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FALL 2017




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Contents FALL EDITION 2017






























JLC NOMINATING 101 Lights! Camera! Fashion! photos provided by Catch Light Studios

The CRIER Staff

Management Team

EDITOR Shemeka L. Johnson PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Allyson Colaco AD SALES MANAGER Tricia Magee COPY EDITOR Claire Magee REPORTERS Erin Maddrey Maeghan Pawley Christina Simmons Temple Ruff Jennifer Plaster Katrina Louis Meagan Platania CONTRIBUTORS Alicia Morris-Rudd Arina P. Z. Kirk


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

League Staff COMMUNICATIONS & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Lynn Nielsen MEMBERSHIP SERVICES MANAGER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ //////////////////////////////////////////////// \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% Kami Abishai %%%%%%% !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $$$$$$$$$$ ////////////////// \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\




The CRIER is published twice annually by the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. No reproductions in any form are allowed without written permission. To advertise in The CRIER, please call the Junior League of Charlotte at (704) 375-5993 or e-mail

JLC CONNECTED: @JLCharlotte Junior League of Charlotte @JL_Charlotte

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

President’s Letter:

M a ki ng a n Imp a ct S i nce 1 926

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.

A dedicated group of Sustainers has been working steadily to catalogue, preserve and maintain our archives, and I have loved peeking at the fruits of their labor. Here, we have evidence of the difference The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. has made in the lives of members and nonmembers alike since 1926. In our more than 90 years, we’ve invested over $13.5 million and 1.5 million volunteer hours in the Charlotte community. The Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center, established by the JLC and celebrating 50 years this year, is just one small piece of our legacy of stepping in to address unmet need. This year, we’re celebrating the #JLCimpact of this organization and its members. In 2018, the JLC will start a new focus on school readiness, with an emphasis on children from birth to fifth grade in Mecklenburg’s public health priority areas. As evidenced throughout our history, we are eager to extend our influence to improve the lives of children in Charlotte. More information on these efforts is on page 29 (Ready. Set. Go. article). This is an exciting time to be a member of the Junior League of Charlotte! Our Wonder Women are working hard to grow and advance this organization, as well as ensure its relevance for the coming generations. This year, our members will provide over $300,000 worth of volunteer time into the community, together with $50,000 to our community partners. Our fundraising diversification efforts continue, as well. From the continued success of the Little Black Dress Initiative, a peer-to-peer fundraiser in which members tell our story and raise funds to further our mission, to a new Spring Luncheon in 2018, we are working to preserve our legacy of voluntarism, leadership development and improving the community. Starting next year, we are shifting our focus area to address the very real problem of economic mobility in Charlotte. To help children born into poverty escape it, membership voted to direct our community efforts on School Readiness, starting in the 2018-2019 League year. When we look at our history of leadership and commitment to the Charlotte community, the power of our members coming together to change lives is a constant since a group of women came together to begin our organization in 1926. It is up to each of us to stay involved, support the JLC’s fundraising efforts, and make sure we’re truly impacting our community, our members and this organization. Together, there are no limits to our impact. Yours truly,

Arina P.Z. Kirk 2017-2018 JLC President


Editor’s Letter: Tel l i ng o ur S to ry

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 only takes pumpkin spice lattes, the first brisk morning, and your favorite snuggle blanket to awaken the excitement of the holiday season ahead. The leaves, the climate, your wardrobe, yard décor, and even your attitude may be changing. In my life, and in the lives of every member of the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) there is at least one constant – the endless spirit of giving. The women of the JLC have remained committed to improving the lives of children and families in the Charlotte community for 91 years. The seasons have changed countless times since 1926 when the Junior League of Charlotte was formed, yet our spirit of giving is unchanged. Personally, I am beyond elated to be a part of an organization of women that is empowered to reach back to the community and serve those in need. Welcome to the fall 2017 publication of The CRIER! In this issue we will highlight our members in action, serving the community, and impacting the lives of families in the Charlotte area. We recap the second annual Little Black Dress Initiative, which aims to increase awareness of the difficulties families face living without adequate financial support. We also share our model for selecting community projects, take a walk down memory lane in a final farewell to the JLC WearHouse location on Pecan Avenue, and hear from some of our sustaining members about their experiences in the JLC. The JLC is made up of a diverse group of almost 2,000 girl bosses that are just naturally superwomen. In a feature on the JLC Training and Development Program, we will celebrate the success of the 2016-2017 League-led training and development program, which carried the #JLCgirlboss theme, and introduce the 2017-2018 #JLCSuperwomen theme! We also introduce the JLC focus area of school readiness that will officially begin in summer 2018 and recap the seventh annual Lights! Camera! Fashion! fundraiser event. As you can see, we’ve been a little busy “Making A Difference Since 1926.” The staff of the 2017-2018 CRIER is excited to tell our story and we hope you are just as excited to read them. Here’s a thought: get a nice warm bowl of tomato bisque or a slice of delicious pumpkin pie (recipes inside), snuggle up with your blanket, and this edition of The CRIER. You will not be disappointed. Happy reading and warm blessings,

Shemeka Johnson 2017-2018 The CRIER Editor


Making a Difference Since 1926 By: Alicia Morris-Rudd

JLC Community Impact The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) has a 91-year history of serving our community. During this time, we have donated over $13.5 million in grants and special projects, and provided more than 1.5 million volunteer hours. The JLC’s Community Impact teams partner with nonprofit agencies and support their programs with passionate, trained volunteers.

