FALL 2020 Volume 1 Issue 71
90 Years of Community Impact! JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 1 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL/WINTER 2020-21 1
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JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 3
In 1931, a group of young women in Mobile, AL, having a desire to give back to their community, came together to form the Junior League of Mobile (JLM). I am sure they had no idea that 90 years later, that small group would be over 1,000 women strong giving thousands of volunteer hours with a community impact spanning nearly 4,000 square miles. This September, we officially celebrate 90 years of developing the potential of women, promoting voluntarism, and improving the Greater Mobile Community! I can only imagine what it must have been like sitting at that table 90 years ago. Do you think those women knew they were setting the groundwork for something so impactful that hundreds of women would want to be a part of it for nine decades? As we enter into this milestone anniversary, I am hit with the realization of the world we are living in right now. With a global health pandemic hanging over us, I am amazed by our women taking challenges and turning them into opportunities. We have pivoted, adapted, altered, and changed many placements to ensure that JLM creates the community impact that our founders set out to accomplish. Because of the determination of our members, we will continue to feed hungry children, provide diapers to babies in need, and support school children as they adapt to a new way of learning. No organization can grow and maintain stability for 90 years without constantly evolving. In my time at JLM, I have seen the evolution of our membership, fundraisers, placements, and organizational structure. At the time of each change, I did not realize that we were adapting to the changing times of society. We have evolved because strong leadership made difficult decisions along the way to ensure community needs would be met for many,
Amanda Parker Gonzales President 2020-2021
many years. Whether you are a member, donor, advertiser, community partner, or supporter, you have played an important role in allowing this organization to successfully carry out its mission for 90 years. You are the reason why JLM continues to build on a foundation that was built in 1931 by a group of women wanting to better the community we live in today. A past president and good friend of mine shared a quote with me a few years ago. Nelson Henderson once said, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” We are sitting under a tree that was planted 90 years ago and I hope that 90 years from now, another group of women will be reaping the shade of the tree we plant today. Sincerely, Amanda Parker Gonzales President 2020-2021 Junior League of Mobile, Inc.
4 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
FOLIO A community publication of Junior League of Mobile
EDITOR Sara Hyder McGough CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Bumgarner, Crystal Jones, Amanda Tulowitzki, Tabitha Olzinski, Kerrianne Webster PRODUCER A partnership project of Alabama Coasting. Danny Calametti, David Calametti GRAPHIC DESIGNER Randy Jennings MISSION STATEMENT Junior League of Mobile Inc., is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. FOLIO is published twice a year. All rights are reserved. Reproduction without permission, except by other Junior League publications, is prohibited. The office is located at 57 N. Sage Ave., Mobile AL 36607, (251) 471-3348. Learn more at: www.juniorleaguemobile.org ................................................................. HOW TO ADVERTISE IN NEXT FOLIO Please address all advertising space and rate inquiries to: FOLIO Magazine 57 N. Sage Ave. • Mobile, AL 36607 P: (251) 471-3348 • F: (251) 471-3340 E: firstname.lastname@example.org For more information or to download an advertising rate sheet, visit us at: www.juniorleaguemobile.org
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JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 5
Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, “Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” Don’t we all feel like we could use some more time if we had it? But can’t we all point to times in our past when we unknowingly were wasting time? Thankfully, we can also look back and reflect on the things that we put our time into that turned into something better than we could have hoped for, when we planted seeds that grew into beautiful gardens. COVID-19 wiped our calendars clean in dramatic fashion, and unexpectedly gave many of us some extra time. Time to do what? What could we do if there was more time? Would we do for ourselves or do for others? Would we serve or retreat? Would we use this time to plant some new seeds or nurture our already growing garden? No matter each of our responses to empty calendars recently, the members of the Junior League of Mobile continue to serve like the generations of women who came before us. Since 1931, thousands of women of the Junior League of Mobile have supported the surrounding communities passionately, courageously, and generously. There are few organizations that get to celebrate a 90th birthday. There are few organizations whose mission and values can inspire generation after generation to keep the flame lit and waste no time running forward with it in hand. The fall 2020 Folio reflects back over 90 years of service while exploring a very uncertain future for some of our biggest events and fundraisers. The juxtaposition is both comforting and unsettling, hopeful and challenging. In this issue, we celebrate 90 years with a brief look at JLM projects and fundraisers. In these pages, our team
Sara Hyder McGough FOLIO Editor 2020-2021
UMS-Wright PREPARATORY SCHOOL A CLEAR PATH for POTENTIAL
explores the concept of legacy in the form of legacy projects such as the Gulf Coast Exploreum’s Wharf of Wonder, as well as new projects like Adopt-A-School and the Diaper Bank as part of our community impact. I also take a look back at 90 years of community impact decade by decade. We asked some difficult questions about how traditional fundraisers like Christmas Jubilee and Blue Pass will be different this fall. The ladies working behind the scenes are proving that the Junior League spirit is alive and well. We use the fall Folio to formally introduce our dedicated Board of Directors and Management Team that keep the Junior League of Mobile working for today and for tomorrow. I want to thank the Folio contributors for their quick investigative reporting and skillful writing. I also want to give a special “thank you” to the staff of the Mobile Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy Library that helped with our investigations. I hope you enjoy the Fall 2020 Folio as much as we have enjoyed creating it. May these reflections on our past and conversations about our future inspire you to make the most of the time that you have to give, and to seek
Every student has the potential to be great by receiving individualized care, wise guidance, and consistent support that will cultivate personal growth. Exemplary teaching encourages exploration, provides the freedom to take intellectual risks, and guarantees access to necessary learning tools. UMS-Wright faculty members take an all-encompassing approach to helping students sharpen their minds, strengthen their bodies, and enrich their spirits. These wonderful educators ensure that UMS-Wright students learn to think and act independently as they reach their full potential in MIND, BODY, SPIRIT, and CHARACTER.
ways to serve your community through the Junior League. Sincerely, Sara Hyder McGough
For over 125 years, UMS-Wright has been the CLEAR PATH for POTENTIAL, and this is only the beginning.
