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Committed to Community McGuireWoods is committed to serving our community and developing the potential of women. We contribute locally through charitable donations, legal aid and other volunteer work. Named by Working Mother/Flex-Time Lawyers as one of the “50 Best Law Firms for Women,” we also champion the causes and careers of our women attorneys, like litigation attorney Jodie Herrmann Lawson and corporate attorney Stephanie Briggs Evans, who provide pro bono legal services to The Junior League of Charlotte.

Jodie Herrmann Lawson

Stephanie K. Briggs Evans

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

704.343.2329 | jlawson@mcguirewoods.com

Business Litigation Financial Services Litigation Arbitration Condemnation Cases Class Action Cases Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Energy Law Trademark Law

1,000 lawyers | 21 offices | www.mcguirewoods.com

704.343.2249 | sbriggsevans@mcguirewoods.com

Corporate Corporate Governance Cross-Border Transactions Capital Markets Banking and Financial Services Derivatives and Structured Products Securities Compliance Government Contracts

Contents SPRING EDITION 2018


































JUNIOR LEAGUES INTERNATIONAL, INC. Women building better communities®

The CRIER Staff

Management Team


EDITOR Shemeka L. Johnson PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Allyson Colaco COPY EDITOR Claire Magee REPORTERS Amanda Asberry Martha Bordogna Carrie Cook Alysha Cormack Katrina Louis Maeghan Pawley Jennifer Plaster Meagan Platania Dare (Susan) Sneed Christine Sperow


is published twice annually by the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. No reproductions in any form are allowed without written permission.

Board of Directors PRESIDENT Arina P. Z. Kirk PRESIDENT-ELECT Alicia Morris-Rudd CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Kamila McDonnough NOMINATING CHAIR Charlitta Hatch SECRETARY Emily Reichs SUSTAINING ADVISOR Katherine Fuller MEMBERS-AT-LARGE Sherri Belfield Tonya Bruce Nantasha Chryst Jane Grosse (Sustainer) Helen King Tricia Magee Jamie Mills Joy Patterson Molly Ward


To advertise in The CRIER, please call the Junior League of Charlotte at (704) 375-5993 or e-mail info@jlcharlotte.org

JLC CONNECTED @JLCharlotte Junior League of Charlotte @JL_Charlotte JLCharlotte.org

MISSION STATEMENT The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, to developing the potential of women and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHARLOTTE, INC. 1332 Maryland Avenue Charlotte, NC 28209 (704) 375-5993 info@jlcharlotte.org jlcharlotte.org

2016-2017 ANNUAL REPORT A Look Back On A Year Well Done

Mission Statement

Community Projects for 2016-2017

The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, to developing the potential of women and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Since June 2013, the JLC has embraced the Healthy Family Initiative (HFI), an expansion of the Healthy Child Initiative, focusing on the physical, dental and mental health needs of Charlotte area children with an emphasis on the importance of family decisions and their impact on children.

Reaching Out Statement The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. and The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) reach out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism.

Community Projects and Placements 2016-2017

Dollars Allocated

Estimated Volunteer Hours

Vision Statement




The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. will be a leading force in improving the lives of children and families in the Charlotte community.

Alexander Youth Network $1,000


Big Shots Saturdays



Chameleon’s Journey



Community Commitment

Circle de Luz



The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. commits financial and volunteer resources to community agencies and projects that are based on the needs of the Charlotte community and that are in line with the JLC community initiatives.

Done in a Day






Family HealthLink



Give Kids a Smile



Healing Hearts for Hemby $2,500


Kids in the Kitchen



Promising Pages



Second Harvest






Membership • The JLC is a member of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., which is comprised of 291 Leagues throughout the U.S., Great Britain, Mexico and Canada, with a collective membership of more than 155,000 women. • Founded in 1926, the JLC has provided more than 1.5 million hours of volunteer service and more than $13.5 million to the community.

Who We Are • 1,726 Charlotte-area women are members of the JLC. • 600 of our members are Active members who engage in hands-on community and internal volunteer commitments and manage our organization. Most of our Active members also work in a variety of industries across the Charlotte region. • 953 of our members are Sustaining members who have previously served as Active members of our League but now serve in advisory roles and provide support to the JLC. • 173 women entered our Provisional Course this year seeking JLC membership.


Financials - To view our complete 2016-2017 audited financial statements, please visit www.jlcharlotte.org. 10%


$913,129 $990,412





These numbers reflect the 2016-2017 audited financial statements of The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. which comprise the financial position as of May 31, 2017, and the related statements of activities, functional expenses and cash flows for the year. The JLC’s financial statements were prepared using the accrual basis of accounting. All significant receivables, payables and other liabilities are reflected. The JLC is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

JLC Cornerstone Project at Reid Park Academy – June 2013 – May 2018 The JLC Cornerstone Project at Reid Park Academy began with a partnership with the Council for Children’s Rights and numerous agencies to support the most vulnerable families at Reid Park Academy by providing a collaborative system of care with comprehensive and accessible support services. Since 2013, the JLC has provided over $300,000 to support the JLC Cornerstone Project at Reid Park Academy and will continue to provide additional financial investments in the replication of the system of care model. In addition to the financial commitment, the JLC will provide up to $500,000 worth of volunteer time to the JLC Cornerstone Project at Reid Park Academy over a fiveyear period from 2013 to 2018.

JLC Board of Directors 2016-2017 President

Shannon Vandiver

President-Elect (PE)

Arina Kirk

Sustaining Advisor

Bev Kothe

Nominating Chair

Malone Lockaby

Chief Financial Officer

Beth Gregg

Board of Director (BOD) Secretary

Caitlin Helgeson

Board of Director Members at Large: Kimberly Best-Staton Susan Branch Tonya Bruce Christina Gratrix

Training and Education The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. provides diverse opportunities to its membership and the community for training and personal development with programs such as Get on Board, the Leadership Development Institute, the Mentor Program and the Public Policy Institute and with training workshops focused on a variety of professional, career, leadership, health and personal growth topics.

Advocacy In addition to its direct community service, the JLC engages in advocacy related to its Healthy Family Initiative at the local, state and national level. The JLC’s Advocacy and Public Awareness Committee, in partnership with the its Public Policy Institute, provides educational workshops to members on issues important to the Healthy Family Initiative and shares ways JLC members and community stakeholders can advocate to make an impact. Each spring the JLC hosts the annual Public Officials Breakfast attended by city, county, state and federal elected officials including representatives from the Charlotte City Council, the Mecklenburg County Commission, the CharlotteMecklenburg School Board, the North Carolina State Legislature, the United States Congress, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Mecklenburg County Sherriff’s Office, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office and the Mecklenburg County Courts.


Destiny Jenkins Helen King Kellie Lofton Molly Ward

JLC Management Team 2016-2017 President-Elect (PE)

Arina Kirk

Vice President of Finance

Kamila McDonnough

Communications Manager

Mary Boulware

Community Impact Manager

Jamie Mills

Education & Training Manager

Ashley Soublet

Human Resource Council Manager

Jessica Walker

Fund Development Manager

Kate Stewart

Risk Manager

Tricia Magee

Management Team Secretary

Emily Reichs

Nominating Vice Chair

Charlitta Hatch

WearHouse Chair

Jacquie Baker

Sustaining Advisor

Katherine Fuller

Annual Fund Donors Friend

($1-$99.99) Cynthia Alexander Shelby Allen Anonymous Anonymous Joanna Ashworth Nicole Baldon Elsie Barnhardt Lisa Bartyzel Elizabeth Beasley Kim Best-Staton Brahmin Leather Works Donneka Byrd Michelle Cameron Jennifer Campbell Jane Carano Beth Carpenter Marguerite Carson Shawntel Carter Elizabeth Cheek-Jones Dana Christian Deborah Clough Casey Cogburn Allyson Colaco Jennifer Collins Leslie Coons Sally Cooper Kristina Cruise Betty Dale Archer Kathryn Daniel Terri Daughenbaugh Mary Katherine Davis Ashley Deisler Melanee Duncan Friday Brittany Ellenburg Martha Eubank Gail Fennimore Timothy Flanagan D’Andra Flesch Katherine Forney Foundation for the Carolinas Dawn Freeland Carly Garrison Jennifer George Amanda Gessell Mary May Gillespie Alexandra Gores Kimberly Grant Christina Gratrix Elizabeth Gregg Evelyn Hagood Christine Hamlett Felecia Harris Nikki Harris Sarah Harris Betsy Hauer Nancy Hawgood Meg Herrington Heather Hintz