Community Focus Healthy Family Initiative (HFI): Since 2011, the JLC’s community programs, projects and advocacy have all focused on the physical, dental and mental health needs of children aged 0-17 years and their families in the Charlotte community. This community focus wraps up in May of 2018 as we kick off our School Ready focus.

2017-2018 Community Partnerships and Projects


JLC volunteers work with the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson, NC to show both children and adults how to prepare healthy meals and snacks. Each month there is a weekday and weekend demonstration in the Loaves and Fishes food pantry, where each committee member is in charge of creating a recipe that educates the clients about healthier, cost effective, and available options. The Ada Jenkins Center provides crisis assistance for families in North Mecklenburg and South Iredell counties.

Alexander Youth Network

JLC volunteers serve as tutors, dinner buddies or special event volunteers at Alexander Youth Network in order to support the organization’s goal of providing children and their families a full array of behavioral healthcare services so that transitions between treatment programs are smoother and valuable relationships have a chance to grow. Alexander Youth Network serves approximately 7,000 children ages 5-18 in more than a dozen programs.


Big Shots In partnership with the Mecklenburg County Health Department, Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant Health, this committee provides convenient and accessible immunization clinics and education on vaccinations for the residents of Mecklenburg County.

Center for Community Transitions

The JLC provides monthly support and time dedicated to facilitating enrichment programming with youth and family clients. The programming promotes youth and family bonding through literacy, STEM, creative arts, and health and wellness monthly initiatives. The Center for Community Transitions provides a reentry program for those with criminal records to navigate paths towards healthy and productive lives.

Done in a Day The JLC’s Done In A Day project enables the League to assist community agencies which do not have a need for League volunteers on an ongoing basis, but may have a need to staff a one or twoday special event or have a onetime need for extra volunteers. All volunteer requests must be for community-based, hands-on opportunities. These projects cannot involve fundraising or be administrative (envelope stuffing, labeling, office work) in nature.

Chameleon’s Journey grief-and-loss/chameleons-journey

JLC members serve as counselors for the Chameleon’s Journey Grief Camp hosted by Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region. Chameleon’s Journey is an overnight grief camp for children and teens coping with the death of a family member or other significant person in their life.

EmpowHERment, Inc.

The JLC provides leadership for the mentors and mentees by hosting monthly program sessions. Additional support roles include program planners, greeters, events, and logistics team members including selecting speakers and partners. EmpowHERment, Inc. is a Charlotte-based nonprofit organization committed to empowering a continuous network of girls and women to be leaders through mentorship, talent development and advocacy.


Circle de Luz

Junior League volunteers mentor young women in the College 101 Curriculum and also participate in the Run Big Dream Big 5K. Circle de Luz radically empowers young Latinas by supporting their transformation through extensive mentoring, holistic programming and scholarship funds for further education. Volunteers support mentoring and enrichment programs for adolescent Latina girls.

Family HealthLink This committee plans and executes a back-to-school health fair for children in the Charlotte community. This health fair provides a wide range of free and accessible medical, dental, and developmental services and advocates health awareness by hosting various health agencies and area businesses.

Give Kids a Smile Volunteers assist in providing preventative dental healthcare education and maintenance to children through elementary school. Volunteers also coordinate Give Kids A Smile Day, a national day of free dental care to children through high school for those whose families do not have the financial resources or insurance to address this need.

Healing Arts for Hemby

A child’s hospitalization can be stressful on the entire family. The Healing Arts for Hemby committee provides visual art, music, photography, and creative writing lessons, and art support groups to children, adolescents, and young adults battling lifethreatening diseases and other disabilities.

Kids in the Kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen is an international initiative of the Association of Junior Leagues International to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues. The JLC will provide lessons and demonstrations related to preparation of healthy meals and snacks in partnership with local community organizations, chefs and nutritionists.

Second Harvest Food Bank

Project 658

Promising Pages

JLC volunteers help create meals for the families of after-school care students. The meals are prepared by JLC volunteers once a month supervised by a staff chef on site. The meals are then distributed to students’ families, subsequent to after school care. Project 658 works with recent refugees to help provide a stable environment.

JLC volunteers are responsible for sorting, cleaning, stamping/ branding, wrapping and labeling books. Volunteers will also help pass out books at community outreach events and Magic Book Party Programs. Promising Pages is a nonprofit organization that inspires underserved children to achieve their dream by instilling a love of reading.


JLC volunteers distribute healthy food to families with children attending Reid Park Academy. The JLC provides volunteers and project dollars to support food distribution the Backpack and Mobile School Pantry programs. Backpack Program - JLC volunteers assist monthly at the SHFBM to stuff backpacks with nutritious food, and deliver backpacks to 25-40 students each week for the entire school year (36 weeks). Mobile School Pantry Program - JLC volunteers assist with the Mobile Pantry set-up, greet, and distribute food to 200 families whose children attend Reid Park Academy.