FOLIO Editor 2020-2021 Junior League of Mobile, Inc. 6 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
UMS-Wright Preparatory School | 479-6551 | ums-wright.org
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 7
MOBILE’S MEDICAL MUSEUM
TIME TO REFLECT
IN EVERY ISSUE 4. LETTER FROM PRESIDENT 5. HOW TO ADVERTISE IN THE
NEXT ISSUE OF FOLIO
6. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 9. ADVERTISERS INDEX 10. CONTRIBUTORS TO FOLIO 15. 90TH ANNIVERSARY
ADHD Medical Clinic.................................. 5
The Maids.................................................. 21
P[LACEMENTS FROM THE PAST
The Blind Mule Restaurant & Bar............. 14 The Center for Reproductive Medicine.... 54
30. A TIME TO REFLECT
42. DIAPER BANK
28. SHOP LOCAL WITH BLUEPASS
Alabama Public Radio............................... 49
The Spiffy Fox Pizza & Pub........................ 21
14. MANAGEMENT TEAM 2020-2021
43. VOLUNTEERS MAKING A
36. CHRISTMAS JUBILEE
20. JLM 2020 ACTIVE AND
46. THE EXPLOREUM
Blue Gill/Felix’s Fish Camp Grill .................. 2
The Orthopaedic Group........................... 49
Designer Collection.................................. 27
McGill-Toolen Catholic School.................... 9
Frank Brown Songwriters’ Festival............ 45
Playa del Rio.............................................. 55
St. Paul’s Episcopal School........................ 23
Somerby Senior Living - Mobile.................. 3
UMS-Wright Preparatory School............... 7
St. Mary Catholic School......................... 19
Window World........................................... 45
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PROVISIONAL OF THE YEAR
50. MOBILE MEDICAL MUSEUM
22 JLM 2020 SUSTAINER
52. JLM PLACEMENTS
OF THE YEAR
8 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
FROM THE PAST
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 9
FOLIO Contributors Crystal Jones
Crystal is a Senior Underwriter at American Equity Underwriters. She just completed her provisional year and is serving as a FOLIO writer for her first active year in JLM. She graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Communications. She is married to her husband Jeremy and they have 4
Who are we?
fur babies. She enjoys reading, shopping, true crime and writing.
“I joined JLM to meet likeminded women who are invested in helping the community and are engaged in personal growth while supporting one another.”
Tabitha W. Olzinski Tabitha has been a JLM member for 8 Active years and cannot wait to obtain the coveted Sustainer Status. She has a Doctorate in Social Work and sits on several non-profit boards in the area. She has two cats, two children, and one amazing husband. Her favorite placements are anything related to the Community and is excited to be a part of the FOLIO team for the second year!
“I joined JLM to become more involved in the community. As a Social Worker, I always strive to make a difference in any way possible and found that JLM has numerous opportunities to make an impact! I have gained knowledge, new experiences and met some amazing people along the way!”
Amanda Jean Tulowitzki This is Amanda Jean’s first active year with the League. She received her B.S. in Marketing from Roberts Wesleyan College, and worked for ten years in Medical Device Sales achieving multiple President’s Club awards. After the birth of her first child, she became a stay at home mother. She loves reading, writing, golfing, and spending time with her husband and two baby girls. They usually can be found taking long walks through their neighborhood of Springhill. She also serves on the board of the Alliance to the Medical Society and is involved with other volunteer organizations.
“I joined Junior League to find ways to give back to our community.”
We currently offer Traditional Instruction and Virtual Classroom options to suit the specific needs of each student. To learn more contact our Director of Enrollment, Lauren Pritchett at (251)445-2913 or email@example.com.
Kerrianne Webster Kerrianne is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) for The Learning Tree, Inc.’s Consultation & Outreach Services program serving school-aged students with behavioral needs and intellectual disabilities. She earned her B.A. in History and Secondary Education from Birmingham-Southern College and her M.S. in Applied Psychology from Jacksonville State University. Kerrianne joined the Montgomery chapter of Junior League in 2015 and transferred to the Mobile chapter the following year after relocating to Mobile. She and her husband just had their first child, Amelia, in May.
“I joined JLM to network with other women, serve my community in various capacities, and to try to make a difference in the lives of others.” 10 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
www.mcgill-toolen.org JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 11
Board of Directors 2020-2021
Amanda Gonzales, President Years in League: 11 Family: Married to R.J., Reese (14), Jay (13) What surprised you most about your time in JLM? I resisted joining JLM for about 3 years before I finally decided to join. All of my friends who were members at that time spent a great amount of time volunteering and I didn’t think I’d be able to devote that much time. I realized quickly, you get out of it what you put into it. This group of women inspire me, motivate me, and help me to be the best version of myself. I have had years when I needed a placement that didn’t require a lot of time and some years I can take on big jobs. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I work in the non-profit sector professionally. Each placement and training I have completed has given me insight on how to do my league job and my professional job more efficiently. The transfer of knowledge from one to the other is extremely beneficial. Sarah Bumgarner, President-Elect Years in League: 10 Family: Olivia (6), Anders (3) What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? What has most surprised me is being able to learn so much about our community and have a hand in helping make a difference in the lives of my neighbors and fellow citizens. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I have learned a lot about marketing and teamwork through JLM and used this in my personal career through various jobs in my life. The skills I’ve learned in managing others and working with a team, I might not have been given the opportunity in everyday life. Dr. Amy McCoy, Secretary Years in League: 11 Married to Clay McCoy, Jackson (12), Riley Cate (10) What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? I can’t think of anything that has surprised me but my favorite thing has been getting to know so many people in the community. JLM has allowed me to meet amazing people in the league, but I have also gotten to know some impressive and inspiring small business owners and volunteers through our fundraisers and partnerships. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I have learned of great resources in the community that I can refer my patients to. Not just for medical issues, but also to assist with their other needs in life. Hilary Gunn, Treasurer Years in League: 7 Family: Married to Peyton Gunn, Evie (4), Amelia (1) What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? How passionate our members are about the League and our work in the community. I am constantly amazed at how much we accomplish working together. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? My experience with JLM has provided me with valuable training and leadership skills that I’ve been able to apply to my professional life. Dr. Krista Harrell, Governance Director Years in League: 7 What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? I have been most surprised about the deep impact our members have made in our 90 years - our reach runs wide and long in Mobile. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? My experiences in JLM have enhanced my adaptability and self-assurance as a leader, have expanded my knowledge of community need, and helped me be part of an organization that empowers women in every aspect of daily and professional life.
Left to Right: Racheal Banks – Nominating Director, Krista Harrell – Governance Director, Sarah Bumgarner – President-Elect, Amanda Gonzales – President, Amy McCoy – Recording Secretary, Aqualyn Kennedy – Public Relations Director, Catherine Wynn – Planning Director, Hilary Gunn – Treasurer , Jennifer Jenkins – Sustaining Advisor
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Racheal Banks, Nominating Director Years in League: 6 Family: Married to Lee Banks, Maddie (12), Brantley (9) What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? How quickly strangers can become friends. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? Being a member of JLM has impacted my work and vice versa. Each member of JLM is an individual, but together we are striving to accomplish something. Seeing JLM harness individual differences in order to reach a goal reminds me that the same collective spirit can and should be fostered in the workplace.
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Aqualyn Kennedy, Public Relations Director Years in League: 5 Family: Married to Robert Kennedy, Jr. What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? The impact that Junior League has had on this community is heartwarming. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I’ve found the networking and friendships that I’ve formed since first joining Junior League in Atlanta have been so valuable to me both in business and personally. I anticipate that my experiences here in Mobile will yield similar results. Catherine Wynn, Planning Director Years in League: 6 Family: Married to Ed Wynn, Bradley (8), Lauren (6) What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? The women of JLM are incredibly talented and have a variety of personal and professional experiences. Members use their talents to work together and make a big impact in our community. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I have met positive and successful women in JLM, and they have inspired me in both personal and professional ways.