Monica Holmes Betsy Horwedel Amy Hunter Whitney-Marisha Jackson Ernestine Jones Elizabeth Kelly Hannah Kiefer Helen King Taylor Kiser Brooke Kluttz JoEl Knight Sholeh Kornegay Dawn Liles Malone Lockaby Alden Lockhart Martha Loftin Ashley Lowery Beverley MacBain Erin Maddrey Claire Magee Ann Maxwell Judith Mayer Lillian McAulay Angela Morgan Molly Morgan Alicia Morris Rudd Kelly Mosby Melissa Murphy Geraldine Nathan Kelly Navarro Lisa Newth Suzanne Nichols Marlene Parmele Melissa Parry Maeghan Pawley Lynn Petillo Catherine Philpott Premier, Inc. Angie Ratliff Tracy Rhoney Brandi Riggins Jennifer Riser Jamie Robinson Lucy Rogers Blair Rubio Janet Rusk Susannah Ryan Claudia Salgado Frances Saunders Jamie Scherer Lillie Seels Tommie Shaw Allison Sigmon Caitlin Smith Kristin Smith Katherine Southard Katherine Southerland Anastasia Speer Claudia Sturges Imani Surratt

Katie Tanner Kathryn Thomas Marsha Thrasher Carrie Tish Neddra Valleskey Shannon Vandiver Tracy Vap Stephanie Welch Laura Wilkerson Debra Willacey Anne Williams Debra Wise Vera Witherspoon Gabe Workman


($100 - $249.99) Baird Foundation Bank of America Corporation Bailey Barnett Linda Baxter Amanda Beacham Sherri Belfield Rachel Besnoff Sandra Bisanar Marcia Bowers Susan Branch Julie Brown Tonya Bruce Elizabeth Brunnemer Frances Bryant Gayle Butterfield Mary Campbell Julia Clarkson Susan Culp Sylvia Dalton Anne Davant Katrina Davidson Joanne Dickson Mary Ellison Wells Fargo Patricia Faris Helen Godwin Christina Gratrix Cynthia Grove Ann Hannah Ellen Hardison Charlitta Hatch Nan Henderson Heather Hendren Debbie Hull Mary Huntley Adrian Johnson Lisa Johnson Helen Jones Cynthia Lank Casey Liadis Kamila McDonnough Lillian McKay Suydie McLamb

Ann Milgrom Jamie Mills Cassie Owens Hope Parrott Joy Patterson Birshal Poole Christina Quarterman Emily Reichs Babs Rogers Richard Carin Ross Johnson Sheila Saints Laura Shaw Katy Shoemaker Virginia Stevenson Ann Stewman Letitia Stoneman Jean Sullivan Claire Tate Nancy Thigpen Kathleen Thompson Mary Todd Judy Vinroot Joana Wardell Mary Ware Mary Sherrill Ware Velva Woollen Jackie Zinn

Lo Simon State Farm Companies Foundation Whitni Wilson-Wertz Katheryn Woodruff


($750 – 999.99) Kendra Scott Gives Back

President’s Circle

($1000+) Katherine Belk Neel Ellison Jane Grosse Virginia Kemp Jessica and Craig Walker

Thank you to our Little Black Dress Initiative participants, who collectively raised over $51,000 in 2016-2017:

($500 – 749.99) Charlotte Jewish Community Alejandra Garcia JLC Sustainers Ashley Larkin Elizabeth Prudden

Elena Airapetian Shelby Allen Lorna Allen Jacquie Baker Lisa Bartyzel Charlene Bellamy Rachel Besnoff Susan Branch Nicole Brantley Andrea Brown Tonya Bruce Gayle Butterfield Monica Carney Holmes Nantasha Chryst Gabe Cole Sealy Cross Jessica Dienna Emilie Duncan Heffernan Chrissy Fischer Sarah Fortner Jen Fralin SaraJane Gibson Meghan Ginzer Ali Gores Christina Gratrix Monica Griffin Jane Grosse Laurel Gunzenhauser Ashley Hansen Brittani Harris Hewit Hawn Sarah Louise Head Ashley Holland KatieJo Jones Helen King Arina Kirk Amanda L.

SCOOP Charlotte

Taylor Stading Photography


($250 – 499.99) Bank of America Foundation Elizabeth Callen SHARE Charlotte Meredith Cook Kathryn Daniel Chrissy Fischer Katherine Hodges Shannon Howell Arina Kirk Beverly Kothe Sharon Lacy Kelley McLaren Ellen Rankin Susan Rankin Claudia Salgado Kate Stewart United Technologies Jamie Tsoulos Kathryn Wall Rocco Whalen Blair Williams Dana Woody


Hayley Lane Lisa LaVigne Malone Lockaby Cassie Locklear Kellie Lofton Jonell Logan Ashley Lowery Erin Maddrey Tricia Magee Morgan McDonald Kamila McDonnough Erin McNeely Georgia Meyer Jamie Mills Molly Morgan Alicia Morris Rudd Kelly Mosby Kelly Navarro Allison Nemeth Lisa Newth Allison Niekras Cassie Owens Krystal Owens Joy Patterson Kayla Lynn Petty Erika Poplin Ashley Powroznik Angela Ratliff Emily Reichs Nicole Reyes Laura Rizzo Claudia Salgado Shavon Sanders Lindsay Schall Molly Schugel Amber Shannon Bryson Sheetz Kimberly Simpson Ashley Soublet Kate Stewart Team Charlotte Aisha Thomas Paige Thompson Mary Tinkey Jamie Tsoulos Neddra Valleskey Shannon Vandiver Chelsea Waddell Jessica Walker Ashley Walker Erin Wallen Molly Ward Lafeea Watson Brandi Williams Brittany Williams Candace Williams Brittany Wright Brittany Wurdeman

Corporate Sponsors McGuire Woods, LLC

Michael & Sons

Providence Day School

Thank You Thank you to our 1,726 volunteers who have donated their time, energy and funds to support the JLC’s commitment to voluntarism. Thank you to the movers and shakers, mothers and daughters, students and graduates, activists and philanthropists, dreamers and believers who continue to support the JLC. Thank you to our individual donors and our corporate sponsors who have allowed us to increase our impact on families and children in Charlotte with their contributions. You make our work to improve the community possible! Thank you to the members of our Board of Directors for their continued guidance as we build a foundation for the future.


President’s Letter: O ne d o es no t re g re t hav i ng he l p e d anot her. —Ke nya n P rove rb

Arina P.Z. Kirk 2017-2018 JLC President

Mission Statement The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, to developing the potential of women and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Reaching Out Statement The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. and The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) reach out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism.