Community Impact:

How does the JLC select our community projects? Contributed by Arina Kirk and Alicia Morris-Rudd The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) was founded to bring bold leadership to community issues. Our model for this work is to grow and strengthen our community projects with trained volunteers and financial resources, and to then move on to other pressing community needs. The JLC is not tied to any one issue or nonprofit, choosing instead to select a focus for all of our community work for at least five years. 2017-2018 is the last year of our Healthy Family Initiative where we have focused on the mental, physical, and dental health of children age 0-17 and their families. In June of 2018, we will kick off our new community focus area, the School Readiness Initiative. June 2018 – May 2023 JLC Community Focus School Readiness Initiative: The JLC partners with our community to ensure all children are school ready by focusing on the health and educational needs of children from birth to fifth grade in priority areas of Mecklenburg County. Every year the JLC accepts applications for the following year’s community projects.

Criteria for all community projects: • • •

The project must be in line with the JLC community focus area: School Readiness Initiative. The organization and project shall serve the residents of Mecklenburg County. The organization must be tax-exempt and provide proof of 501(c)(3) IRS exemption upon making grant application.

Applications for the following will not be considered: • • • • •

Religious projects that directly benefit or are solely sponsored by an individual church. Individual needs (e.g., transplants, medical emergencies, balloon payments, scholarships, tuition, etc.). General fundraising contributions or unrestricted funds for capital campaigns. The JLC shall not act for others as a fundraising agent. Political activities and candidates, fraternal or social activities. General overhead, technology related or salary expenses. Our volunteers are not placed in administrative roles.


Application Review Process: • • •

Applications are submitted by agencies interested in partnering with the JLC for the upcoming year. Applications closed September 22, 2017. The Project Development and Evaluation (PDE) Committee reviews all applications, conducts interviews and site visits, and compiles all information to present to the Project Evaluation Team. This is an eight-week process. The PDE Committee presents applications and review summaries to the Project Evaluation Team, a group of approximately 25 members from across the organization. This group is charged with evaluating and deciding which projects to recommend for membership approval, how many volunteers to assign to the projects, and the budget for these projects. JLC membership will vote in January on the entire slate of proposed projects for the 2018-19 League year.

Who makes up the Project Evaluation Committee? This committee is made up of members from across our organization including: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Program Development and Evaluation Committee Chair ** Program Development and Evaluation Committee Vice Chair ** President-Elect Nominating Vice Chair Finance Manager Community Impact Manager Community Impact Assistant Manager** Focus Area Chairs Focus Area Vice Chairs** Advocacy and Public Awareness Chair Advocacy and Public Awareness Vice Chair** Human Resources Manager Human Resources Assistant Manager** Placement Chair Placement Vice Chair** Education & Training Manager Education & Training Assistant Manager** Communications Manager Communications Assistant Manager** ** non-voting (a vice chair or assistant manager will only vote in the absence of her chair)

Please let us know if you have questions about the process or would like additional information. Neddra Valleskey (704)258-3571 CIC Manager Junior League of Charlotte

Alicia Morris-Rudd (704)293-2350 President Elect Junior League of Charlotte


making p over ty U N FA S H I O N A B L E The JLC raises over $51,000 during the second campaign for the Little Black Dress Initiative By: Erin Maddrey

JLC members in their black dresses pose for a photo during their interview with WCNC about the JLC’s Little Black Dress Initiative. Pictured from left to right: Shannon Vandiver, Nantasha Chryst, Lynn Nielsen, Charlene Bellamy, Meghan Ginzer, Ashley Lowery, Arina Kirk, WCNC reporter Michelle Boudin, Kate Stewart, Sarah Louise Head, Jamie Mills and Molly Ward.

In 2016, the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) joined forces with Leagues across the country to participate in the Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI). The LBDI was created by the Junior League of London whose members, during London’s Fashion Week, wore the same black dress to work, parties, dinners, and events to raise funds and increase awareness of poverty in the city. During the 2016 campaign, JLC provisional, Board and Management

Team members participated and raised over $25,000 in one week. Determined to double the 2016 total, the Annual Campaign Committee took on the Initiative in 2017. This time, the campaign was opened up to the entire League and to friends in the community.

