Philippine-New York Jaycees to Celebrate its 50th Anniversary Gala

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New York, NY --- The Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippine-New York (Jaycees) will hold its 50th Anniversary Gala on September 28, 2013, 7pm, at Elite Palace in New York.


JCI Philippine-New York is an affiliate of the Junior Chamber International whose mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people aged 18-40 to create positive change. It has the distinct honor of being the longest-standing ethnic-based chapter of the JCI United States which continues to undertake pioneering projects beneficial to its members and the community.  To date, the chapter is the only organization for young people in the New York Filipino-American community devoted to leadership training of its members and the community via balanced programs in the areas of business, individual development, community development, membership services and international affairs.

This year’s gala is a celebration singularly dedicated to more than 5,000 members who have joined the chapter through the years. These members contributed to the chapter’s rich history and continued on to become community leaders, successful businessmen, government officials, accountants, teachers, lawyers, doctors and many other professions. The event is spearheaded by overall chairman of the event, Richard Rillera, the 27th Chapter President as well as Bel Molina, the 50th and current Chapter President. Honorary Chairs include the Honorable Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. of the Philippine Consulate General in New York and the global community leader Ms. Loida Nicolas-Lewis.

On July 20, 1963, the Philippine-New York Jaycees held its Charter Presentation and Induction at the International House Auditorium in Columbia University. At this presentation, young Filipino men officially accepted the challenge of "Leadership Training Through Community Service" - the basic principle of the Jaycee movement and its raison d'etre - with Ernesto Pilares as founding president. These young men sought to serve the civic and social needs of the then-fledgeling Filipino-American community in New York. They founded the first Filipino Jaycee chapter outside a foreign land and eventually opened the door to the formation of other chapters outside the Philippines. Since then, the chapter has had many accomplishments benefitting its members, the community and the world.

The chapter continues to support city and state programs (park clean-up, tree planting, NYC Marathon); raise funds and conduct awareness programs for local, national and international entities (Philippine General Hospital, Gawad Kalinga, Nothing but Nets); collaborate with other organizations (Philippine Independence Day Council Inc., Team Takbo, Filipino American Human Services Inc.) and; organize events celebrating Filipino tradition (Simbang Gabi/Panunuluyan, parol-making workshop, Tagalog lessons).

This year, from January to August 2013 alone, the chapter is proud to have implemented a total of 43 exciting projects to further the mission of JCI in creating positive change. To name a few…

Via the health and fitness forum New Year, New You on January 16, 2013, the chapter, in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General of New York and the running group Team Takbo, brought accomplished sports and fitness speakers from various fields (running, swimming, biking, yoga, personal training) together in one location to share ideas and to give practical advice to participants. In commemoration of Earth Day, the chapter participated at the One Thing That’s Green community tree planting on April 20, 2013, in Highland Park, located at the border of Queens and Brooklyn. Planting trees parallels the chapter’s support of one of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of ensuring environmental sustainability. On June 20, 2013, the chapter conducted Be Your Own Boss! A Seminar on Investing in a Franchise Business in the Philippines in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General of New York and the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA). Shortly after, it implemented a month-long letter campaign and fundraiser, Letters to Oklahoma- Raising Sentiments. This project was held in response to the deadly tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma in the afternoon of May 20, 2013.

To learn more about the 50th Anniversary Gala, please visit