90th Anniversary Giving Fund Annual Giving Fund
2018-2019 Volunteer Hours: 9,314
90thAnnual Anniversary Donation Giving Fund Form
Annual Fund Donation Form Name:
2017 - 1 STATS
Annual Fund Donation Form Name:
Jennifer Graham Jenkins Years in League: 21 Family: Married to Jerry Jenkins, Graham (19), Miles (17), Ann Page (10) What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? Junior League of Mobile allowed me to meet and develop lifelong relationships with a diverse group of women across Mobile and Baldwin counties that I might not have otherwise met and has also provided me the opportunity to receive unmatched leadership training and development. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? As the owner of a small PR and marketing agency, the experiences I received through JLM have been invaluable in helping me lead, develop and grow the potential of our team of all women and have also helped me work more effectively with our clients and many nonprofit organizations in our community.
The Blind Mule Restaurant & Bar Dine in, enjoy our beautiful courtyard, or curbside to go. Enjoy Downtown Mobile’s Best Brunch! Saturday and Sunday 11am-2pm
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Management Team 2020-2021 Sarah Bumgarner, President-Elect Family: Olivia (6), Anders (3) Years in League: 10 What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? What has most surprised me is being able to learn so much about our community and have a hand in helping make a difference in the lives of my neighbors and fellow citizens. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I have learned a lot about marketing and teamwork through JLM and used this in my personal career through various jobs in my life. The skills I’ve learned in managing others
Tiffany Laine (Slater) Nelson, Fund Development Manager Family: Married to Jeff Nelson Years in League: 4 What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? The direct impact we have on the community and how well organized a diverse group of women can be given a mission. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I’ve learned how to delegate and empower others. I believe when a person volunteers for or is tasked with a responsibility they genuinely want to reach their goal. JLM has taught me to be a better leader.
Tara McCook, Membership Development Manager Family: Married to Jay Mehta Years in League: 5 What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? How resilient this group of women is. We’re facing an unprecedented set of challenges, and I see nothing but grace and determination in the women of JLM. It’s inspiring and encouraging to see. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? Constantly! I feel that my time in the League has molded me into a better, more conscientious leader. I use lessons I’ve learned from the League all the time at work. I even
and working with a team, I might not have been given the opportunity in everyday life.
introduced “Done in a Day” projects into training seminars at work to benefit local charities in our communities.
Latrese English, Community Coordinating Manager
Sateria Roscoe, Training Manager
Married to Edgar English, Natalee (5)
Family: Married to Shawn Roscoe, Tyler (2)
Years in League: 7
Years in the League: 5
What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? The time has flown by. I have gained invaluable leadership skills,
What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? How many amazing women I have had the honor to work with! It’s
made wonderful friends and gained so much insight about our community.
not often that you land in a group that makes so many things happen and does it well!
How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I’ve been able to use my JLM experiences in my
How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in daily life? My time in JLM has been a lesson in delegation. When
professional life as I have gained leadership experience. I’ve also been able to use my experiences in JLM to encourage my
you’re working on big projects you have to lean on your team and I carry that with me daily.
family and friends to give back to our community.
Allison Bradley, Communications Manager
Chenele Chapman, Research Manager
Years in League: 3
Family: Married to Rashad Chapman, Manny (15), Matthew (14)
What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? The number of new skills I’ve learned in just a few years with JLM
Years in League: 5 years
has far exceeded my expectations! From website maintenance and design to publishing a magazine, the league has allowed me
What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? All of the lovely, bomb boss babes I’ve met!
to tackle unique projects and experience the process from start to finish.
How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? I have been able to use my experience gained from
How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? Serving various roles in JLM has helped me grow in
areas like leadership, organization and self-discipline. These have been invaluable tools for success, both professionally and in managing my personal life. Stepping out of my comfort zone has also opened my eyes to unexpected possibilities.
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Ann Sirmon, Sustaining Advisor Family: Married to Danny Sirmon Years in League: 23 What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? It’s not what has surprised me the most, but the lagniappe, the something extra, received as a member of JLM. I’ve made many life-long friends, both personally and professionally, through my many years as a JLM member. Great memories and friendships that I will cherish forever! How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? JLM has provided me MANY experiences that I use in my life, both personally and professionally on a daily basis. There are too many to name. My top three are – 1. The training provided is top-notch, 2. learned how-to fundraise and 3. ignited my passion for volunteering and making my community better than the way I found it. Thank you, JLM! Bridget Archer, Governance Director-Elect Family: Married to Thomas Archer, Cecilia Lynn (13), Colin Wesley (9) Years in League: 6 What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? The most surprising thing about JLM is the variety of ways we impact our community. We work with groups daily to improve Mobile in big and small ways. Besides our impact areas, our members are major players in every part of the city. JLM members are health care providers, business owners, educators, mothers, city leaders and visionaries. We are not the league of the past, we are definitely the league of the future. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? JLM has taught me planning, logistics and leadership skills. With experience I have gained from JLM, I have been able to successfully plan two major distributions for the financially insecure. I’ve also learned how to read and manage a budget through CJ. Sasha Thatcher, Treasurer-Elect Family: Married to Jacob Thatcher Years in League: 4 What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? Before I joined JLM I really had no clue how involved the league was in the community. Being from up north, where leagues are not as prominent, I had a stereotype in my head that the league was made up of a bunch of stay at home moms who were just looking to get together for parties and host fundraisers... I was SO wrong! JLM has broken every stereotype I had. I was surprised to find a diverse group of women who are committed to making their community better for everyone who lives there. It surprised me to find out how invested we are, as a league and as individuals, in our community. Everyone works hard to make each year better than the last, so we can make a bigger impact.
Ashley McKeithan, Director-Elect Family: Married to Lee McKeithan, Riley (5), MaryTanner (9) Years in League:10 What has surprised you most about your time with JLM? The scope and variety of the different placement options I have been able to participate in while in the League. How have you been able to use your JLM experiences in your daily life? It has helped me broaden my perspective to others, and provided another frame of reference when dealing with some of the nonprofits we support. It has helped me further develop empathy, and I have been able to apply that in my job daily.
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Deanna Ferguson, 2020 JLM Active of the Year Deanna has been an active with JLM for 8 years, including placements as volunteer and chair on Research Council, Jubilee Bargains, Ready Hands and the Backpack Program. This past year she was integral in the research and program development of one of JLM’s newest programs, Adopt-ASchool. Deanna spent countless hours creating the program, meeting with administration of MCPSS, putting the program in place and developing lasting community relationships along the way. Because of her, JLM will be making a bigger community impact with this program for years to come and the kids of George Hall Elementary school will continue to have basic needs of living met. The year was ended abruptly, but Deanna leaped into action and was able to get the entire school Fire Tablets to use at home, not only allowing the staff to continue to educate the children of this school but also to do much needed wellness checks on a level that touched her heart.
Hannah Brown, 2020 JLM Provisional of the Year Hannah demonstrated model worthy leadership throughout her provisional year. She was hands on and involved with the Diaper Bank, packaging and distributing to JLM community agencies and went above and beyond by holding a Food Drive, during a time of need, for the Joseph Project Food Pantry located in the Dumas Wesley Community Center. Hannah is described by fellow JLM members as exceptional and ready and willing to help. We are excited to have Hannah as one of our actives in this new year and are encouraged for the League’s future with her example.