During the week of April 3, 2017, the JLC launched


to adequately cover shelter, healthcare, food and other essential necessities. The purpose of the campaign was to:

1. Raise awareness of the difficulties facing those who are in need; 2. Raise awareness on how limited resources can affect daily life; and 3. Raise funds to support the programs and services of the JLC that improve the lives of those in our community living in poverty

From left to right: JLC members Tricia Magee, Sarah Louise Head, WCNC reporter Rachel Rollar, Arina Kirk, Kellie Lofton and Shannon Vandiver.

their second annual LBDI campaign with over 170 participants. The JLC campaign raised awareness regarding the challenges that face the over 1.6 million North Carolinians living in poverty and the programs and services of the JLC that help combat the effects of poverty. Leagues throughout North Carolina, the United States, and internationally participate in LBDI campaigns to raise awareness and funds for their neighbors in need. Growing up and living in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy child development. Poverty means living without the financial support

Members wore the same dress for five consecutive days with a pin that stated “Ask Me About My Dress,” with the goal of sparking conversation and spreading awareness of the initiative and its objectives. Molly Schugel was the top fundraiser with almost $6,000 raised and Shannon Vandiver, 2016-2017 JLC President, was second with over $4,000 raised. The League’s top five fundraisers raised over $16,300 towards our goal. Throughout the campaign, Charlotte-area businesses supported the JLC and the LBDI campaign. We would like to recognize those businesses who provided prizes, incentives, and money to the campaign: Bonterra Dining & Wine Room, Heritage Food & Drink, Elsa Fine, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Glory Days Apparel, Belk, Banana Republic, Kendra Scott, Ethan & Zoey, Laura Mercier, Morton’s The Steakhouse, EyeCU Brow & Lash, and Elon Homes & Schools for Children.

Left to right: JLC members Cassie Owens, Sarah Louise Head, Arina Kirk, Shannon Vandiver, Kellie Lofton, Tricia Magee and Erin Maddrey.


C E L E B R AT I N G 7 Y E A R S

Lights! Camera! Fashion!

Highlights from Lights! Camera! Fashion! 2017 include a live fashion show, Diamonds & Bubble diamond ring giveaway and shopping for a cause to help further the Junior League of Charlotte’s impact on the local community.

By: Maeghan Pawley and Christina Simmons

This year’s seventh Annual Lights! Camera! Fashion! took place on Sunday, October 8, at Belk SouthPark, supporting the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC). As expected, the event didn’t disappoint. More than 550 provisionals, active members, sustainers, and their guests came


out for a night of fun and fashion. LCF Committee Chair Amanda Hollingsworth said, “It was a great night full of awesome discounts & in-store experiences centered around the Queen City theme for our JLC members & friends.”

This year’s program included a live fashion show, the return of the mystery wall, wine tastings, and more, thanks to the generosity of Charlotte area businesses. President-Elect Alicia Morris stated, “Lights! Camera! Fashion! brings together all of our members and community partners for an evening of fun to support our mission and our community.” Prior to the show, guests tasted food from Suarez Bakery, Roots Café, La Tea Da’s Catering, and Charlotte Cheese Company, enjoyed music from a live DJ, and sipped wine from Shelton Vineyards. VIP guests even had a chance to win a sapphire ring with a complimentary glass of champagne. But once the fashion show began, all eyes were on previewing some of fall’s hottest new trends, including touches of camo, velvet and deconstructed denim. The stunning looks were modeled by some of our own Junior League of Charlotte women, as well as other members of the local community.

The funds raised through these events allows the League to provide financial and volunteer resources to fifteen community agencies and the Cornerstone Project at Reid Park Elementary. Since its inception, the JLC has dedicated over 13.5 million dollars and more than 1.5 million hours of volunteer service to the greater Charlotte community.

Following the show, guests got up close and personal with the looks modeled in the show, and took advantage of the specials and discounts on their own fall favorites at Belk SouthPark, without whom this event would not be possible. “Belk has been a valued partner and supporter of the JLC for many, many years. Their dedication to this community is remarkable,” said Morris. By the end of the night, League members and their guests raised $27,620 to fund the mission of the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. While many of us take Lights! Camera! Fashion! for granted, without it and other annual fundraising events, the JLC would not be able to fulfill its mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. “This party with a purpose is so much more than one night of fashion, drinks and seeing friends! It’s amazing that all the money raised goes straight to fund our mission of promoting voluntarism, developing women and improving the community. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a great time, but it’s all the better when it goes to a great cause — the JLC!” said JLC President, Arina Kirk.


1. JLC members contributing to Promising Pages’ efforts in September. 2. The JLC’s Done in a Day program gave JLC members the opportunity to sort one thousand onesies for Baby Bundles, helping families who need newborn essentials. 3. Everyone who attended the seventh annual JLC fall fundraiser Lights! Camera! Fashion! at Belk SouthPark enjoyed exclusive shopping discounts. Pictured: Shannon Vandiver, Jan-Marie Kurdin, Margueritte Andresen, Suzy Garvey, Joanna Ashworth, Toni Freeman.


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6 4. JLC members Kellie Lofton and Ashley Soublet at the JLC Poverty Simulation, a training event educating the League about living in poverty through simulation. 5. Members of the JLC Board and Management Team are pictured with JLC Sustainers Roland Elliott and Velva Woollen at the Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center Celebration recognizing its 50 years of service in community.


6. The step and repeat was a popular spot at Lights! Camera! Fashion! to get photos taken between shopping for a cause, the live fashion show and prize giveaways.


8 7. Professional models walked the catwalk during a live fashion show at Lights! Camera! Fashion!, highlighting hot trends for the fall season.


