The year was 1933...

  Historic marker for Victor B. Jenkins, Jr., in Bonaventure Cemetery near Walz Way.

Historic marker for Victor B. Jenkins, Jr., in Bonaventure Cemetery near Walz Way.

The nation was in the throes of a great economic depression and Victor B. Jenkins Jr. sensed a need for organized activities for boys. In a modest garage apartment building at the corner of Jefferson and 35th Street, the Jefferson Athletic Club for Boys was founded in 1933 by Judge Jenkins. Born in 1905 in Guyton, Ga., Judge Jenkins was a friend, counselor, and a mentor to the boys of the club from the beginning, directing the activities of the JAC until his death on August 4, 1962 in Savannah, Ga.

The Exchange Club of Savannah adopted the JAC as its principal project in 1934 and founded the Coastal Empire Fair Association in 1950 to help support the growing needs of the club. The JAC was renamed the Victor B. Jenkins Jr. Memorial Boys Club by the Board of Trustees in 1963. Herschel V. Jenkins, and later, his daughter Victoria Jenkins, gave substantial endowments to the club. 

In 1985, this premier youth recreational facility in Savannah was built on Waters Avenue. The Boys Club features a large gymnasium for league basketball and volleyball, a handball court, baseball field, swimming pool, and a game room. Annual registration for league activities exceeds 500 boys and girls, ages 6-18. In addition, the JAC also provides a wide-range of specialized seasonal camps.

Today, the 501c3 nonprofit organizationcontinues Judge Jenkins' legacy and mission: to provide safe and accessible athletic facilities and programs for Savannah’s youth. For nearly 90 years, the Club has thrived and today is a comprehensive youth athletics center for both girls and boys. To better reflect the growing organization, the Club was officially renamed the Jenkins Athletic Club in 2015.

There is no question the JAC has served as a critical focal point of growth in the lives of countless young men - and now young ladies. Many of these individuals have gone on to lead productive and successful careers and more importantly, continue to pay it forward as mentors to our city’s youth.”
— Mark Stevens, Jenkins Athletic Club Board Member and Alumnus

OUr Impact

  • Serve over 500 girls and boys annually
  • Provide safe and accessible athletic facilities
  • Provide organized athletic programs year-round
  • Opportunity for parents to get involved through volunteering, coaching and organizing activities
  • Prepare and inspire youth club members to work towards a promising future
  • Offer competition and teamwork for local boys and girls to build confidence, integrity and sportsmanship while learning life lessons.