The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) has a long history of taking on big tasks and accomplishing them with finesse. From the establishment of the JLC Baby Home in 1926, to Spirit Square, to the Preschool Coalition, to the Family Support Center, to the Charlotte Nature Museum, to the Berryhill House (just to name a few) to the most recent Cornerstone Project of Reid Park Academy…we have a legacy of leadership, tackling difficult issues, and improving the lives of women and children in Charlotte. In so many ways, the JLC has truly been Making a Difference Since 1926. This year, we brought New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin to Charlotte to kick off our inaugural JLC Working Lunch. In the Little Black Dress Initiative, our members raised an unprecedented $66,000 to further our mission, and Lights! Camera! Fashion! was a great success. In each of these, innovation and hard work have paid off. For their capstone project, our provisional members created and executed a warm clothing drive for The Center for Community Transitions, and our community partnerships have flourished. Our members have built upon the hard work of prior years to ensure the long-term stability of this great organization. It has been a great privilege to be part of the JLC, and even greater to lead it for the 2017-2018 year. As I reflect on this year of service, the overwhelming constant is the awe I have of our members – the women who show up at trainings, at fundraisers and at community events ready to give and to learn. I am humbled to be part of this impressive organization, and grateful to have worked with so many of the dynamic women who make up its ranks. Our members – many of whom I’ve been lucky enough to get to know over the past two years – are taking on new challenges, overcoming obstacles, and in the process are making Charlotte a better place. I have no doubt that our leadership and service in Charlotte will continue to strengthen this great city. As we begin a new focus area of school readiness to ensure that children in Charlotte can gain economic mobility and leave poverty behind, our contributions will continue our legacy of making a difference. As ever, it is up to each of us to stay involved, support the JLC’s fundraising efforts, and impact our community, our members and this organization. Together, there are no limits to the #JLCimpact, and I cannot wait to see what great steps the JLC takes next! Yours truly,

Arina P.Z. Kirk 2017-2018 JLC President


Editor’s Letter: B ra ce yo u rse lves! The contents of this publication contain stories of remarkable women who support the Charlotte community through voluntarism. These stories are known to create an uncontrollable desire to be a part of the solution in your community.

Shemeka Johnson 2017-2018 The Crier Editor

Vision Statement The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. will be a leading force in improving the lives of children and families in this community.

Community Commitment The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) commits financial and volunteer resources to community agencies and projects that are based on the needs of the Charlotte community and that are in line with the JLC community initiatives.

It is with great excitement that I welcome you to the Spring 2018 edition of The CRIER! The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) has a long history of Making a Difference Since 1926 in the Charlotte community, and The CRIER has been one of many sources the JLC has used to tell our story. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the tradition of sharing our impact through its pages. In this issue, we take a stroll down memory lane and revisit how the JLC helped spark a historic preservation movement through the restoration of the Berryhill House in Charlotte’s Fourth Ward community. Be sure to check out the JLC Through the Years article to see how much you know or remember about the impact the JLC has made over the decades. This year, the JLC introduced a new community partnership with Project 658 and kicked off a new spring fundraiser (JLC Working Lunch), where New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin was the guest speaker. Our Provisional Class of 2018 partnered with The Center for Community Transitions and held a clothing drive where they collected hats, socks, gloves, blankets, and stuffed animals for families in need. We highlight each of these events, but the work does not stop there. We recap the success of the Little Black Dress Initiative, with viewpoints from JLC members sharing their personal experiences raising money and awareness for the challenges that face the 134,000 Charlotteans living in poverty. We also highlight the incredible League-led training and development program and celebrate the many accomplishments of the 2017-18 League year in a recap of our latest General Membership Meeting. As I reflect on my time as an active member of the JLC, I feel honored and extremely proud to be a part of an organization of such caring and compassionate women. I hope you enjoy reading our stories and feel inspired to be a part of the solution in your community.

Happy reading and warm blessings,

Shemeka Johnson 2017-2018 The CRIER Editor



Spring Luncheon Author: Katrina Louis

New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Rubin.

It was a day when spring temperatures crept in after winter struggled to leave. In other words, April 12 was a beautiful day to gather 300 people for the inaugural JLC Working Lunch. Attendees packed the ballroom at the Charlotte Marriott Center City for the first ever Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) spring fundraiser.

The draw was the promise of a nationally renowned speaker, and the planning team didn’t disappoint. For weeks, the team teased the public with hints and clues on social media about who the speaker would be. It was revealed at the 2017 JLC Holiday Party the luncheon would welcome New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Rubin.

The event came to fruition after members overwhelmingly voted in favor of a spring luncheon at the May 2017 General Membership Meeting.

“How many of you have been told you’re too rigid? Or you ask too many questions?” Rubin asked as she kicked off her 30-minute conversation to a sold out crowd. The answers introduced the topic of her best-seller The Four Tendencies which gives a framework to how we manage expectations. According to Rubin, people fit into

“I had an amazing committee this year that jumped into planning a new event,” said JLC member and Spring Fundraiser Chair Keely Allison.


JLC members receive signed copies of The Four Tendencies by Grechen Rubin during the JLC Working Luncheon.

either an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel tendency. • Upholders meet inner and outer expectations • Questioners meet inner expectations • Obligers meet outer expectations • Rebels resist inner and outer expectations Rubin, a self-described Upholder, drew laughs from the audience with her examples of tendency strengths and weaknesses and personal stories. “My mother just told me this week that I need to go with the flow,” said JLC member Ashley Holland. “That’s how I knew when Gretchen asked us to raise our hands, mine went up as an Upholder!” Prior to the main event, a group of ticket holders enjoyed a VIP experience that included a meetand-greet with Rubin and a signed copy of The Four Tendencies. JLC member Nikki Brantley described herself as an Obliger and saw the luncheon as another example of the JLC’s theme this League year: #JLCimpact. “The JLC was able to bring such a positive, impactful event to our city! Just as the Little Black Dress Initiative has taken off and gained steam in our community in a short amount of time, I’m sure our Working Lunch will do the same,” she said. “Having the caliber of speaker that we did was not only a testament to this committee’s hard work, but also to the power of the mission of the League. People want to be a part of the great work we’re doing.” The luncheon will be an annual JLC event so look for more details to come on the second annual JLC Working Lunch. Here’s to a hopeful repeat of a sellout crowd knowing proceeds go toward furthering the JLC’s mission to promote voluntarism, develop women leaders and improve the community.





o 1991: JLC partners with Carolinas Healthcare System to establish the Teen Health Connection, in response to the growing number of Mecklenburg County teens who did not receive basic healthcare. o JLC launches its first website! o JLC produces Women: Coming Out of the Shadows in partnership with PBS affiliate WTVI. The documentary focuses on the problem of alcoholism in women.



o 1961: JLC allots $25,000 to provide the salary for a clinical psychologist in the public school system. o March 1967: JLC announces plan to establish Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center. The Center opens in 1968. o The JLC also establishes the Citizens Steering Committee on Drug Abuse.

o JLC helps with war efforts, including continuing its commitment to the Medical Social Service, volunteering with the Red Cross, and Navy Depot Civil Defense. o During this decade JLC also begins the Children’s Theater Council, Junior Museum at the Mint, and the Community Radio Council. o April 28-29, 1949: JLC Follies stage production raise over $16,000 for the Children’s Nature Museum. o 1951: Nature Museum opens in a building on Cecil Street, on a 30-acre tract at Freedom Park.

o 1974: JLC forms a coalition with other community groups interested in preserving Fourth Ward area. • JLC provides a portion of funds used to purchase Berryhill House, a Victorian home located on W. 9th Street. In addition to funds, JLC members provide womanpower to clear and renovate the property.



o January 1926: Junior League of Charlotte receives the eighty-seventh charter from The Association of Junior Leagues of America. o May 8, 1926: The Baby Home opens. The JLC was asked to establish a home to care for infant to 18-month-old children and assist with their adoptions. Prior to the establishment of the Baby Home, these children were sent out of town due to lack of facilities. The Baby Home is the entire commitment for the first two years of the JLC. o 1927-1928: The first Crier magazine is published! The Crier is named after a baby’s cry due to JLC’s work with the Baby Home.


By: Martha Bordogna

o JLC transfers its focus to Healthy Child Initiative. o 2007: JLC partners with Levine Children’s Hospital to open the JLC Family Resource Center, to serve as an information library for patient’s families. o 2013: JLC Cornerstone Project at Reid Park Academy begins, in partnership with the Council for Children’s Rights. JLC commits both financial and volunteer services to provide care and support to vulnerable families at Reid Park Academy.


