Far West Region History
The Far West Region encompasses the Western most states in the United States. There are currently 28 chapters in the states of California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska and Oregon. In the last decade two chapters joined the region and one was reactivated. As recently as 2002, the Far West Region installed the Alaska Angels based in Anchorage. They were voted in as a Provisional Chapter during the 2002 National Convention in Los Angeles, CA.
The Far West Region has been a vibrant and active contributor to the vast history of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Four National Presidents have come from our region including the 6th, Ruth Brown Howard, (1958-1962) from the San Francisco Chapter, 12th, Dr. Ramona Arnold (1982-1986) from the South Los Angeles Chapter, the 18th, Carla Williams (2000-2002) from the Pasadena Chapter and the 19th, Ida La Brie Younge (2002-2004) from the Pomona Area Chapter. Dr. Sheryl Thomas, the 7th national president, appointed the first Father’s Auxiliary Chair, Fitzroy L. Younge, Jr., legacy from the Oakland Bay Area Chapter (and husband of Ida L. Younge), in 1997.
How the Far West Region Began
In 1949, the expanding arms of Jack and Jill of America reached across the nation to form the Los Angeles Chapter, the first chapter in our region. 1952 brought two more chapters into the Region, the Phoenix Chapter and the San Francisco Chapter. Through 1955-1958, our Region grew even more with the chartering of the following chapters: Oakland Bay Area Chapter (1955), San Diego Chapter (1955), Pasadena Chapter (1956), Sacramento Chapter (1956) South Los Angeles Chapter (1957), and Seattle Chapter (1958). By 1959, our region elected its first regional officer. Ms. Willia Jean Lewis was elected at the regional conference hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter. Ms Lewis served two terms, from 1959 through 1963. In 1963, Ms Muriel Spaulding was elected at the regional conference hosted by the Denver chapter in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Spaulding was re-elected for a second term at the 1965 regional conference hosted by the Oakland Bay Area chapter in Oakland California. In 1967, Ms. Mariam Rogers took the helm, having been elected at the regional conference hosted by the Pasadena Chapter in Pasadena California. In 1968, the San Jose Chapter joined the ranks of Far West Region chapters.
1969 marked a new era for the region as the particular duties of overseeing a region were split into different offices. As how we ran the region changed, more and more chapters were chartered. The following list contains all elected officers of the Far West Region and the chapters that joined in between the years of 1969 – 2011.
At the 2008 National Convention, the duties of the Regional Secretary/Treasurer were split into two positions. The Regional Conference held in July of 2011 was the first time elections were held for four officer positions. The officers currently holding those positions are:
LaTanya Bellow – Regional Director (2015-2017)
Lisa Grant-Dawson – Regional Treasurer (2015-2017)
Florence Lankford – Regional Secretary (2015 – 2017)
Vara Allen-Jones – Member At Large (2015-2017)
Throughout the illustrious history of the Far West Region, we have continued to strive for excellence in programming for our children and our families, enhancing the membership process and increasing the value of the Jack and Jill Experience through our commitment to all children.