in 2015, Janene Grigsby, daughter of past president Cheryl Grigsby took over the reigns as President.
For the last 36 years, Contra Costa County Chapter has matured and evolved to an established and well-respected family organization within the county and our National organization. Our members have nurtured hundreds of families, helped build life-long friendships and prepared their children to succeed in the world. We also proudly returned the favor given to us by our sister chapter, Oakland, by sponsoring new Jack and Jill chapters, Tri-Valley and Greater Vallejo.
Today as we come upon our 34th year, we continue our work to expand our Contra Costa County Village while staying mindful of who we are “Mothers By Design, Sisters By Choice” and our commitment to our vision: The Power to Make a Difference… Is In Our Hands
2016-2017 Executive Board
Janene Grigsby, President
Carolyn Brown, Vice President
Sukoji Grigsby, Program Director
Kelly Willoughby, Recording Secretary
Monique Angara, Corresponding Secretary
Cherisse Shephard, Treasurer
Audrey Johnson, Financial Secretary
Christina Carter, Editor
Namita Brown, Parliamentarian
Cynthia Garrett, Foundation Chair
Lapondza Woolridge, Chaplain
Cynthia Cormier, Sergeant-At-Arms
Jasmine Dartez, Protocol Chair
Tamara Scott, MIS Administrator
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Greg Young, Father's Auxiliary Chair