JLC Finishes The Year Strong By: Christine Sperow

members were nominated by fellow members for their efforts to promote voluntarism, develop leaders and improve communities. Here is the list of winners and an excerpt from the announcements read by Morris-Rudd, Management Team Secretary, Sarah Highfill, Community Impact Council Chair, Neddra Vallesky, and JLC Sustainer Lisa Tomlinson.

On May 14, the final General Membership Meeting for the League year (which ends May 31) took place at 8.2.0 Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte. There was a buzz in the air as members of the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) mingled and enjoyed a delicious buffet during the social hour from 6-7 p.m. Then the 217 members in attendance moved to the large event room in the back of the restaurant where the General Membership Meeting (GMM) started promptly at 7 p.m. The May GMM is typically a time to recap and reflect on the last 12 months of the year. The reports given by members of the leadership team showed it is a great time to be a member of the Junior League of Charlotte! Chief Financial Officer Kamila McDonnough reported the current financial health of the JLC remains strong. That is being credited in part to an impressive fundraising year, where revenue was $13,000 higher than the year before. JLC President Arina Kirk also presented a year in review. Kirk discussed the modification to align fundraising dollars with the JLC mission work. She also announced the League’s intention to adopt a diversity and inclusion statement, with a plan to create a three-year roadmap to accomplish that. Finally, what is tradition at the last GMM of the year, the current JLC president passes the gavel to the incoming President. Kirk and 2017-18 JLC PresidentElect Alicia Morris-Rudd exchanged hugs as the gavel was officially handed to Morris-Rudd, who then spoke directly to members about her goals when she assumes the duties of JLC President on June 1. Another highlight of the May GMM is the announcement of the annual JLC Awards. League

Arina Kirk, JLC President passes the gavel to Alicia Morris-Rudd, President Elect during the May 2018 General Membership Meeting.



return. It’s hard to tell this lady no! Here are a few things said in her nominations: ‘She has had beautifully organized meetings with care given to all members… She embodies the term servant leader...She has truly given her heart and soul to the JLC Sustainers.’”

“She is respected and well-liked by her peers and displays the attributes of a potential future leader in the JLC. This year’s recipient has taken charge and been a leader in her small group as well as in Provisional course. This year, she helped spearhead numerous efforts and events with the Ronald McDonald House and began fostering relationships with many members of the League.”

IN-LEAGUE PLACEMENT OF THE YEAR: JLC Spring Luncheon Committee “This year’s winner started from scratch and impacted this organization as a whole. This committee started the year with an idea and a tremendous goal. They created a budget and oversaw all aspects of the JLC Working Lunch, from coming up with a name and a look, to overseeing all event logistics, to booking a nationally known author. They sold out – twice! The event was well received and enjoyed by all who attended.”

TRANSFER OF THE YEAR: Kelly-Ann Fasano “This year’s award winner has jumped into the JLC with two feet, embracing our mission and making herself known among our members. She cheerfully and successfully led a Council that went through a lot of changes this year. She has successfully overseen our most successful LBDI, which raised over $66,000 and our first JLC Working Lunch fundraiser that sold out -- twice! She is responsible for creating a new sponsorship program as well as a development plan for 2018-19 which will no doubt transform the way the League raises money.”

COMMUNITY PLACEMENT OF THE YEAR: Chameleon’s Journey “One word that describes each member of this committee is passionate and many say that this has been their favorite placement in the JLC. In addition to the hours spent for their JLC placement, many committee members volunteer additional time at this organization and continue to volunteer with them even after they have signed up for a different League placement.”

SPIRIT OF THE LEAGUE AWARD: Christine Sperow “If you need a task done, and need it done well, this is the woman you contact. This person provides the extra ‘burst of energy’ needed to get the task at hand completed. This year’s winner did a complete overhaul of the Communications Council—the positions, responsibilities and expectations – and she did so with grace and good humor. She has been a respected member for several years and each year has been a tremendous asset to this organization. Not only does she dedicate her time to the JLC but she is also very involved with other nonprofits.”

COMMUNITY PARTNER OF THE YEAR: The Center for Community Transitions “This year was our first partnering with The Center for Community Transitions. Our committee paired with this organization to work with children and families that currently have an incarcerated family member. Every third Thursday of the month, JLC volunteers help with a get together for the children and families. Once a quarter, League volunteers help take the children on cultural outings to places like Discovery Place, Imaginon and the Children’s Theater. Not only did we have a community placement, but our JLC Provisionals wanted to help as well – they hosted the first JLC Warming Kids Hearts donation drive. Committee Chair Rhonda Blasingame says, ‘I have led many community placements in the JLC over the years, but I have never seen a group and their director as grateful for our dedication and volunteers like this one.’”

OUTSTANDING SUSTAINER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Joanna Ashworth “As Sustainer President, this year’s recipient was able to engage a diverse group of Sustainers to serve on the Sustainer Board. She led efforts to re-engage lapsed Sustainers by creating a hand-signed letter campaign and she personally reached out and encouraged their



FOUNDERS AWARD: Cynthia Marshall

Created in 2018, the Outstanding Service Award is presented to a member who has taken her JLC training and skill set outside of the League to make an impact in the community at large. She is recognized for her cumulative volunteer service over a period of time, with organizations other than the JLC.

The Founders Award is a newly created category to recognize the dedication, motivation and enthusiasm of a JLC member who has clearly earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues. JLC Sustainer Cynthia Marshall is the founder of Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. She served as executive director since its inception in 1985 until 2006. Here is an excerpt from her speech after receiving the Founders Award:

This year’s Outstanding Service Award winner left corporate America last year to focus on her nonprofits – that’s right, more than one! She is the founder and executive director of Philanthropy Circle 365, a professional nonprofit consulting firm that focuses on helping people and organizations implement strategic partnership, community awareness and sustainable development. She is also the co-founder of Women Entrepreneurs 2.0 & Stiletto Boss University, a youth entrepreneurship program. For this work she was recognized in the Charlotte Observer as one of the Seven to Watch in 2017, for her work in the Grier Heights community.

“We learned that each of us is connected to one another in this organization and we always will be, and we’re connected to everyone in our community. To that point I want to say that, Bill Milliken, the founder of Communities in Schools, said something long ago and you may have heard this, that it’s not programs that change young people. It’s people. It’s relationships. And relationships in this League changed me… I just love this organization. I’m so proud to see the placements you are in, and the incredible fundraising.”

JLC Members gather at 8.2.0 for the May General Membership Meeting to close out the 2017-2018 League year.



Preserving The Legacy Of The League One of the most important benefits of membership in the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is lifelong connections to community-minded women. The JLC is appreciative to the over 950 sustaining members who have given their time and leadership skills to improve both our League and the Charlotte area. The sustainers not only help maintain and plan for the JLC garden and ongoing JLC building projects, but they also attend and support JLC endeavors such as Lights! Camera! Fashion!, the Little Black Dress Initiative, and the JLC Working Lunch. They serve on League committees and attend other events as requested. In addition to supporting the continued work of the JLC, the sustaining members have a series of activities that keep them busy: • New Sustainer Welcome Lunch with JLC Sustainer Board

• The Nutcracker Performance and Lunch • Shakespeare Class with Mary Todd

• Sustainer Transfers Fall Luncheon with the JLC Sustainer Board

• Painting Class with Heidi Kirschner

• Spaghetti Carbonara Cooking Class

• Tour France with Wine at Bond Street Wines

• Mixology Class at Charlotte Country Club

• Sustainer Transfers Spring Luncheon at Upstream

• Muffins and Mimosas for Provisionals Fall Bus tour

• Book Review with Sally Brewster of Park Road Books

• Sustainers Annual Fall Luncheon and Silent Auction

• Orvis Fly Fishing Class

• Christmas at the Biltmore Sustainer trip to Asheville

• Hand Lettering Workshop with Julie Armistead

• Meditation and Mindfulness Workshop

• Duke Mansion Cooking Class, Luncheon and Garden Tour

• Orvis Sustainer Fashion Show

• Sustainer Emeritus Tea at Southminster

• Sustainer and Active Transfers Christmas Party

• Sustainer Annual Spring Cocktail Party


JLC Sustainers enjoying good weather and friendship at Village Tavern.