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Ann Bedsole, 2020 JLM Sustainer of the Year By Tabitha Olzinski
Photo by: Chad Riley
Ann Bedsole joined JLM in the 1960’s at the
shocked at what she found. “The School” was a small
insistence of Sister-in-Law, Past JLM President, Mabel
one room building with an overshadowing potbellied
Bedsole and Mother-in-Law, Mabel Hall also a Past
stove smack in the middle of the room. She asked the
JLM President and possible founding member. Ann
teacher, “Is this the entire school? Is this how you heat
didn’t really know what to expect when she joined, but
the room?” Seeing this sad and inadequate school set
the experience changed her life.
up shook Ann to the core and started her thinking,
She had one placement her entire Active Years that was
“Can’t we do better?” This shattered her belief that
in Art Education, which she claims with a laugh was
everything in Alabama is good and made her question
“because they couldn’t get anyone else to do it”. But
why Alabama was so behind and not doing right by
this one placement was enough to change her life.
Her placement entailed taking art lessons to 4th and
One important thing that Ann thanks the Junior
5th graders in Public Schools from Citronelle to
League for is teaching her how to treat a volunteer.
Bayou La Batre and, in essence, make teaching Art
She says there is no better place to learn how to
Appreciation fun and engaging. Ann states that it was
volunteer besides the Junior League. Answering the
always an adventure, sometimes getting caught up in
question, “How can you make a volunteer thrive and
fire drills and more but two instances stay with her to
be happy?”, her answer was to use the formula that the
“Ok before we start this interview, you have to call me
Junior League has created and perfected; let them pick
Ann, not Ms. Bedsole”.
The first was when she took a landscape picture to
and give them a placement. Ann says this philosophy
“Yes, Ma’am, Ms. Bedsole, I mean Ann!” I stumble
a class and gave them an assignment. She asked the
she learned from the Junior League helped her with all
nervously over my words as I begin to interview a
class to find something pretty on their way home and
volunteer governance in future leadership roles.
woman who is of the upmost admiration in my mind,
write about it and draw a picture about it. When she
On her nomination as Sustainer of the Year, Ann says
a local celebrity, that I could only strive to become.
returned a month later, all the kids were beaming with
she was shocked! Sitting there thinking, “I owe them
Ms. Ann Bedsole is nothing short of a truly amazing
excitement ready to share their writing and drawings,
(Junior League) a lot and then they go and choose me
woman. In addition to being a founder of the
but one little boy stood out from the rest. When given
to thank! And among all these young sustainers, to
Alabama School of Math and Science (ASMS) in
his turn, the boy who had never so much as made
pick an 89-year-old woman is even a greater honor.”
Mobile, she is also the first woman to be elected to the
eye contact with Ann stuttered and could barely get
Ironically, Ann turned 90 this year, the same age as
Alabama State Senate, the first Republican woman to
his words out, but when he spoke the entire class fell
the Junior League Mobile. Although she was active
be elected to the Alabama House of Representatives,
silent. Ann was thrilled her exercise had garnered such
in the Junior League just a few short years, it made
owns and operates several businesses, and established
an excited reaction from the class, but when Ann
a huge impact on her life. Ann was unable to accept
an endowment fund for the Sybil Smith Family
spoke to the teacher afterwards, it left her speechless.
her award in person as Sustainer of the Year. She was
Village, a transitional housing program and facility at
The little boy who stumbled over his words and was
hospitalized during the October Sustainer Luncheon
the Dumas Wesley Community Center for homeless
expressing uncontained eagerness to share was non-
and the pandemic canceled the Spring rescheduled
women with children. Yet, as I call to interview her
verbal and had never spoken a word until that day!
meeting. Ann wants to say, “ Thank you Junior
as the Junior League of Mobile 2020 Sustainer of the
Noting the second instance made a lasting and
League, Thank you for this big honor and thank you
Year, she is nothing but humble and thankful for all
changing impact during her time in Junior League.
for all that you have done for me!”
that the Junior League did for her.
Ann was assigned to a school and she showed up,
22 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
If you think character is more important than charisma, you might just be a Saint. At St. Paul’s, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Sure, we’ve graduated our fair share of National Merit Scholars and major-league athletes (more than most schools in Mobile, in fact), but we’re more proud of what’s harder to measure: character. Every week, you’ll find our students out in their communities, distributing food, volunteering, and just in general lending a hand – wherever one is needed. And on campus? Treating one another with tolerance, compassion, and respect. If you’d like to learn more about St. Paul’s, give us a call. Or, better yet, pay us a visit.
Know What Matters. 161 Dogwood Lane | Mobile, Alabama 36608 | 251-342-6700 | stpaulsmobile.net JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 23
Adopt-A-School Pivots to Meet Changing Needs By Kerrianne Webster
There is no doubt that thousands of school-aged children in Mobile County struggle with hunger. In order to combat this need, the Junior League of Mobile (JLM) has revamped its backpack program into the growing Adopt-A-School program. The new Adopt-A-School program’s mission is to support a selected school and assist with the health of the children through nutrition and fitness. This year, everything is a little different with COVID-19. The Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS)
While many schools in our area applied, JLM was
donation drives, and financial assistance leveraged
postponed the start of the school year
proud to announce George Hall Elementary as the
through its fundraisers to help children in need at
to September 1st. Even then, classes
first school to be served through the new Adopt-A-
George Hall. Identified needs currently include a
will be conducted virtually for the
School program. The Adopt-A-School chair, Sarah
backpack nutrition program, a snack pantry, a supply
first quarter. In order to meet the new
Schrenk, works with the school’s counselor or other
pantry, hygiene boxes for students, and a uniform
needs of our school partner, JLM
designees to identify specific needs for the students.
quickly took action and has adapted
JLM has begun utilizing “Ready Hands” volunteers,
our Adopt-A-School program. 24 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 25
Sarah reports that prior to the start of this school year, school supplies were purchased and shipped to the school for distribution, including writing utensils, pencil pouches, notebooks, and backpacks. Upon receipt of the supplies, the teachers at George Hall Elementary packed the backpacks to distribute to their individual classrooms as social distancing guidelines remain in place. In the spring when all schools suddenly closed, JLM quickly reallocated funds to purchase and distribute 240 tablets to the students to begin their endeavors in virtual learning; work that gained the attention of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (ALJI). JLM plans to send our “Ready Hands” volunteers to begin working on stocking the snack pantry and students’ backpacks as soon as it is safe for everyone. However, in the meantime, Sarah is proud to note that the Adopt-A-School program held a book drive to continue to meet the needs of the students at George Hall Elementary. Book donations were open to anyone in JLM, and the Haunted Bookshop also partnered on this drive to assist with orders, providing grade-level recommendations for donors to the program and shipping any purchases directly to the school for distribution.