8. Lights! Camera! Fashion! committee members preparing bags of giveaways including prizes for the popular Mystery Wall. 9. Lights! Camera! Fashion! is always open to the public and JLC members often invite friends and family. Pictured from left to right: Claire Stewart, guest of JLC member Kate Stewart. JLC members Ellen Waller and Sarah Louise Head.

10. The Chameleon’s Journey Committee is made up of JLC members who provide support at a grief camp for kids who lost loved ones. 11. In October the Junior League of Charlotte was among several organizations hosting On The Table CLT, a community conversation addressing key issues to help make communities better for everyone. 12. A quick photo with JLC members and Sir Purr at the Junior League of Charlotte’s Big Shots Saturdays event, a clinic providing required vaccines for free for Charlotte area students.

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13. Thanks to everyone who shopped for a cause at the JLC’s Lights! Camera! Fashion! more than $27,000 dollars were raised that will go back to local organizations who are providing services to the community that further the JLC mission.


Ready. Set. Go. T H E JLC IS GEA R ING U P TO TA K E O N SCH O O L R EA DINESS By: Temple Ruff Of America’s 50 largest cities, Charlotte ranks last for economic mobility, according to a recent study by the Equality of Opportunity Project. Specifically, children born into the bottom 20% of income distribution only have a 4.4% chance of reaching the top 20% in their lifetimes.

The stated goal is to “remove educational and health barriers that directly affect a child’s readiness for school success.” Aligning with the Mecklenburg County Public Health priority areas, the most compromised neighborhoods and zip codes have been identified for immediate attention.

This is unacceptable, and undeterred by the complexity of the issue, the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) has pledged to do something about it. Starting in June 2016, the JLC Board of Directors established the Focus Advisory subcommittee to evaluate the most pressing needs of Charlotte community while also connecting with JLC members to understand how they wanted to impact the community.

The new initiative officially kicks off in June 2018, and in preparation, the Project Development and Evaluation committee has been working on the identification and recruitment of a first group of community partners. “These individuals and organizations already work across the community,” says Ward. “Together, we will channel our resources and efforts to ensure that a measurable difference is made.”

The Focus Advisory subcommittee has spent approximately one year interviewing community leaders, surveying members, hosting training events around possible focus areas, and presenting to JLC membership before arriving at the school readiness focus area, which was overwhelmingly voted in by JLC members during the May 2017 General Membership Meeting.

The 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. This allows the JLC to focus resources and volunteers to make an impactful difference in a specific need in the Charlotte community. Between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2023, all of the JLC community placements will be aligned with the School Readiness focus.

“Economic mobility is an extremely large area of focus,” says Molly Ward, Focus Advisory Sub-Committee Chair. “We quickly realized that we needed to have a more specific focus area, where we could truly see and measure the JLC’s impact.” “We spoke with JLC leadership and local Charlotte leaders to determine if there was a piece of the pie that we could really hone in on,” Ward continued. As such, the planning team decided to focus on school readiness for children from birth to fifth grade.

In December, the Project Development Committee will reveal the newly proposed community partners that have been vetted for program sustainability, volunteer opportunities for League members, financial request and whether it meets the JLC’s school readiness initiative. In January 2018, the information will be presented and voted on at the League’s General Membership Meeting.



A LOOK BACK By: Maeghan Pawley

While many of us can’t remember a fall without the Lights! Camera! Fashion! fundraiser, this year marks only the 7th anniversary of this signature event. And over its more than 90-year history, the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) has hosted various fundraisers, all to provide vital funding for the local programs supported by the JLC. This fall, the The CRIER looks back on how these fundraising efforts have helped shape the city of Charlotte and the Junior League today.


The Association of Junior Leagues granted its 87th charter to the Charlotte Junior League (CJL). The first fundraiser held by the CJL was a dance – it raised a total of $1,050 for the Baby Home, which was established to care for and handle adoption proceedings for infants up to 18 months old.

1927…The Follies!, a musical revue featuring Junior League members, their husbands and

boyfriends, and local “celebrities,” debuted in 1927. That year’s performance, “Highlights,” raised $1,784.69 for the Baby Home. And for another 71 years, the Follies! reigned as the signature fundraiser for the League.

1949…The 1940s were a difficult time across the United States, Charlotte included. But by

1949 the war was over and the “Junior League Follies” production was focused on raising money for the newest JLC project – the Nature Museum at Freedom Park. Three years prior, Laura Owens opened a small museum where children could learn about nature in a hands-on environment. The Junior League of Charlotte took notice, and wanted to help expand the museum and move it to a new, larger location that would allow for easy access to Charlotte’s natural world. In 1949 the Follies! raised more than $16,000 towards building that new location, which opened in 1951, and then “The Follies of 1951” added another more than $26,000 to the Nature Museum fund.


1957…Public education was an important issue for the members of the league throughout

the 1950s, and the fundraising efforts of the Follies! productions represented the desire to enrich Charlotte’s public education program. The 1957 production, “Angel’s Review,” raised almost $23,000 in funding for the establishment of a remedial reading center, along with funding a Girl Scout camp at Lake Lure.