Spaghetti Carbonara Cooking Class.

Orvis Sustainer Fashion Show.

Christmas at the Biltmore Sustainer trip to Asheville.

Sustainers also play bridge and mahjong, host a knitting group, book club meetings, and meet for happy hours at various locations throughout the year. The Junior League of Charlotte is proud to have many outstanding sustaining members who continue to share their leadership skills and training while making a difference in the community. They represent the very best qualities of League members and show selfless dedication to preserving the legacy of the Junior League of Charlotte.



How The JLC Sparked A Preservation Movement By: Maeghan Pawley

For Susan McKeithen, a weekend walk with her husband around Fourth Ward almost 20 years ago solidified their part in Charlotte’s history. Less than a week after that walk, the McKeithens purchased their “dream home,” the NewcombBerryhill House. With its deep connection to the

Queen City and the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC), Berryhill stands as the only original house on its side of 9th Street, and is part of the 30 city blocks that make up Historic Fourth Ward. The neighborhood currently boasts a mix of Victorian homes, businesses, and restaurants each restored to their original beauty. This remains true to the roots of Fourth Ward. In the


late 1800s and early 1900s many residents did not own automobiles, but instead walked when they needed to go somewhere. One of these residents was Earnest Berryhill, who worked at the Star Mill Grocery (now Alexander Michael’s), and lived across the street from the grocery store in the home now known as the NewcombBerryhill House.

fine old homes which depict Charlotte’s history and heritage and to encourage others to buy, restore, and occupy homes in the Fourth Ward Areas.” Under the direction of Robin Cochran and Nancy Betty, more than 100 volunteers worked on restoring the house.

The Newcomb-Berryhill House was constructed by Ernest’s father-in-law, John H. Newcomb, in 1884, after he relocated his family from New York to Charlotte to establish a bellows factory. John and his brother, George, built houses side by side on 9th Street, after their wives purchased the adjacent lots for $1,400. The brothers used their expertise and new innovations in factory machinery to create the elaborate designs still seen today on the High Victorian Italianate house. Although the Newcombs experienced good fortune in their early years in Charlotte, by 1891 the tides turned for the family. Following John Newcomb’s death in 1892, Earnest moved into the family home, and ran the grocery store until his own death in 1931. Not long after, the home was turned into an apartment house with four separate units, and as the neighborhood around it declined, the Berryhill House followed the same path. By the 1970s, the NewcombBerryhill House was in desperate need of repair and forgotten. At this time, the JLC took the lead in restoring the Berryhill House, sparking Charlotte’s historic preservation movement.

“The Junior League did extraordinary research,” said architect Jack Boyte, who wrote the report for the house’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The Berryhill House, by itself, wouldn’t be that important. But it is one of the few remaining structures to tell us what life in these homes was like during the late 19th century in Charlotte. “This building is significant locally,” Boyte said in his written description, “because it is very nearly alone in illustrating the widespread Eclectic Victorian residential design in Charlotte.” And, because of the efforts of the JLC, the restoration of the Berryhill House sparked the turning point for all of Fourth Ward, which has become once again a highly desirable neighborhood.

Members of the League took an unprecedented approach to save the house. It would ultimately save Fourth Ward. In October 1975, the League decided to purchase the house and property, and restore it to its original grandeur. By the end of the year, the League raised $20,000. With grants from the Knight Foundation, Exxon Corporation and Ivey’s, the League had more than $50,000 to spend. In the 1975 winter issue of The CRIER, listed goals of the League were “to preserve the

To make a greater impact on Fourth Ward beyond the renovation of a single home, the League created Berryhill Preservation, Inc. with the sales of the refurbished Berryhill home. The fund saved at least nine other homes in the area and contributed to helping purchase and restore other homes in the neighborhood. Only two years after the League stepped in, the Charlotte City Council established a historic district to


Berryhill House decorated for the holidays.

continue the restoration efforts throughout the neighborhood. This preservation effort continues today with the work done by Friends of the Fourth Ward, and even the current homeowners.

accurate. For instance, the current teal and purple palette on the home’s exterior was updated by the previous tenants after working with historians, and the McKeithens don’t plan on ever changing the colors.

Loy and Susan McKeithen, only the second owners since the League’s restoration efforts, currently reside in the “community house,” as Susan calls it, because it doesn’t belong to just them, but instead belongs to the Charlotte community. The home requires a great deal of upkeep to maintain its original beauty, something that remains extremely important to Susan. Although the home has been updated throughout the years, many of the home’s architectural features, both inside and out, are original or historically

Additionally, the history of the house and its connection to Charlotte and the League is not lost on the McKeithens -- “We are appreciative of the Junior League (of Charlotte)’s decision to restore the Berryhill House back in the 1970’s and the effort they put into the house. We consider it to be a special home knowing that our children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors enjoy visiting here. We also consider ourselves to be not the owners, but the current caretakers.”


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A Look Into The JLC’s New Community Partnership By: Alysha Cormack

JLC members on the Project 658 committee develop their culinary skills while preparing meals with Project 658 chefs.

Project 658 committee members Jessica Smtih, Ann Wyatt Little and Katie Melzer prepare enchiladas for at-risk international and refugee families.

There are more than 150,000 people in Charlotte who are not U.S. citizens.

international and refugee communities to provide them with services which help to move these families toward sustainability. The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) membership voted to add Project 658 as a community partner beginning in the 20172018 League year.

Of these, many are refugees people who have been forced to leave their home countries. Project 658 helps to identify atrisk families within Charlotte’s

Project 658’s mission aligns with the JLC’s Healthy Family Initiative by improving the lives of these at-risk families in the Charlotte community. Physical, dental, and mental health of children ages 0-17 are supported by the mission, as is the overall health of their families. The new committee has worked


Project 658 committee members prepare vegetable fried rice.

Jackie Tobgo, Project 658 Vice Chair, participates in meal prep.

to build a lasting partnership which will carry us through the Healthy Family Initiative into the School Readiness focus of our community work, beginning in the 2018 - 2019 League year which starts June 1.

In addition to their contributions in meal planning and preparation, the committee participates in Project 658 Serve Saturdays on the second Saturday of each month. Serve Saturdays are dedicated to community projects, including beautification projects and service projects throughout neighborhoods the organization serves.

Once a month throughout the school year, the Project 658 Committee selects two meals, shops for food, and organizes nutritional facts for atrisk international and refugee families. The committee also works with the organization’s cook, Chef Lara, to prepare and package the meals. From September 2017 through February 2018, the Committee has prepared 680 meals, which have served 17 families in total.

“We envision Project 658 working more closely with the Junior League of Charlotte to impact families and the community as the JLC’s new focus shifts to School Readiness,” says Benton.

“Each JLC committee member plays a role in fulfilling our contract with Project 658,” says Carolyn Benton, Project 658 Committee Chair. “The ladies consistently provide ideas to streamline the process of preparing two hot meals. [We’ve] gained culinary skills and longlasting friendships.”

By contributing to a variety of Project 658’s initiatives, the committee will continue to make an impactful difference beyond the community focus transition.



Women Leaders By: Jennifer Plaster

JLC Members and friends engage in the eye opening poverty simulation training discussion circle.