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Sarah Schrenk notes, “I’m very excited about the ways we can help the staff and students beyond the program’s initial goals. My hope is that our impact can go beyond funding the tangible needs. I’d like the children to see our JLM members as role models and mentors, and we’re open to members’ program ideas to make that a reality.” During a time when so much has been uncertain, JLM’s Adopt-A-School program continues to support George Hall Elementary in keeping its students healthy and safe by fulfilling every changing needs.
2966 Old Shell Road • Mobile, AL Corner of Old Shell and Sage • 26 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 27
Shop Local Support Local
20% OFF 1 MONTH 1 MISSION! OCTOBER 1-31, 2020 Carpe Diem Coffee & Tea Co.
been holding virtual meetings and everyone has come
way of doing things, funds raised with BluePass will
together to speak to merchants and sponsors.
allow for us to create an impact with our community
“Despite the challenges this year brings, I could not
By Sara Hyder McGough In a year of changes, the Junior League of Mobile’s
Stores, restaurants, and service providers in Mobile
is making this fundraiser happen. Everyone is doing
and Baldwin Counties sign up to be a participating
their part with outstanding attitudes. It’s really what
merchant at no cost. Merchants also set their own
being in the League is all about,” said Shellie Teague,
exclusions and terms to the discount they provide. The
committee aims to make supporting BluePass as easy as possible for merchants.
entire month of October, an increase from the 15 days
“We hope to support the businesses who have so
of shopping in 2019. The pass entitles shoppers to
generously given to the Junior League mission and
special discounts from over 150 area merchants and
fundraisers throughout the years,” said Shellie Teague,
will also be available at a discounted price of $30.
BluePass Chair. “The increased shopping period will
“With the current COVID-19 pandemic hitting
who have always given to the JLM mission. By
our community, I am excited that we can offer a
making key changes to the dates, price, and style of
way for shoppers to take advantage of the BluePass,”
the pass, they hope to drive more shoppers to BluePass
said Amanda Gonzales, Junior League of Mobile
The BluePass fundraiser is now in its 12th year and has
merchants and highlight their role in keeping the JLM
President. “By extending the shopping period to 30
raised over $130,000 for community initiatives. The
days, it allows more time for shoppers to access half
$30 BluePass funds Junior League of Mobile’s Diaper
capacity stores, visit a restaurant or purchase take out,
Bank and Adopt-A-School program. It also allows the
and book services with a discount. As Junior League
organization to work with community partners such
continues to pivot our work from our traditional
as the Gulf Coast Exploreum, Prodisee Pantry, the
the momentum of the BluePass committee. They have
merchants’ doors and raising crucial funds for our mission.”
Joseph Project, and Distinguished Young Women. 28 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
help accomplish our goal of getting shoppers into
BluePass committee hopes to support local businesses
Although this year looks different, it hasn’t changed
Red Beard’s Outfitter.
be more proud of the way the BluePass committee
The shopping card fundraiser will now take place the
You can see a list of all participating merchants and purchase your BluePass at:
JuniorLeagueMobile.org/bluepass JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 29
A Time to Reflect:
90 Years of Junior League of Mobile By Sara Hyder McGough
50th anniversary Folio article stated quite simply, “It is obvious that ours is a history of caring”. JLM has tackled difficult subjects like alcohol and drug addiction. We have fulfilled great needs in the areas of nutrition, mental and physical health for all ages, exercise, and education.
Reflection has become a defining theme of the year
Looking to the past can inspire our future and the
Begun as the Mobile Charity League in 1925 by Mary
2020. In the midst of great change and uncertainty,
sheer volume of good works accomplished by JLM
Tilney and a group of her friends, the group officially
we have all found the opportunity to reflect on the
since 1931 is remarkable, courageous, and far reaching
became Junior League of Mobile in 1931 and thus
past and what we hope for the future. There is no
over time and space. Though the mission statement
part of the national organization.
better time for us as members of Junior League of
of JLM has changed over the years, its core values and
Mobile (JLM) to reflect on our service then in this
community impact has not wavered.
organization’s 90th year.
a need in the community and across our nation. The
Each decade seems to have an unexpected yet poignant theme that represents the social issues of that time whether hopeful in nature or purposeful to
Whether through financial contributions or boots-onthe-ground, JLM has, in simple terms, cared deeply about our communities for 90 years. Here is a look at the past nine decades of service and support. 1930s Junior League of Mobile was chartered in 1931. Right from the start, the vision of its founders was on track. The Thrift Store opened in 1935 and remained a fixture for 78 years. Not only did it raise money, it helped struggling families in the midst of the Great Depression find quality clothing for nickels and dimes. The Nutrition Clinic and Well Baby Clinic at City Hospital was founded in 1929 and 1932 in coordination with City Hospital. The League convinced Mobile’s first pediatrician Dr. J Mac Bell to open the Children’s Nutrition Clinic where the ladies volunteered every day. The Occupational Therapy clinic for disabled children was established in 1938. Children and families were the theme of the 1930s.
League, 1930 30 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
Red Cross Motor Corps, 1944
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 31
1950s Causes that promote well being stayed on the forefront of the League’s agenda. The League
sponsored the Visiting Nurses Association who
War saturated every aspect of society in the 1940s and
provided nursing care for bed-ridden patients and
JLM became synonymous with civilian preparedness
instructions for caregivers. JLM also funded two free
in Mobile. League volunteers were involved in the
concerts by the Mobile Symphony for public school
Civilian Defense Volunteer Office later to be known as
children. Children were still a top priority of the
Volunteer Mobile. The League established and staffed
league with the founding and staffing of the Audio-
the War Housing Center that helped returning service
Visual Program within the Mobile County Public
members and their families find homes and resettle in
School System. This program tested the hearing and
the Mobile area. The decade was not all serious. The
sight of over 100,000 children during its tenure.
ladies found fun presenting radio broadcasts to school children, helping to establish and staff the new Mobile
Public Library Bookmobile, and founded the Mobile
Fundraiser fun was the game in the 1960s with large
events like the Follies and the publication of JLM’s first recipe book “Recipe Jubilee”. With funds raised, the League founded and staffed the Mobile Pre-School for the Deaf and art appreciation programs in 178
FOLIO Cover, 1950
classrooms throughout the Mobile County Public
Chamber of Commerce Provisional Course, 1953
School System. Members also found time to continue to run the Thrift Shop which was now called The Green Gate Thrift Shop at 1342 Springhill Avenue and begin the Allied Arts Council of Metropolitan Mobile, Inc. which would later become the present day Mobile Arts Council. 1970s Historic preservation became an interest for the League in the late 1960s and into the 1970s. The Historic Mobile Guidebook was funded and written in partnership with the Mobile Historic Development Commission and was used as a fundraiser and educational tool for both organizations. Towards the end of the decade, the League worked long hours restoring the Carlen House which it would also staff with docents for many years. Educational opportunities and priorities included a preschool arts educational program and alcohol and drug abuse educational program for all ages in the public schools. The League also gave $52,000, or $250,000 in today’s Future Planning, 1953 32 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
Carlen House Museum Volunteers, 1976
value, to establish Volunteer Mobile.