The 1960s brought continued investment in Charlotte’s public education system, including funding the salary for a district clinical psychologist. The 1962 Follies! “Ever Since Eve” raised more than $41,000 for that position’s salary, almost double what the League members had allotted. And in 1968, when the Junior League of Charlotte announced their plans to establish the Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center (CSHC), they raised $58,000 with the Follies! “Up, Up, and Away” production for the project. The impact of this investment is still seen today, as CSHC provides more than 100,000 services for nearly 4,000 Charlotteans annually.

1973…By the 1970s, the League recognized the drug problem in the Charlotte community, and

the need for them to step in and help. This led to the establishment of the Drug Education Center, now known as the Center for Prevention Services, funded by the 1973 Follies! “Glory Be!”. That year’s program raised more than $82,000 to meet the substance abuse concerns Mecklenburg County faced at that time.

1983…Charlotte Observer columnist Kays Gary said of the 1983 Follies!: “Charlotte isn’t exactly

a let-your-hair-down sort of city…We need a sense of identity, a synthesis of what’s happening, and the show-time once every five years gives us a taste of all this. The Junior League itself, though, has altered its own image and operation from excellent to out of sight. No longer elitist, it involves a flock of free-style movers and shakers, old Charlotte and new, and it does a city proud.” Not only were the projects supported by the Junior League shaping Charlotte, but the fundraiser and productions were having their own impact. That year, the Follies! raised $210,000 for continued JLC efforts. In 1987, the JLC added a Belk Shopping Gala, a precursor to Lights! Camera! Fashion! where 5% of shopping proceeds for the day supported “Puttin’ on the Gritz,” the 1988 Follies! production. That year’s efforts had a goal of $300,000 to put back into the Charlotte community through the Success by Six – Thompson Child Development Center at the Johnston Memorial YMCA.


1998…After 71 years, the Follies! held their farewell performance in 1998, “Band Together

Charlotte,” which raised more than $1.15 million. The focus areas for the JLC included Early Childhood Education by continuing the Success by Six program; family preservation through Connecting Links; and adolescent issues with the Family Resource Center at Double Oaks Community Center.


Before Lights! Camera! Fashion! became the signature fall fundraiser for the Junior League of Charlotte, longtime community partner, Belk South Park, approached the JLC about hosting a fashion show with Kristin Davis. The collaborative event raised $28,000, and paved the way for Lights! Camera! Fashion! just one year later. The inaugural fundraiser was held in 2010, raising more than $40,000 for the JLC in support of the Council for Children’s Rights. Not long after, Reid Park Academy: Listen. Learn. Link. became the Cornerstone Project for the Junior League of Charlotte. This project, along with the 15 other community partners supported by the JLC are made possible in part to the fundraising efforts of the JLC’s signature events. These efforts have left, and will continue to leave, a lasting mark on the Charlotte community that we call home, and a legacy that will continue for another 100 years.



WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I grew up in Towson on the outskirts of Baltimore, MD and began my provisional year there. College intervened (Baltimore accepted their members at 18) so I wasn’t able to complete the training until I moved to Charlotte six years later!


WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT POSITION WITH JLC? I am the Sustainers’ treasurer. I keep track of all income and expenses in order to support Sustainers in their opportunities for educational and social events.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A JUNIOR LEAGUE MEMBER? I completed the second half of my provisional class training in 1971 and was an active member until I was 41. WHAT IS YOUR PLACEMENT? There is no way to pick one favorite placement. I loved the Infant Simulation program at the NICU, the Drug Education Center’s puppet presentations in Charlotte Mecklenburg elementary schools, and probably my biggest responsibility was coordinating the Child Advocacy survey sent from the national League. The provisional class was assigned to assist and we all recognized the strong needs of children in the community in the mid-1970s.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Charlotte WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT POSITION WITH JLC? I am advisor to the Finance Committee. I’m a sounding board when needed and I can provide perspective of times past.


HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A JUNIOR LEAGUE MEMBER? Since 1983 when I joined the Philadelphia League. I transferred to the NYC League for provisional training and active membership until I moved on to Charlotte in 1989.

WITH WHICH JLC PHILANTHROPY PARTNER DO YOU MOST ENJOY SERVING? I have enjoyed all of my community placements and have learned so much about the needs of the Charlotte community and the wonderful organizations that provide important services. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JLC MEMORY? So many!! Certainly meeting Barbara Bush when she came to Charlotte for our annual meeting when I was incoming president. Also, speaking on the Blumenthal stage that same night and seeing my children waiting in the wings to be introduced.


HOW HAS YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN JLC IMPACTED YOUR LIFE? I have met and worked with the most amazing women and have learned so much about how to lead and serve. My experience in the JLC has contributed to my business success and allowed me to work with wonderful non-profits in Charlotte. WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO BECOME A SUSTAINING MEMBER? As a former president, I ran out of active placements. And it was time for others to be in charge. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FALL ACTIVITIES IN CHARLOTTE? I live Uptown so I love Panther game days. Also, the Charlotte Symphony season starts!



HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A JUNIOR LEAGUE MEMBER? Joined Junior League in Washington D.C. in 1989 and transferred as a provisional to Charlotte.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JLC MEMORY? Serving tea to the dear JLC staff (Wardie, Sally, Becky and Page) and other JLC friends at the League Building many moons ago. I love to have tea (complete with tea sandwiches, scones, etc.) and we all enjoyed a special tea together. HOW HAS YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN JLC IMPACTED YOUR LIFE? I did not know many people when I moved here from Washington D.C., and as a provisional, I made many friends through service and leadership who are wonderful friends to this day. The leadership opportunities have allowed me to grow and meet many new people throughout the Charlotte community. WITH WHICH JLC PHILANTHROPY PARTNER DO YOU MOST ENJOY SERVING? I have worked in the past with many community organizations through JLC, including tutoring and the WearHouse. I now like to help Taylor’s Tale with past JLC President, Sharon King. WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO BECOME A SUSTAINING MEMBER? I wanted to continue my friendship with so many JLC friends through fellowship, enrichment, and learning opportunities. I can’t imagine not becoming a sustaining member! WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FALL ACTIVITIES IN CHARLOTTE? Biking the Virginia Creeper Trail. Apple picking and pumpkin fun in the mountains. I also love to visit the beach in the fall and kayak.


WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I grew up as a corporate brat and my husband has been transferred several times, so the answer is “all over.” I was born in St. Louis, MO and have lived in Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Jackson, MS, Baton Rouge, LA, Hartford, CT, and Charlotte since 1987.


WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT POSITION WITH JLC? I am serving this year as the Sustainers’ Communications chair and as a member of the Sustainer Board. I work with the Sustainer leadership to promote upcoming events and to encourage our Sustainer sisters to engage in our wonderful opportunities for education, service, fellowship and of course…fun!

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A JUNIOR LEAGUE MEMBER? I have been a JLC member since 1987. It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years! HOW HAS YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN JLC IMPACTED YOUR LIFE? I am so honored to be a member of the Junior League of Charlotte. I have been blessed with outstanding training and leadership development opportunities, which have given me the confidence to believe that I can make a positive difference for others. Above all, I treasure the friendships that were forged through my League membership. The JLC has given me so much more than I have given in return and it has enriched my life. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JLC MEMORY? Wow…there are so many it’s difficult to pick one! My first favorite memory is the result of working on JLC’s Drug Education Awareness project soon after I moved to Charlotte. I worked with amazing fellow League members and I realized that together, we had the ability to truly improve the quality of life for our community. My next favorite memory is the three years that I served on the Follies Board in the late 1990s. When the curtain went up on the stage of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and we were able to announce that more than $1 million had been raised to support children and families in Charlotte, I was so proud of our League and the amazing women I served with on the Board. My really favorite memories all stem from the camaraderie I shared and continue to share with other JLC members. We analyze, consider, serve, discuss and sometimes fuss, but we always laugh together and remain true to the JLC’s mission. WITH WHICH JLC PHILANTHROPY PARTNER DO YOU MOST ENJOY SERVING? I currently work with Elon Homes as a volunteer which just opened the state’s first Foster Care Village for young men age 18 to 21 who have previously lived in foster care. In general, the JLC’s commitment to give our community’s fragile children and youth a decent start in life so they can be productive citizens is important to me. WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO BECOME A SUSTAINING MEMBER? First, I can’t say “no” to Jane Grosse, who was the Sustainer president last year and who asked me to serve on the Board. Seriously, I was so busy with my work life that I had not been active with the JLC for more than 15 years, but my work life changed and I was able to re-engage with the Sustainers. Our lives change, but the opportunity to serve with the League is always there in some way. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FALL ACTIVITIES IN CHARLOTTE? I am an absolute college football fanatic, so my fall is all about the games. Geaux LSU Tigers! (my alma mater) and Go Heels! (my daughter’s alma mater)


Join over 40,000 Charlotte women who get the inside scoop on everything happening in the Queen City.

the year of

#JLCSUPERWOMAN: training and development BY: TEMPL E RUFF


uilding on the immense success of 2016-2017, the Training and Development Council has developed an exciting calendar of educational, networking, and leadership events for the 20172018 year. Last year was the year of the #JLCgirlboss, and members set records in their turnout for league-led training opportunities. In total, 162 members attended at least one training session, and 66 came to multiple. Overall, as compared to 2015-16, the number of women attending increased by 200%. This is in no small part due to the dynamic line-up of speakers and learning sessions, which will continue into this term. “Developing the potential of women is a key point of our mission,” says Ashley Soublet, Education & Training Manager. “It is our goal to help each member be a good leader and serve her community. To do this, she has to know how to manage

time, interact with people, and take care of herself, as well as understand poverty and other impact topics.” Reflecting this range of needs and interest areas, members will find significant breadth and depth to this year’s offerings. All will encompass the selected theme of #JLCSuperwomen. On the first Tuesday of each month, Training Tuesdays will


take on topics including diversity and equity, career development, work-life balance, and selfdefense. Sessions will vary from 90 minutes to two hours in length, allowing time for

“Developing the potential of women is a key point of our mission.”

presentation, discussion, and of course, networking. “A major point of feedback last year was the desire of members to meet new people,” says Soublet. “We’ve made a point to incorporate a meet-and-greet aspect to our events.”