The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is perhaps most well-known for its tremendous dedication to philanthropic initiatives. For members, the lasting value of JLC membership lies in the incredibly interesting and innovative training opportunities, structured to encourage engagement, real learning, and practical application.

and talents to better apply them to personal and professional decisions. Another training opportunity that was a big hit with League members was the career symposium. League members were asked to evaluate their current professional experience. Then they heard from leading experts on the effective use of LinkedIn, social media, networking and interview skills.

The JLC’s Training and Development Committee is a team of League volunteers responsible for coordinating and facilitating training events for members during the year. This fulfills the League’s mission to develop women leaders to be impactful, not only in the community, but also within the League.

We often hear about clutter leading to stress. #LoveItOrLeaveIt was among the many sold out trainings tackling that.

In October, JLC members signed up to attend a poverty simulation, exposing participants to the realities of living in poverty. They were also challenged with navigating through the complex world of government services and other essential providers. #PowHer was another training opportunity for League members to hear from a panel of past JLC presidents. These women helped League members reflect on their strengths

This training opportunity gave League members the tools to organize their personal environments to reduce stress. This year was especially jam-packed with engaging training opportunities through these additional JLC programs: Get on Board and Leadership Development Institute (open to JLC members and members of the community); Public Policy Institute


(open to JLC members, area League members, and community partners); and the JLC Mentor Program. Get on Board is designed to help participants identify and develop their nonprofit board leadership skills. The one-day workshop was held on April 14 and featured the following speakers: Paula Guilfoyle, President and Founder of Claim Leadership; Louis Fawcett, President of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations; Kari Saylor of the John Maxwell Team and the Siegfried Group; and a panel of JLC active and sustaining members. Get on Board Chair Julie Brown said, “Kari Saylor gave us practical tools to find what we are passionate about, why we want to serve, and resources to find the best place for service.”

JLC Nominating committee presenting the JLC Wonder Women training.

Graduation was held on May 2, after which Alisa Renee posted to Facebook saying,

“It was a pleasure being a part of this awesome program and partnering with this amazing group of women over the past 8 months. The reflections shared by the participants tonight was touching and rewarding! The Leadership Development Institute Committee (LDI) 2017-2018 truly ROCKED!!!”

The Leadership Development Institute (LDI) is an eight-month workshop series consisting of the study of six core leadership values over the course of eight sessions. The leadership values – Do What’s Right, Lead Courageously, Inspire and Develop our People, Deliver Today, Build for Tomorrow, and Passion to Succeed -- are designed to further the leadership potential of participants and guide them on their journey to becoming Charlotte’s most impactful and effective women leaders. Here is feedback JLC Education and Training Manager Ashley Soublet received from an LDI participant, “Being a part of JLC is already such an empowering feeling because we are all working daily to lead and support one another. This panel was like an additional driving force behind the ‘why’ of JLC.”

The Public Policy Institute was held on March 3, and participants learned about Charlotte’s government structure at the state and local level. Participants met with government officials and learned how to become better advocates. Also included in this year’s offerings was the JLC Mentor Program, which brought together JLC members with varying backgrounds and levels of League and leadership experiences to form relationships and impart knowledge. The goals of the program are to develop leadership potential within members, heighten the appreciation of diversity within the League, and strengthen loyalty to the JLC. Every year, members invest time, energy, and talent to the Junior League of Charlotte. Training programs are the way the League invests in its members! Commit to taking advantage of these opportunities next year and be amazed by your capacity for growth.

JLC Training and Development committee kicks off their meeting with a popcorn bar!


THE JLC 2017-2018 PROVISIONAL CLASS PRESENTS Warming Kids’ Hearts By: Amanda Asberry

On Saturday, February 3, the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC)’s 2017-2018 Provisional Class hosted the Warming Kids’ Hearts event and collected more than 700 items for The Center for Community Transitions.

because we felt we could give back to them and introduce them to the mission of the JLC.” The event, held at GoodRoad CiderWorks in South End, provided entertainment for all those who participated as well as cider from GoodRoad CiderWorks, local beer, and delicious food from the Greek Eats food truck.

The Center for Community Transitions is a local nonprofit organization (a new JLC partner organization) that strengthens the community by helping those with criminal records navigate paths toward healthy and productive lives. The mission of this event was to help make winter a little warmer for the children and families involved with The Center for Community Transitions. The provisional class, who are first year members of the JLC, collected hundreds of new socks, hats, gloves, blankets and small stuffed animals for these families. JLC provisionals were also able to give The Center for Community Transitions a crate of school supplies they have been collecting throughout the year. All items donated were brand new.

Molly Morgan, Vice Chair of the Warming Kids’ Hearts event, said, “It was amazing to see the provisionals work together to plan and execute this inaugural event. They brought it to life and made it the huge success that it was!”

The provisional class did a phenomenal job of advertising this event by coordinating live appearances on WBTV News on Bounce TV with JLC President Arina Kirk, and by having their event featured in Scoop Charlotte.

Jessica Dienna, Chair of the Warming Kids’ Hearts event, explained that the provisionals chose this project after a brainstorming session with a sustaining member of the Junior League of Charlotte who introduced them to the idea of partnering with The Center for Community Transitions. Dienna said, “We partnered with the new placement Center for Community Transitions

The provisional class would like to thank everyone who supported the Warming Kids’ Hearts event, along with GoodRoad CiderWorks for donating the event space. Warming Kids’ Hearts truly made a difference in the lives of Charlotte’s children and families this winter.


JLC Members excited to kick off the Warming Kids’ Hearts Event.

Donation table at the Warming Kids’ Hearts event.

Donations collected during the JLC Provisional Warming Kids Hearts Event.



Little Black Dresses, BIG COMMUNITY IMPACT By: Carrie B. Cook

JLC Members kick off Little Black Dress initiative at Kendra Scott, SouthPark.

The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a poverty It’s spring. The time of year when flowers are awareness campaign designed to raise money and blooming, birds are buzzing and many of us look consciousness about poverty in our community forward to shedding the layers of clothing that winter and the mission of the Junior League of Charlotte, demands. And while some of us are eagerly preparing Inc (JLC). Women from the JLC wear the same to swap out winter whites for spring pastels – many of black dress for five days to serve as a powerful our neighbors will not have a wardrobe change. Not visual reminder of the many because they don’t like the spring children, youth and families living season, colors or the excitement of So why were over 100 in poverty in our community. JLC sporting something new, but because women wearing black members also use social media – many of our neighbors simply cannot Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to afford the wardrobe change. In fact, dresses during the week bring attention to upward mobility research suggests nearly 134,000 of February 26-March 2? challenges in Charlotte, while residents in Charlotte are living raising funds to support nonprofits below the poverty line according to that are changing outcomes for our economic census data. Women ages 25-34 were the largest mobility challenges. In a nutshell: One dress. Five demographic in poverty with women ages 18-24 days. A big difference. closely behind.


amazing teachers, family/family friends, community organizations, mentors and a village that wanted to see us win. It is through that overwhelming love and support that we conquered our circumstances. I know that through the work of the League and our community partners that we have the opportunity to have that same impact on the families we serve. We provide hope and resources so that families have the motivation to keep pressing forward. Most families in poverty are so stressed about their situation that they can’t see past where they are – and we help create a different vision.

To explore the Little Black Dress Initiative further, three dynamic ladies in the JLC, Ashley Soublet, Jonell Logan and Monica Carney Holmes, shared their stories:

What shocks you most about the poverty in Charlotte?


What shocks me most about upward mobility in Charlotte is how unlikely it is for a child to overcome poverty. In a city that seems to be thriving, it’s hard to wrap your head around the idea that the odds are stacked so firmly against our children and families.

Jonell: Like everywhere in the US, poverty is not

what we imagine. We have these visions of poverty from other countries, partly curated by National Geographic and mission trips. There are so many people in poverty around us every day. They don’t look “poor” but they aren’t able to provide meals for their families. Many are homeless and are keeping up appearances because they must survive. Some of the bank tellers, food service workers, Uber drivers, and classmates we have in Charlotte are poor.

