HISTORY OF ERIE SHORES
In February 2017, the leadership of the Mid-Western Region of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. determined that the Cleveland metropolitan area had sufficient population and diversity to support an additional chapter. To assess the interest level of mothers in the Cleveland area, the regional leadership hosted on an interest meeting.
On June 4, 2017, twenty-one mothers signed-in to the first meeting of the Metropolitan Cleveland Interest Group at the South Euclid branch of the Cuyahoga County Library. The meeting was hosted by Sponsor Chapter Cleveland President Richelle McCoy and Akron Chapter President Tanya Watson, with Past National President Alice Peoples and Mid-Western Regional Director Nadine Gibson providing the presentation.
After a second general information meeting on June 25, the interest group met for a third time on July 16 and selected Erie Shores as the group’s name. Past Regional Director Sharon Clayton attended the meeting and assisted the group in conducting the election of its first officers.
With dedicated leadership in place, the mothers immediately immersed themselves in becoming more familiar with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and the new chapter formation process. Less than one week after the election, eight Erie Shores moms traveled to the Mother’s Regional Conference in Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor, Michigan where they attended a series of training workshops with other provisional groups. During the workshops, the mothers were fortunate to meet then-National President Joli Cooper-Nelson and Past National President Jacqueline Bowles and newly elected Regional Director Vanessa Williams. They each shared warm, welcoming words with the provisional groups.In August, Erie Shores submitted its application to the National Vice President and on September 1, was officially accepted as a provisional group of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Once approved, the group wasted no time and got to work meeting the requirements of the provisional period. Over the next several months, the group set a high bar of achievement for itself. Erie Shores not only met all reporting deadlines, but was consistently early with all required submissions. Without the benefit of a planning retreat, Erie Shores planned and executed relevant programming, covering all of the program thrusts for each age group.
Moms attended area work days, teen events, and cluster meetings. In one instance, Erie Shores had the largest representation of any chapter or group at a cluster meeting. Erie Shores also crafted activities to foster friendship among the moms. One example: the mothers gathered for a “baby shower” to celebrate their intention to birth a new chapter. In keeping with Jack and Jill’s goal to seek for all children the advantages we seek for our own, the shower included a collection of baby supplies that were donated to a women’s shelter.
The diligent work of the group culminated in July 2018 at the national convention in Kansas City. With nine enthusiastic and devoted Erie Shores moms in attendance, the group was granted status as a provisional chapter and a chartering date was scheduled for November 18, 2018.
Charter members included:
Lauren L. Adams, Roeshana K.R. Boyd,
H. Camia Brown, Deidra Dawn Davis,
Tyffani Monford Dent, Constance Dunn,
Angela Beasley Fielding, Chelci L. Fudge,
Stephanie L. Gaines, Sumbra L. Giles-Cyrus,
Bianca Griffin, Felicia C. Hameed,
Erika M. Hester, Courtney Clayton Jenkins,
Denise L. Johnson, Nicole R. McKinney-Johnson,
Tanisha L. Knighton, Candace Jeffers LaRochelle,
Adrienne Alyse Loretz, Sherrie C. Massey,
Jennifer McKinney, Chaundra C. Monday,
Tammy Moore Coney, Candis N. Platt-Houston,
Denise Rice-Ali, Susan L. Roebuck,
Michele Scott Taylor, Roshonda Benton Smith,
Dalithia C. Smith, Patti Solomon,
Stacey Conner Talley, Erica M. Thomas,
Maia R. Ward, Cassandra N. Washington,
Raquel C. White, Jessica Whitley.