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 33
The League was busy in the 1980s. The Gulf
The decade saw multi-year adventures for the League
Coast Exploreum and Science Center opened after
including the creation of YADA House for after
a $100,000 donation from the JLM in 1978. The
school arts programs, “Be Your Best Self Day” in
Downtown Discovery Tours also began with a focus
partnership with Distinguished Young Women,
of fourth-grade students. In 1984, JLM founded
and Hands Across Mobile. The Dearborn YMCA
what would become the Drug Education Council and
received a new playground courtesy of JLM funding
contributed to the creation of the Child Advocacy
and volunteer hours. JLM provided funding for the
Center. Leaguers piloted the Girl’s Club Program at
creation of the Wharf of Wonder at the Gulf Coast
the Boy’s Club which would later become the Boys
Exploreum to celebrate our 75th anniversary and
and Girls Club of South Alabama all while moving
helped to build a house for Habitat for Humanity.
into our current headquarters at 57 Sage Avenue.
Also, the League mobilized quickly to provide
Finally, Christmas Jubilee opened its doors for the first time in 1985 and the second cookbook “One of a Kind” was published.
volunteer hours and donated goods and services to Hurricane Katrina relief.
Toy Sale Fall, 1985
1990s Education remained a strong focus in the 1990s. JLM contributed to the expansion of the Children’s Art Education Program at the Saenger Center for the Arts and helped start the Mobile Area Education Foundation. The Exploreum expanded due to a large contribution of $75,000 by the League. The Thrift Shop moved up the street from headquarters to 85 North Sage Avenue and became known as Seconds on Sage. The “Do the Right Thing” and “Get Involved” community awareness programs were launched by JLM and Youth Leadership Mobile began with League support. The third cookbook “Bay Tables” was published. Dumas Wesley was the focus of over 230 volunteers in just one year from 1996-1997. Rolling Readers gave books and computer sessions to children while After School Arts, Preschool Reading Buddies,
2010s Seconds on Sage closed its doors in 2012 due to changing League and community needs. Jubilee Bargains took its place until 2018. The League now hosts a community luncheon fundraiser. The inaugural guest speaker was Former First Lady Laura Bush. The League co-sponsored the Community Capacity Inventory study to celebrate community services and began its partnership with the Bay Area Food Bank’s Backpacks for Kids program. The Diaper Bank supports a number of area need-based organizations and has allowed the League to create fun and innovative ways to collect the diapers. Ready Hands placement grew from the need for the League to adapt to the high percentage of members with careers.
and Computer Pals were successful with League funding.
Thrift Shop, 2005 Thrift Shop, 1960 34 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 35
The Season of Christmas: A Holiday Marketplace, A Charitable Success
THE FUNDRAISER THAT DOES MORE THAN JUST RAISE FUNDS. Many don’t realize that the money earned from Christmas Jubilee is a direct investment into JLM’s programs within the region, either in the form of funding or as indirect resources as such training qualified volunteers. Through the years, dozens of programs have been supported through this one event such as United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile, Wilmer Hall and Dumas Wesley Community Center. At this time, we currently support six community projects, including the Diaper Bank and Adopt-A-School programs which are newer initiatives to JLM. “CJ could not happen without every single JLM member! Typically, a CJ committee runs about forty strong, but with the current pandemic and lower membership, this year’s committee is nearly half that. With the leadership of the Fund Development Manager and CJ chair, the committee handles nearly every single aspect of the market from start to finish,” said Amanda
By Crystal Jones
Gonzales, the 2020-2021 Junior League Mobile President.
From halls filled with Christmas trees to hand crafted
While many see this as just an opportunity to shop
Community involvement is key to Christmas Jubilee’s
magnolia walls, 35 years of hard work, dedication
until they drop, those familiar with the Junior League’s
success and the 1985 team recognized this with the
and a little Christmas magic has seen the Junior
mission are aware that since its inception, Christmas
original concept and format that they took from the
League of Mobile’s primary fundraiser grow from a
Jubilee has raised more than $6 million dollars that
other community inspirations. Profits from holiday
seasonal marketplace into Mobile’s largest holiday
has been invested back into the community by
markets across the country vary depending on
market venue, the Christmas Jubilee. Many from the
supporting voluntarism and financial assistance to
population size and corporate sponsorships and the
area start their holiday shopping season at Christmas
programs that target specific needs identified by Junior
annual Christmas Jubilee committee works hard year
Jubilee or “CJ”, as many members fondly refer to
League Mobile (JLM).
to year to achieve sustainability as well as an increase
it. Once you walk through the doors you are hit with a sense of seasonal nostalgia that is the perfect inspiration for finding unique gifts and handcrafted items to meet all your shopping gift giving needs.
FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Beginning in 1985 under the direction of Bradley Forster and Karen Outlaw, Washington D.C.’s holiday
in vendors and shoppers. While little items have changed with time, the overall concept remains the same and continues to be a huge success.
Along with the Christmas committee, nearly every 371 active and provisional member volunteers a 4-hour shift during the 3-day weekend of Christmas Jubilee. Members can be seen making change for merchants, checking tickets, and volunteering as needed throughout the special event. The merchants stock up specifically for this event and our volunteers are there to make sure their experience runs smoothly.
market, A Capital Collection, served as a role model for Christmas Jubilee. Another inspiration was The Mistletoe Marketplace, in Jackson, Mississippi.
36 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 37
WHAT IS IN A NAME?
TODAY AND THE FUTURE
Market hours have been shortened this year to comply
Though the market has had many themes throughout
As we get ready to celebrate the 36th year of
with best COVID practices, along with electronic
the years one thing has remained the same, the
Christmas Jubilee, we can’t help but wonder what
ticketing for less contact among attendees. The good
recognition of the name, Christmas Jubilee. In 1985,
changes are in store as COVID-19 has completely
news is there will be plenty of time for shopping as the
the name was created to tie in the time of year and
changed our way of life across the Gulf Coast, the
VIP hours will be available every day of market from
the greater Mobile region. It also resonated with
Nation, and the World. In speaking with Krystle
9am to noon. With so many uncertainties this year
other projects like the JLM cookbook, Recipe Jubilee.
Avery, 2020 Christmas Jubilee Chair, she along with
Krystle was sure of one, “You won’t be able to leave
This branding, while it seems so simple, has become
her team, has been working closely with local health
without knowing Christmas Jubilee is produced by the
synonymous with the Junior League of Mobile and
care officials and the convention center to make sure
Junior League. Without knowing what our mission is,
that’s why in 2019, JLM adopted a fresh logo to
that we are in compliance and keep vendors, JLM
who our partners are, what we support and what your
sustain the Christmas Jubilee name for many years
members and attendees health first and foremost
ticket buys.” The Christmas season is all about giving,
to come. Christmas Jubilee has become a brand,
in our minds. It is important to see familiar events
about charity and what better way to kick off the
a tradition, a Mobile staple that resonates with
during this unprecedented time and CJ allows that for
season than to show everyone just how much they’ve
everyone. This has been made evident in recent years
all of us. Although some of our traditions will be put
all supported the community and it all starts with a
with Christmas Jubilee’s multiple Lagniappe Nappie
on hold until 2021, it will still resonate as the same
little holiday shopping.
awards in 2017, 2019 and 2020 for “Best Annual
Christmas Jubilee you’ve grown to love and love to
38 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 39
TICKETS! TICKETS! TICKETS!