Jonell: I think I am most surprised at how much

poverty is hidden in Charlotte. Coming from New York, it was impossible to completely ignore poverty and its effects on communities because you could see it. Here, communities are hidden, or at least segregated in a way that you can go through your day and not really see poverty. There is also a culture of not talking about your struggles. In New York, the idea of being broke, hustling, and creative is the norm across many communities. People talk about it.

Monica: We can change poverty in Charlotte. We

can work together to systematically change outcomes of poverty for generations to come.

Monica: I’m shocked by the extremes. If you live in your bubble and don’t get to other parts of Charlotte, you would never know it existed.

Why did you choose to participate in the LBDI initiative?

What do you want people to know about poverty in Charlotte?


Ashley: This issue is personal to me. I hope that

Ashley Soublet

through participating I can share my journey and change the way others may view people and families who are struggling.

I want people to know that poverty in Charlotte is not a lost cause. I am a native who grew up in poverty for most of my childhood. Considering the staggering statistics, I am extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to attend UNC-Chapel Hill, earn a Masters from NCCU, travel the world, and experience financial freedom. I say this because overcoming poverty is not an impossible feat. My family and I were able to defy the odds because we had a “community” of support that poured into us. I had

Jonell: I choose to participate in LBDI because I

believe it is important to support all people in our communities. Poverty is addressable. Poverty is changeable.


I love being able to tell the story. It gives me a daily reminder (for a week) of all the things that I don’t worry about on a daily basis. It also gives me the chance to have conversations with my children about poverty. I hope that they realize how lucky and blessed they are to have been born into the family that they were.


How is the JLC supporting women and families in poverty in Charlotte?

LBDI is a powerful week-long initiative. What can women in the JLC do to amplify their voices on issues of poverty and economic mobility throughout the year?


The JLC supports women and families in poverty through our mission: Promote voluntarism. Develop the potential of women. Improve the community. For the past few years, our focus area has been healthy children and families. Our new focus, beginning in June, will center around school readiness for children from 0-5th grade in six priority zip codes. Poverty has a direct influence on school readiness; long-term, children who are prepared for school are more successful, less likely to drop out of school, and earn more as adults. It is a means of early intervention to break the cycle of poverty for families. This is not always an obvious way to combat poverty, but certainly provides the JLC with a unique opportunity to serve families in a new way.


The JLC provides many ways for women to amplify their voices on issues of poverty and economic mobility throughout the year. Social media advocacy is not limited to just LBDI week. We can use those platforms to bring attention to the issue at any time. The Charlotte Observer has articles on this issue at least once a week; it is a hot topic in our community. Simply sharing an article via social media is an easy way to keep the topics on the radar of your family, friends, and colleagues. There are in-League placements, like the Public Policy Institute or our Advocacy and Public Awareness committee, that provide opportunities to train members on how to be an advocate, and have forums to discuss these issues. Women can use their “voices” through their actions as well. We have many volunteer roles with our community partners that allow members to directly serve children and families. And of course, we encourage members to participate in other community organizations as well. We have members who serve on boards, are active in local government, and more. Whether you want to be on the front lines, or be an advocate behind the scenes, there are so many choices to meet our community’s needs.


JLC is supporting women and families in Charlotte via training opportunities, health and wellness programming, and K-12 educational support. This happens through financial contributions, volunteering and mentorship. My hope, however, is that the JLC will think strategically about planning and support for women and families who have transitioned out of poverty. This moment of change can be a slippery slope to maintain, especially for families who have moved out of generational poverty. If we are about systemic change, thinking about how to help families become rooted in their successes, even if it’s through referral and partnership programs with organizations that already do this work would be important.

Jonell: First, I think that we can remember what LBDI

is about throughout the year, and develop our own plans for raising awareness about poverty throughout the year. Are we serving outside of our required hours? Are we treating people who work around us equally regardless of perceived economic status? Are we using our voices and spheres of influence to affect hiring policy, affordable housing opportunities, equitable schools? These are things that we need to be considering and acting on throughout the year.


We support in lots of ways. Through Second Harvest Food Bank with backpacks, through Circle de Luz and EmpowHERment with mentorship, though Big Shots Saturdays where we provide immunizations, through our own training - focusing on the women leaders of tomorrow.


Stay focused. Remember that although we are one voice, when we raise them together we can create an army of support. Tell our story to others - let people know that we don’t just give money, we give volunteers. This is powerful as it instills in our membership a dedication to service that lasts a lifetime.

Monica Carney Holmes


What surprised you about this experience? Did you have any “a-ha” moments?

What else would you like readers to know about you, our community and the JLC in action?



This year, the experience was indeed a little surprising for me. Last year, I raised $275 from six people. I set out this year to raise $500, and I actually doubled that goal through 44 donors! My approach this year was to directly solicit different target groups (family, friends, old classmates, coworkers, etc.) each day of the week. My goal was to ask for $10 from 10 people; over five days I’d easily reach my goal. I posted a thank you post for each person who sent a donation. I guess flooding timelines worked. I received donations from folks I didn’t directly solicit and from people I least expected. It made me emotional! The outpouring of support and interest in the initiative was incredible. Not only did I raise considerably more than last year, but I also reached 38 new people who now know more about the JLC and the economic mobility issues in our community. My “a-ha” moment was realizing that my circle of support is a lot larger than I give myself credit for. Sometimes it’s not always the obvious few who care; we must reach out to everyone because you never know who will step up and take interest in our efforts.

I would like readers to know that I am the incoming Executive Vice President for the JLC. It’s a brand new role for our organization. I am excited about having the opportunity to make a real impact in our efforts to support women and families in poverty through this position. My personal experience growing up in poverty in this community is why I serve and care so much about the future of my fellow Charlotteans. I am excited for us to take on this new focus area and make a measurable impact on school readiness of our children. We have a lot of work to do, but we have some of the most passionate and skilled women in this community ready to take on the challenge. I look forward to supporting the work of our members and leading our JLC Management Team as we execute the day-to-day work required to achieve our mission.


We are a dynamic and dedicated group of women invested in making change in Charlotte. I will continue to be a member of JLC because the organization is not only open to growth, but also invested in feedback and not afraid to adjust the course (not our core values and mission) when and if it benefits our efforts to serve.


I think it’s always important to step outside of your bubble. During LBDI, I not only wear the same dress, but think about other inconveniences that exist when in poverty. I hand wash my dress because having a washer and dryer in your house is a luxury. I try not to Jonell Logan eat out. I also work to give back. I think for me, the “a-ha” moment was the language and feel of some of the “allies” of the effort. There is still an element of us vs them. I think poverty awareness programming ahead of LBDI could be important to our success.


We are strong, amazing women that can accomplish great things through our energy, passion and service. Many thanks to Ashley Soublet, Jonell Logan and Monica Carney Holmes for sharing their LBDI experiences with transparency and hope! Thanks to all of the JLC women who participated in LBDI, making it the most successful year yet!


The camaraderie surprised me. People love to ask about the button, talk about the dress, and catch up on the day-to-day of wearing the same outfit. Also on Day 5, I had an “a-ha” moment when it was over. I was so excited to get out of that dress. Just knowing that others don’t always have that choice is powerful. JLC Members gathered at lunch for a quick photo during LBDI week.


1. JLC Past Presidents gather at the League building for an afternoon of fellowship. 2. JLC Members Alicia Morris Rudd, Adrienne Bain, Carrie Cook and Christine Sperow recognized in 2018 Mecklenburg Times 50 Most Influential Women. 3. JLC Board Members celebrate the end of the 2017-2018 League Year.


4. JLC Members participate in the 2018 Public Policy Institute along with local policy makers.





6 5. JLC Leadership Development Institute graduation celebration. 6. JLC Past Presidents gather at the League Building for a luncheon hosted by Arina Kirk, JLC President.


