By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Meet the Delano Jaycees they’re young, energetic, and poised to create a positive impact in the community.
“We work hard, and we play hard,” chapter president Shawn Petersen said.
The group currently consists of 30 members, ages 18 to 40, and seven alumni, ages 41 and older.
“We were ranked number one in Minnesota twice in 30 years,” alumni member Martin “Toon” Bauman said.
The Delano Jaycees are part of larger Jaycees (Junior Chamber) organizations, at the state, national, and international level.
“We not only donate funds back into the community from projects we run, but also develop leadership skills through the planning and implementing of these projects,” said past chapter president Ryan Gueningsman.
The Delano Jaycees began in April 1981, and the group’s first undertaking was erecting a fence on railroad property after a train killed a local child. This project was recognized in 1984, with two international level awards the New Zealand Award and the Japan Safety Award.
Since then, the Delano Jaycees have completed a multitude of service projects, and have donated several thousands of dollars back into the Delano community.
Last year, the group donated about $9,000, according to Petersen.
The Delano Jaycees are always out and about in the community, whether it’s volunteering at the Delano Fourth of July celebration, helping with the hot dog stands at Coborn’s, or participating in the Relay for Life.
“Fourth of July is a big one,” said Nichole Krause, who has been involved with the Delano Jaycees for three years.
During the Fourth of July city event, the Jaycees take care of the beer, entertainment tent, and softball games.
“This year, we will also be having a bean bag tournament,” Petersen said.
Throughout the year, the Jaycees are involved in numerous smaller activities as well, such as highway cleanups, an annual garage sale, “punt, pass, and kick” competition, and a sandbox fill fundraiser.
For the sandbox fill each May, the Jaycees deliver wheelbarrows full of sand to people in the community.
“I like seeing the look on the kids’ faces when they see the new, fresh sand,” Bauman said.
This October, the Jaycees are also hoping to have a haunted house.
The money they raise from these events goes straight back to the community, helping the city, parks, and schools.
“Every year, we hope to donate more and more,” Petersen said.
The purpose of the Jaycees is to help with community service, and also to improve members’ leadership abilities and promote personal growth.
“The Jaycees were founded for business and personal development,” Petersen said. “The fundraising aspect is more of a subsidiary effect.”
“Our projects take a lot of communication, coordination, and working together to make things happen,” Gueningsman added.
Over the years, many of the past and current Delano Jaycees have been honored with the highest individual awards from the state level (Minnesota Statesman), national level (ambassadorship), and the international level (senators). Currently, the Delano Jaycees have 20 Minnesota statesmen, seven ambassadors, and three senators.
Many of the Delano Jaycees members have found the organization to be highly rewarding.
“When I volunteer, I get more out of it than I can put into it,” Petersen said.
“I wanted to do something for the community,” Krause added. “It’s been an excellent experience.”
The Delano Jaycees are always accepting new members. There is no minimum time commitment, but members who participate in a certain number of activities may get the membership fee waived for the following year.
“If you want to do one or two activities a year, great,” Petersen said. “We’re always looking for someone who can lend a helping hand.”
People who are over 40 can join the group alumni members, even if they’ve never been part of the Jaycees, he added.
Meetings take place the third Tuesday of every month at the Delano American Legion, and non-members are welcome to attend.
More information about the Delano Jaycees is available at www.delanojaycees.com.
People interested in learning more can also contact Petersen at (612) 483-4886.
The Delano Jaycees has 30 members and seven alumni. Current chapter members and alumni include:
• Jessica Artibee
• Tim Barth
• Carla Barth
• Jodi Baumgard
• Patrick Baumgard
• Jody Bettermann
• Steve Clark
• Nathan Dalbec
• Luke Fischer
• Alex Forster
• Ryan Gueningsman
• Kevin Jaunich
• Laura Jaunich
• Matt Kane
• Dan Krause
• Nichole Krause
• Dr. Scott Meyer
• Erin Nolan
• Shawn Petersen
• Dr. Scott Rinne
• Alex Roeser
• Sue Roeser
• Sonja Schlosser
• Josh Schoborg
• Ashley Schoborg
• Amber Shoutz
• Laura Schumacher
• Chad Skartvedt
• Dr. Jeremiah Staples
• Jason Zilka
• Martin “Toon” Bauman
• Kevin Dick
• Lisa Dick
• Joanne Georges
• Daryl MacLean
• Deann Shoutz
• Scott Shoutz