Christmas Jubilee Revenue Raised
November 13-15 General Admission Tickets: $10 in Advance $12 at the Door VIP Shopping $30 (21+ Only) Child (6-12) $5 Market Hours: Friday – Sunday VIP Shopping 9am – Noon General Admission 2pm – 6pm More Information and Tickets Available at
1985 - $83,153.00 1986 - $75,551.00 1987 - $96,837.00 1988 - $97,668.00 1989 - $87,733.00 1990 - $134,048.00 1991 - $127,583.00 1992 - $148,390.00 1993 - $150,814.00 1994 - $177,239.00 1995 - $99,739.00 1996 - $129,413.00 1997 - $124,636.00 1998 - $172,507.00 1999 - $137,314.00 2000 - $147,621.00 2001 - $140,105.00 2002 - $180,010.00 2003 - $199,129.00 2004 - $159,710.00 2005 - $204,494.00 2006 - $217,185.00 2007 - $247,821.00 2008 - $233,088.00 2009 - $269,200.00 2010 - $287,355.00 2011 - $260,484.00 2012 - $207,634.00 2013 - $232,997.00 2014 - $224,242.00 2015 - $196,270.00 2016 - $193,715.00 2017 - $209,489.00 2018 - $219,045.00 2019 - $239,109.00 TOTAL - $6,111,328.00
40 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 41
Immeasurable Impact: Volunteers Making a Difference By Kerrianne Webster If impact was measured only in financial terms, Junior
to those in need. Latrese adds, “In these activities,
local, state and federal experts to continue providing
League of Mobile (JLM) has donated over $1 million
we provide structured after-school activities such as
volunteers hours to meet the ongoing needs of others
in volunteer time, as well as in financial support, to
exercise and art activities at Dumas Wesley. Through
during this trying time… Whether it’s a young child
the Mobile and Baldwin county communities over
Prodisee Pantry and The Joseph Project, our members
who sees the benefits of reflective breathing from yoga,
the last several years. However, JLM measures its
have been able to collect and assist in the packing and
an infant whose family receives diapers and wipes
true impact through the time and energy we give
distribution of food items for families in Mobile and
from us or a family facing food scarcity that is able
in particularly to our chosen impact area, “Healthy
Baldwin Counties.” Across these groups, JLM’s Diaper
to provide healthy and balanced meals to their family
Children: Hunger, Nutrition, and Fitness,”. We
Bank is key to further supporting children’s health.
from Prodisee Pantry or the Joseph Project, we are
volunteered over 382 “Ready Hands” hours alone
The project grew out of the 2018-2019 Provisional
shaping the lives of our community.”
during the 2019-2020 year despite interruptions from
Class project, and we continue to have volunteers
collect diapers for those in need and distribute them
The 2020-2021 Community Impact Chair, Latrese
42 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
alongside the nutrition programs.
English, states that, “Over the past year, we’ve offered
Additionally, the Dumas Wesley after-school program
volunteers an opportunity to serve at Dumas Wesley,
allows volunteers to mentor children and lead them
Prodisee Pantry, JLM’s Diaper Bank, The Joseph
in fitness-based activities, and our support of the
Project, and The Exploreum.” The Prodisee Pantry
Exploreum’s “Wharf of Wonder”—a legacy project
is based out of Baldwin County and is a non-profit
of JLM—promotes the building of sensory skills
community ministry that provides emergency food
and creative play appropriate for young learner’s
and disaster relief, as well as assists in providing
developmental needs. Latrese continues, “We look
food to those in need. JLM also offers volunteer
forward to our continued working relationship with
opportunities for our members to work with the
these partner agencies. The pandemic has pushed
Dumas Wesley Center’s Joseph Project where
us to use creative means of meeting the needs of
volunteers come together monthly to provide meals
our community. We will adhere to guidance from JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 43
OUR COMMUNITY IMPACT AT-A-GLANCE: PRODISEE PANTRY: • Over 262 volunteer hours provided. • 37,359 diapers delivered from the Diaper Bank. EXPLOREUM’S WHARF OF WONDER • Over $1,000 donated to maintain and care for the programs with a 5-year maintenance plan in place. DUMAS WESLEY’S AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM & THE JOSEPH PROJECT • Over $8,300 donated for program needs. • 13,757 diapers delivered from the Diaper Bank. DIAPER BANK • Over $7,500 donated for both child and adult diapers and wipes
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A Junior League Project that Continues to Inspire Young Minds By Amanda Jean Tulowitzki
Many of us have taken our children or grandchildren
supporter with their contribution of a $100,000
to downtown Mobile’s Gulf Coast Exploreum and
seed grant. That is the equivalent to $397,000 today.
Science Center to see a special exhibit, play on the
The Exploreum was able to move forward when the
Wharf of Wonder, or catch the Imax show. During
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion and its adjoining acreage was
the school year, a constant stream of excited children
donated by the A.S.Mitchell Foundation as the site
on fieldtrips weave their way through educational
for this children’s museum.
permanent exhibits such as My BodyWorks, the Scratch Factory, and the IHealthy Life Science Lab. Special Exhibits change over the years, Dinosaurs Around the World being the most recently featured.
In order to preserve the historic mansion and its view from Springhill Avenue, a separate building was constructed behind it to house the museum. When it opened in 1983, 60,000 children visited in
HISTORY OF THE EXPLOREUM
the first year. During the five years after its opening,
What many of us may not realize is how deeply rooted
the League remained very involved with volunteer
the beginnings of the Exploreum, and especially the
placements and board leadership positions, even
“Wharf of Wonder” exhibit, is connected to Junior
submitting a $20,000 grant in 1986 to obtain new
League of Mobile (JLM). The Exploreum has been
standing in its current location since 1988, but
Due to the Exploreum’s outstanding success, their
it actually began as “The Exploreum Museum of
Board of Trustees decided a major expansion would
Discovery for Children” in 1983.
be needed to fulfill the Exploreum’s full potential,
JLM had task forces working for over eight years on
launching it from a “children only” museum to a
the concept of a center that would showcase both
regional science center appealing to all ages.
science and the humanities through tactile exhibits and demonstrations. The League was the first financial
46 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 47
Working with Mobile’s initiative for downtown
During their first three years of operation at the new
The Wharf of Wonder within the Exploreum opened
redevelopment, the Exploreum was slated to be
location, the Exploreum welcomed 600,000 people
in 2006 in celebration of JLM’s 75th anniversary.
expanded and relocated to its current location on
from the Gulf Coast, including nearly 168,000
Smooth surfaces, small steps, and objects that
Government Street near the waterfront. The new
Alabama school children. More than 450 teachers
encourage sensory exploration make this a wonderful
facility sprang from restoration of the Matt-Sloan Fire
earned professional development credits as well.
place for preschoolers, toddlers, and even infants.
