The Fantastic Florence Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
The Fantastic Florence Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. was organized as an interest group in 1990 under the guidance of Dianna White, Jeanette Pendergrass, and Dr. Linda Bigelow. Twenty-four (24) mothers attended the first meeting, which was held at the home of Dianna White. After several meetings, the group was established as the Pee Dee Children’s Association with sixteen mothers. The group remained an interest group for one year providing many activities for children and families. The children and families experienced a variety of positive activities to include the following: weekend trip to Myrtle Beach; Family Day; Christmas Dinner; and teen visits to colleges and universities. Representatives also attended various conferences.
In 1991, the association was voted into membership with Provisional Chapter status during the National Convention in Orlando, Florida as the 247th chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. Mid-Atlantic Region. After two years of hard work and dedication of seventeen (17) mothers, a chapter was formed that now serves Florence, Darlington and Williamsburg counties. On Saturday, October 24, 1992, the Florence Chapter chartering ceremonies were held at the Oakdale Country Club. The charter members were Teresa Anderson; Linda Bigelow; Barbara Brooks; Carolyn Brown; Diane Chapman; Elizabeth Clark; Hilda Conner; Shirley Green; Betty Jackson; Nellie Jones; Ann King; Gloria McCutcheon; Jeanette Pendergrass; Janetha Prioleau; Teresa Rozzelle; Marian Weeks; and Dianna White.
Since its inception, the Florence Chapter has held various projects throughout the years that have benefited the children of the group and the community educationally, culturally, and socially under the leadership of the following presidents:
Linda Bigelow 1990-1993
Elizabeth Clark 1993-1995
Frances Thomas 1995-1997
Loretta Brown 1997-2001
Patricia Singleton Parr 2001-2005
Dr. Adora Matthews 2005- 2007
Tracy Miller 2007-2011
Karen Aikens 2011- 2013
Dr. Jeniqua Duncan 2013-2017
Lamibia Dunham 2017-2021
Kenyetta Kennedy-Sanders 2021- Present
These activities include the adoption of a first grade class at North Vista; voter registration drive; UNCF; annual Thanksgiving Dinner, “Time of Sharing”; Christmas Party for the Boys and Girls Club; Manna House Food Drive; Faith Nursing Home, Co-sponsor of Carver Health Fair, Summer Reading Program and participation in many chapter activities. The Florence Chapter has also hosted the 1995 and 2002 South Carolina Cluster meetings. The 2012 Teen Conference was co-hosted with the Conway, SC chapter. The chapter hosted a new event for Founders Day that also served as a fundraiser for the Foundation in 2014. “Painting Power and Potential” was hosted at a local wine and paint establishment owned by an African American female. The owner created a unique painting for moms, associates, and guests to paint. The painting was conceptualized after the national Jack and Jill emblem. The chapter was overjoyed to have Regional Director Deirdre Williams in attendance. Assisting the Naomi Project, a house for battered women and their children through donations and service, participating in the annual Sickle Cell Walk to bring awareness to the disease, and the donation of school supplies to an elementary school serving an undeserved community.
The Florence Chapter also recognizes our members for their contributions to the chapter and community as the “Distinguished Mother of the Year.” This award has been bestowed upon the following mothers listed below.
1993 Linda Bigelow
1995 Elizabeth Clark
1996 Frances Thomas
1997 Patricia Singleton Parr
1998 Loretta Brown
1999 Betty Jackson
2000 Gail Brown
2001 Dianna White
2002 Sharon Dixon
2003 Robin Parker
2004 Dr. Adora Matthews
2005 Michelle Houston
2006 Jeri Deas
2007 Tracy Miller
2008 Carla Jefferson
2009 Daphne Stewart
2010 Denise Sowell
2011 Karen Aikens
2012 Daphne Stewart
2013 Dr. Jeniqua Duncan
2014 Shannon Graves
2015 Ester Thomas
2016 Donya Wallace
2017 Ashley Denmark
2018 Lisa Brockington
2019 Dana Mitchell
In 2002, the Florence Chapter recognized our first “Fabulous Father,” Clifford Parr for his contributions to this chapter and the community. Victor Brown was recognized in 2003, Lionel Brown, 2004; Dr. Stephen Parker, 2005; Raymond Matthews,2006; Eric Deas, 2007; Rev. Anthony Miller, 2008; Bernie Stewart, 2009; Ronald Chapman, 2010; James Aikens, 2011; Bernie Stewart, 2012; Kinte Duncan, 2013; Tony Graves, 2014; Ronald Thomas, 2015; Dr. Tyrone Wallace, 2016; Anthony Denmark, 2017; Demetrius Brockington, 2018 and Arin Mitchell, 2019.
The Florence Chapter has served the organization regionally and nationally as well.
Regional Nominating Chairman, National Nominating Committee
Patricia Singleton Parr
National Legislative Committee, Chair Regional By-Laws Committee, Chair National Standing Rules Committee, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic Associate Chair, Five Star Chapter Excellence
National Nominating Committee
Meredith Brown (Teen)
Regional Teen Secretary
Regional Time & Place Committee, Regional Membership Committee, Regional Technology Committee, National Small Chapter Support Task Force, National Growing Strategically Task Force Chairwoman
The members of the Florence Chapter strive to provide constructive and fun educational, social, and cultural activities for our children and children of the community, always keeping in mind the Jack and Jill motto- “Let’s Work, Let’s Play, Let’s Live Together.”
About Jack and Jill of America
The late Marion Stubbs Thomas founded Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, on January 24, 1938, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Twenty mothers came together to discuss creating an organization to provide social, cultural and educational opportunities for youth between the ages of 2 and 19. In 1946, 10 chapters were involved in the national restructuring process. The constitution and bylaws were drawn up, and the organization was incorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware.
Today, Jack and Jill boasts 252 chapters nationwide, representing more than 40,000 family members.
Each chapter plans annual programming activities guided under our five point programmatic thrust:
We remember the ways of living developed by communities and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions and values. Through our cultural heritage we honor and preserve those who are making a difference in our community by teaching our children to cherish their past and be excited about the future.
The core of the Jack and Jill of America philosophy is that every child – if given the proper guidance and opportunity – can be developed into a leader. Whether it is through skill enhancement or understanding the concepts of integrity, Jack and Jill has become a national icon in creating effective leaders.
We are social beings with a need for balance to function and maintain healthy lives. We believe it is necessary to engage our children both socially and recreationally, learning to interact with peers and others in a healthy, positive and productive manner. These activities promote processes that help to refresh and reinvigorate both the mind and body.
Chapters continue to embrace the importance of being more aware of health issues that impact our communities, resulting in an organization that is more health conscious. We are committed to providing healthy behaviors and personal empowerment programming and training for families to live healthy lifestyles.
Since our inception, we have been committed to legislation aimed at bettering the lives of all children. Past and present legislative advocacy focus has been on violence in the media, health and wellness initiatives, voter registration, responsible gun laws, and equal access to quality education.
We are a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2 to 19, dedicated to nurturing future Leaders by supporting children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty. Jack and Jill has 252 local chapters within 7 geographical regions in the United States.
Become a Member
If you are interested in becoming a member of this chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., you must be sponsored by a member(s) of the 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
An individual meeting all requirements and qualifications must then be approved by chapter vote to complete the selection process. Each chapter is autonomous and has specific criteria for sponsoring new members.
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.
In the Spotlight
Our Chapter’s Leadership Board
Local Philanthropies that we have had the honor of partnering with
Contact Our Chapter
We look forward to hearing from you about membership or how our members can serve your philanthropy and our community.