IN THE KITCHEN WITH JLC 5 Days Of Healthy Lunch Ideas For Kids By: Dare Snead As the days get longer and the flowers begin to bloom, the last thing we want to do is spend too much time in front of a hot oven preparing meals for those we love. With today’s focus on healthy living, it may seem hard to find meals that please both our bodies and our taste buds. Though many of us want to focus on healthy living, that doesn’t always mean cutting flavor. These quick and easy recipes will have you preparing fast, healthy meals in no time. The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) has long been focused on providing for those in need. Specifically, Project 658 and Kids in the Kitchen are two committees that not only provide meals for underprivileged parts of the community, but also educate men, women, and children on their nutritional needs. These recipes have been prepared by women of the JLC, taste-tested, and delightfully enjoyed by our community partners.

Vegetable Fried Rice

20 min Prep/ Cook Time Serves: 6



¼ 2 2 2 3 2 1 ¼ ¼ 3 2

In a nonstick skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add ginger and garlic; saute 1 minute longer. Add the teriyaki sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, salt and hot pepper sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add rice and mixed vegetables; cook and stir over

cup finely chopped onion teaspoons canola oil teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot garlic cloves, minced tablespoons reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce tablespoons lime juice teaspoon brown sugar teaspoon salt teaspoon hot pepper sauce cups cold cooked rice cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

20 min Prep Time, 40 min Bake Time Serves: 6-8



1 can (10.75 oz.) reduced fat & sodium condensed cream of chicken soup 1 can (10.75 oz.) reduced-fat & sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup ½ cup plus ⅔ cup fat-free milk, divided ½ teaspoon dried thyme ¼ teaspoon pepper ⅛ teaspoon poultry seasoning 2 packages (16 oz. each) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed 1-½ cups cubed cooked chicken breast 1-½ cups reduced-fat biscuit/baking mix

1. In a large bowl, combine the soups, ½ cup milk, thyme, pepper and poultry seasoning. Stir in vegetables and chicken. 2. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, stir biscuit mix and remaining milk until blended. Drop by 12 rounded tablespoonfuls onto chicken mixture. 3. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown.


Baked Chicken Parmesan

Serves: 4



4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves Salt & pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn into large pieces 2 cups marinara sauce 8 slices mozzarella cheese ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Brown the chicken. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Zucchini Tots (adapted from Skinnytaste.com)

2. Bake the chicken. Add the kale to the pan and sauté over medium-high heat until wilted, about 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan and pour the marinara sauce over the chicken and kale. Place 2 mozzarella slices on each chicken breast. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until the cheese is golden and the chicken is opaque throughout, about 20 minutes, then serve.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 18 minutes



1 packed cup grated zucchini 1 large egg ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella ⅓ cup seasoned breadcrumbs Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. 2. Grate the zucchini using the medium blade until you have 1 packed cup. Wring all the excess water out of the zucchini using a towel or paper towels. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until combined. 3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture in your hands and roll into small ovals. Place on baking sheet and cook for 18 minutes, turning halfway, until golden.

No Bake Chewy Granola Bars Ingredients


1 ¼ cup quick cooking oats 1 cup ancient-grain cereal blend (such as Cheerios Ancient Grains) ¼ cup shredded coconut ¼ cup chopped unsalted pistachios ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 1/3 cup peanut butter ¼ cup chopped pitted dates cooking spray

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl 2. Combine peanut butter, honey, and dates in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until peanut butter melts, stirring frequently. 3. Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture; stir well to combine. Spread mixture onto an 8 inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Press firmly to compact, even layer. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut into 12 bars.


JLC BUILDING NEW PARTNERSHIPS Focusing On School Readiness By Maeghan Pawley As the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) prepares to place members for the 2018-19 League year which starts June 1, the JLC is thrilled to partner with five new organizations that fit within the new school readiness focus area, addressing the health and educational needs of children from birth to fifth grade in priority areas in Mecklenburg County. The Allegro Foundation serves at-risk children, including those with disabilities, autism, and cancer, by combining movement instruction with educational and medical expertise. JLC volunteers will receive special training to work one-on-one with students with disabilities during weekly classes, complete assessments of their students, and participate in performances that take place during regular class time. Baby Bundles is an organization that provides gently-used clothing and other baby essentials to families in financial need in the Charlotte area, helping them to get a positive start with their baby. They partner with community agencies and local hospitals to identify families in financial need. JLC volunteers will help prepare bundles of clothing, blankets, books and toys to support the learning and development of young children, that will then be distributed to new mothers through their partnering service organizations. The Junior League of Charlotte has a long history with Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center (CSHC). In September 1967, it was founded by the JLC as the first community speech and hearing center in North Carolina. CSHC believes that communication is the key to connecting with the world, and provides a full range of effective, family-centered language and hearing services to those in need. During the 2018-19 League year, JLC volunteers will support the March Madness reading event, assisting with preparation for the event, reading to small groups of children, helping with classroom reading reward parties, and handing out books for children to take home. Digi-Bridge aspires to create a generation of well-equipped 21st century learners by fostering optimal use of technology in the learning environment, ensuring that all learners have the opportunity to succeed in the digital age. Since 2015, they have served more than 2,000 students. Junior League of Charlotte volunteers will learn the Digi-Bridge curriculum and work with students in grades two through five to develop their building and programming skills through the afterschool robotics program. In 2010, Heart Math Tutoring was developed and piloted through a collaborative effort of Social Venture Partners, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and Communities In Schools. The goal of the program is to ensure that all elementary students develop a solid foundation in math and an enthusiasm for academics vital to long-term success. Each JLC volunteer will provide two children with one-on-one tutorial sessions using Heart’s curriculum guide. “Our new placements all instill a love of learning,” says Community Impact Council Manager Neddra Valleskey. “I am excited to bring new faces, ideas, community partners, children & families to the JLC. We are poised to make an impact on our community for years to come. Charlotte faced a great deal of criticism after the Chetty studies were released, leading to the creation of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force. Members of the Junior League of Charlotte will be proud to know our League is committed to being a contributor to positive changes in our community and improving the lives of our youngest generation.” Learn more about the newest Junior League of Charlotte partners here: Allegro Foundation: www.allegrofoundation.net/home0.aspx Baby Bundles: www.babybundlesnc.org Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center: www.charlottespeechhearing.com/ Digi-bridge: www.digi-bridge.org/ Heart Math Tutoring: www.hearttutoring.org/


1332 Maryland Avenue Charlotte, NC 28209

704.375.5993 info@jlcharlotte.org jlcharlotte.org

The CRIER | Spring 2016

Support the JLC Annual Fund

Learn about the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.

Visit our website to learn more about our programs and activities at: www.jlcharlotte.org Considering joining our membership. Contact: MDC@jlcharlotte.org

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Apply to be a Community Partner with the JLC. Visit www.jlcharlotte.org/?nd=community_partners

Become a corporate sponsor or to make a tax-deductible donation of in-kind gifts or services. Contact: woozie.dell@jlcharlotte.org

To make your Shop with ustax-deductible or donate items to our JLC WearHouse store. Contact: jlcwearhouse@jlcharlotte.org donation to the Ask Me About My Dress April 17 through 23 Junior League of Charlotte members and JLC Annual Fund, supporters will be wearing the same black dress. Why? To raise awareness about poverty issues facing the visit jlccharlotte.org. Charlotte area and to raise awareness and funding for the

programming and initiatives of the Junior League of Charlotte designed to improve the lives of the children and families in the Charlotte area and to provide much needed mental, dental and physical health services.

Profile for Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.

The Crier Spring 2018  

The CRIER is the official publication of The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC). Click here to read about how JLC volunteers are making...

The Crier Spring 2018  

The CRIER is the official publication of The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC). Click here to read about how JLC volunteers are making...