THE WHARF OF WONDER
After many years of fun and play, the space needed
JLM saw an opportunity for a preschool age learning
some rejuvenation. JLM purchased paint this past
area in the Exploreum. What was needed was an
spring, and Exploreum staff took advantage of being
interactive display that allowed children to have fun
temporarily closed due to COVID-19 to repaint and
JLM was able to contribute $75,000 to the relocation,
while learning about the local ecosystem. JLM raised
renovate the wharf area. Josh Holland, Exploreum
and sustainer Marian Pfeiffer chaired the Gulf
more than $272,000 in funding for this project.
Director of Marketing & Design, said, “The original
Station (Landmark Historic City Hall Complex), as well as new construction at the corner of Government and Royal Streets and over the demolished police station of Water and Government Streets.
Coast Exploreum Science Center Relocation project from 1987 until it opened in 1998. Now that the Exploreum had so much additional space, it had room for their offices, classrooms, permanent and rotating Exhibits, and an IMAX theater.
The design concept included a shrimp boat, the “E. Crichton,” a lighthouse, and a suspension bridge. Children would be able to wade through the “ocean,”
red paint scheme had a faux finish to make it look old and weathered…but we opted for a cleaner look for the renovation.”
a ball pit surrounding the boat, and search for marine
JLM is very proud to have been a part of the planning
creatures to sort and weigh at the fish market.
and investment of both the Exploreum and the Wharf
Celle Hudgens, the 75th Anniversary Chair, said, “The Wharf of Wonder will provide children with a
of Wonder, this educational resource and community gem for Mobile and the Gulf Coast.
play and educational experience that exemplifies the uniqueness of our city.”
Doctors who care.
Experience you can trust!
Wharf of Wonder boat prior to the renovation.
Foot & Ankle • Hand & Elbow • Joint Replacement Pediatrics • Spine • Sports Medicine
. SARALAND . FAIRHOPE
. ORANGE BEACH THOMASVILLE . MONROEVILLE
Wharf of Wonder boat after new paint in Spring 2020. 48 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 49
Mobile Medical Museum
Honors JLM’s History of Service The Mobile Medical Museum honored Junior League
convinced Dr. J. Mac Bell, Mobile’s first pediatrician,
Mobile in 1931. The following year, JLM added a
of Mobile at the annual Mobile Community Health
to help them establish the Children’s Nutrition Clinic,
Dental Clinic, with the volunteer assistance of Dr.
Awards held on August 6, 2020.
a well-baby clinic that provided a range of free health
Sidney J. VanAntwerp, Mobile’s first pediatric dentist.
services and food assistance, years before the Food
JLM continued to manage the Clinics until 1942,
Stamp Program and Medicaid were established. The
when they were turned over to Mobile Community
Mobile Charity League became the Junior League of
Junior League of Mobile was recognized “to honor significant past achievements in community health … In 1929, officers of the Mobile Charity League
voluntarism, developing the potential of women,
As our volunteers today continue to work just as hard
BUMGARNER DELIVERED THE
and improving our community through the effective
as our founders did over 90 years ago, we appreciate
FOLLOWING SPEECH TO ATTENDEES:
action and leadership of trained volunteers for the sole
the recognition of the hard work our league has done
“Thank you Daryn, and thank you to the Mobile
purpose of education and charity.
to meet the needs of community members. Thank you
Medical Museum for hosting this wonderful event that recognizes so many local leaders in our community working to take action around urgent health topics.
Our current Impact Area started in 2014 is Healthy Children: Hunger, Nutrition and Fitness. Through this focus area our volunteers work to provide meals to
for this honor of recognizing our past achievements and we pray we continue to make you proud in our current roles as well”.
school children in need through our Adopt-A-School,
I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Junior
provide after school exercise activities at Dumas
League of Mobile. This is an amazing honor receiving
Wesley, teach students how to grow their own healthy
the Historical Award on what is the beginning of our
vegetables and fruits at the Garden of Growing located
90th year of serving the Mobile and Baldwin county
in the Exploreum science center, provide much needed
areas. Our chapter of Junior League was incorporated
milk and other groceries to local food outlets such
in 1931 and was led by our first president, Mrs.
as Prodisee Pantry and The Joseph Food Project,
Elizabeth A. Crichton, who served from 1930-1931.
along with our newest initiative of the Diaper Bank
Mrs. Crichton and Mrs. Julia Roe “Dallas” Ward were
providing diapers to numerous local agencies who
the two creators of the Children’s Nutrition Clinic and
have identified families in need. And even though
officers of the Mobile Charity League, according to
this current pandemic has us a little stalled on how
the archives in the Mobile Medical Museum.
we are providing some of these services, in true Junior
Since our founding, Junior League of Mobile’s members have committed their time to promoting
League fashion our volunteers have worked to research and find ways to continue to meet the needs of our community partners. Pediatric Dental Clinic in Mobile ca. 1930
Audio Visual Program in the Mobile County Public Schools ca. 1954 Dr. Sidney Van Antwerp and Dr. John Mac Bell, Sr. with Junior League of Mobile volunteer nurses at the Children’s Nutrition and Dental Clinics ca. 1929. 50 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
Well Baby Clinic at City Hospital ca. 1930 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 51
Placements from the Past: Looking Back to Look Ahead By Crystal Jones
Junior League of Mobile takes great pride in their
All of these were large issues that needed attention
community focus. As an organization we know that
and the Junior League stepped up in a big way. There
it not only impacts us as individuals but will hopefully
were no strings to hold the ladies of 1981 and I mean
enrich the lives of others.
that literally as we also had a marionette committee
Our focus is ever changing, and we recently found a placement brochure from 1981 that shows us the difference 40 years can make. JLM established substance abuse as their primary focus in the early 1980’s. The Alcohol Education Committee and the Drug Education Program were established for Junior High and Elementary schools to help teachers and students discuss the hard-hitting issues of the time through film and discussions. Committee members were to be available two days a week for up to four weeks out of the year during the work week. There was also a focus on family advocacy and health care through ante-natal education consultation discussing breast feeding to bottle feeding, labor and delivery, nutrition, the development of the baby and infant care. An orthopedic recreation committee was established for long term orthopedic patients at USA Medical Center. A pediatric activities committee was developed for in-patients at the hospital for ages infant to 18-years where preplanned activities occurred to entertain and provide love. A special team was also created to focus on learning more about spousal
for a lighter placement within our Community Arts program. The team focused on giving performances to the community. Around the same time, we also began our puppet committee that went on to perform the Kids on the Block program in the mid-80’s. The ladies of the 80’s were busy and true pioneers of what we’ve established today with our programs. Sometimes it’s good to look back to reflect on what we’ve accomplished to know that our League is built on solid ground and who knows, we might have to dust off the ole puppets one day, just for fun.
abuse and foster care in our community. Many of the placements were for 2 or more years so that the time needed to train a volunteer was well spent. 52 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020 53
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56 JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE FOLIO MAGAZINE - FALL 2020