Over this year, the Training & Development Committee will continue to close each session with the completion of a participant survey - assessing everything from speaker impact and presentation quality to general feedback for future improvement.

In addition to Training Tuesdays, four special programs are slated for 2017-2018. Applications have closed for both the JLC Mentor Program and Leadership Development Institute. However, more information will be forthcoming for this Spring’s Get On Board and Public Policy Institute sessions. “Every session and program is created to equip our members with the tools for great work and creative innovation,” says Soublet. Not only will participants learn from established leaders and entrepreneurs, but also from each other. A full calendar of events are available for registration on the JLC website. Provisional, Active, and Sustainer members are all welcome and encouraged to participate. Membership credits can be earned through session completion.


The Junior League of Charlotte WearHouse: A Stroll Down Memory Lane By: Meagan Platania

The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.’s WearHouse on Pecan Avenue closed its doors last spring. We look back fondly at the past seven years of serving the community with style.

The WearHouse at Pecan Avenue provided quality clothing at affordable prices, while funding other important JLC projects in the community.

The WearHouse was a welcoming store, with beautiful displays and an overall uplifting atmosphere.

Sometimes sales were brought outside into the sunshine to attract new customers. Sidewalk sales were a great way to interact with the vibrant neighborhood.


League events hosted at the WearHouse were well-attended and showcased our works to various community leaders in attendance.

Many JLC Provisionals and WearHouse Committee members volunteered at the Pecan Avenue WearHouse, logging in thousands of hours of giving back to the Charlotte area.

Through carefully-thought-out displays and well-positioned store design, the WearHouse remained a pleasant place to shop.

One of the best perks of being a WearHouse Committee member were the friendships made while working there.

Thanks for the memories, Pecan Avenue!


IN THE KITCHEN WITH JLC “C HA R LOTT E COO KS AGA I N ” shares recipe traditions for the season By: Katrina Louis Step in the Resource Room at the Junior League of Charlotte Headquarters, and you can easily get lost browsing through its 91-year history. One book to discover is “Charlotte Cooks Again,” a cookbook published in 1981 that includes a collection of 900 “triple-tested” vintage recipes contributed by League members. We browsed through pages of soups, pies, entrées, drinks and desserts to give you a taste of the fall season.

Tomato Bisque

Contributed by Susan Wise (Mrs. Roy T.) Cooking time: 25 min. Serves: 6


Ingredients 2 pounds (6-7) of ripe tomatoes 2 whole garlic cloves 1 medium onion, sliced thin 1 teaspoon of salt 1 tablespoon of butter 1/4 teaspoon of pepper 1 bay leaf 1 pint of light cream 1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar 1 cup of milk 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh basil Top with butter, croutons and chives

Peel tomatoes. Sauté onions in butter and add the tomatoes, chopped. Add bay leaf, sugar, garlic cloves, salt, pepper and basil. Simmer, stirring occasionally until tomatoes are thoroughly cooked (25 min.). Remove bay leaf and garlic cloves and transfer mixture to blender to puree. Add cream and milk and heat well. Serve topped with butter, croutons and chives.

Pumpkin Pie

Contributed by Blair Rohrer (Mrs. Ivon) Cooking temperature: 375˚ Cooking time: 45 min. Serves: 6-8

Ingredients 2 cups cooked pumpkin 1/3 cup of cream or milk 4 slightly beaten eggs 1/4 cup of melted butter 1 cup of sugar 2 tablespoons of brandy 1 tablespoon of cornstarch 1 unbaked 9” pie shell 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice mix

Directions Combine pumpkin, eggs, sugar, cornstarch and spice. Beat for five minutes. Mix in cream, butter and brandy. Pour into 9” pastry shell. Bake until knife comes out clean when inserted halfway between center and edge of filling. Cool.



The JLC Nominating Committee

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To make your tax-deductible donation to the JLC Annual Fund 2017-2018, visit


The CRIER | Spring 2016

Learn about the Junior JLCof Spring Luncheon League Charlotte, Inc.

Visit our website to learn more about our programs and activities at:

April 12, 2018 Considering joining our membership. Marriott Uptown Charlotte Contact: Apply to be a Community Partner with the JLC. Visit

Guest Speaker: Become a corporate sponsor or to make a tax-deductible Gretchen donation of in-kind gifts or services. Rubin Contact:

Shop with us or donate items to our JLC WearHouse store. Contact:

Ask Me About My Dress

April 17 through 23 Junior League of Charlotte members and supporters will be wearing the same black dress. Why? To raise awareness about poverty issues facing the 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 More details be available at the Charlotte areawill and to provide much needed mental, dental and physical health services.

Profile for Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.

The CRIER Fall 2017  

The CRIER- Fall 2017 Edition by Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.

The CRIER Fall 2017  

The CRIER- Fall 2017 Edition by Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.