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August 2011

Meaningful Connections


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Executive Board:

In this issue...

President Melanie Chavez

President’s Perspective………………………………...….. 3

President-Elect Shannon Glass

Large Provisional Class Will Experience Revamped Curriculum………………….…..… 5

VP Communication Katy Crossen

Junior League Jog …………………………………………. 7

VP Community Projects Vicki Calonge

The Help……………………………………………..…….. 11

VP Finance Meredith Edwards

Upcoming Events……………………………………..…... 15

VP Membership Lisa Hubbard VP Training & Development Lauren Bosse Sustainer Advisor Darlene Kamine Legal Advisor Kendall Shaw Recording Secretary Brooke Hiltz

Sustainer Council: Chair Ginny Myer

New Developments with Kids in the Kitchen……….….… 4

Committee Effort beautifies Columbia Center……..….… 9 Sustainer's Segment - There's No Place Like Home..…… 12

On the cover: Pictured on the cover is a rendering of Columbia Center by Junior League member Grey Hall. The image reflects the appearance of Columbia Center once beautification efforts are complete. See page 9 for details!

Advertise in Perspectives! Advertising in Perspectives is a great way to spread your message! Our readers make an effort to support the businesses who support the JLC. And, your purchase of a Perspectives ad not only potentially connects you to hundreds of customers, but also helps better your community. Interested in advertising? Please contact Cindy Bruestle at for advertising rates and additional information. We appreciate your support!

Vice-Chair Linda Appleby Secretary Laura Skidmore Treasurer Linda Nitzschke Past Chair Ellie Berghausen Representative to Board Darlene Kamine Endowment Representative Sandy Donovan

Perspectives is the quarterly newsletter of the Junior League of Cincinnati. Publication months are August November, February, and June.

Items for submission can be sent to: Cindy Bruestle, chair cbruestle@ Deadline is the 20th day of the month prior to publication. Perspectives Committee: Cindy Bruestle, Chair, Bess Ganeff, Vice Chair, Katy Crossen, VP Communication, Natalie Bieser, Tiffany Boyd, Sarah Lucas, Fran Santangelo

Junior League of Cincinnati

3500 Columbia Parkway Cincinnati, Ohio 45226 (513) 871-9339

August 2011

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President’s Perspective... What does the Junior League of Cincinnati mean to me? Pure and simple, connections. Meaningful connections with our community through unique programming designed to bring about substantive change. Meaningful connections with local leaders meant to develop our individual ability to become agents of change. And, meaningful connections with each other, which, at the end of the day is why we choose to continue our JLC membership long after our desire for active status has waned. We have an amazing leadership team of over 50 women. These women have put the myth of a JLC ‘summer break’ to rest and have created a framework to execute meaningful programming in their respective areas. Over the next nine months, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in all-hands volunteer opportunities with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful; meet our new adopt-a-class of first graders at the Academy of World Languages; participate in an expanded volunteer program at local battered women’s shelters, and other CandO events. If you think you know KITK, think again….these leaders have pushed themselves to revamp their competencies, including a school program designed to get kids hands-on experiences, a new media team which will research opportunities in film and print, and a revamped events team, which is working on a collaboration with the Duke Energy Children’s Museum at Cincinnati Museum Center - a former Junior League of Cincinnati project. Who says Sustainers have all the fun? Sorry, Sustainers! Now, Actives and Provisionals will have the opportunity to participate in interests groups including food & wine, book club, new moms, exercise and more. And, in the great tradition of the JLC, which has its foundations in training, we will have the opportunity to engage with community leaders and hone our skill sets as we prepare to be more effective volunteers and ultimately, a part of our city’s future leadership. The year will be marked by personal development, community impact and of course, having F-U-N! Every CandO, KITK, fundraising event, training session and social will fulfill one of those missions. In addition, our GMMs will be filled with messages of inspiration, self-improvement and education, giving back, and of course, celebration. Please review details for all meetings in the sidebar to the right, and mark your calendars! I encourage ALL members to attend our kick-off on Tuesday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Columbia Center. Think champagne (who doesn’t love bubbles?), goodie bags, reconnecting with old friends, meeting new friends and inspiration. We will hear about “The Scar Project,” a moving photography exhibit which pays tribute to the courage and spirit of young women diagnosed with breast cancer. Local survivor and Scar Project model, Vanessa Tiemeier, and Cincinnati Committee Chair, Joules Evans, will be on hand to share their journeys as well as information about this important exhibit. We will also give everyone an in-depth look at what lies ahead as we begin our journey into the 20112012 JLC year. Finally, we will end the evening with JLC friend and Cincinnati favorite, Amy Tobin, who will share her tips for leading an inspired life. This is one GMM that you do not want to miss! I am so proud to be the 92nd president of the Junior League of Cincinnati and cannot wait to embark upon this journey with each of you. It is a year that will be marked by meaningful connections with each other and with our community. And one that we will remember because of our hard work, our laughter, our tears, our willingness to push beyond our ‘limits,’ and most of all because of the change we will bring about within our community. Fondly,

Melanie M. Chavez

2011-2012 General Meetings Social time for each begins at 6:30 pm and meetings will begin promptly at 7:00pm. September 6, 2011 Keynote Amy Tobin ‘Inspired Lives’ and ‘The Scar Project’ October 4, 2011 Cincinnati City Council Candidate Reception and Senate Bill 5 Debate At Union Terminal (Open to the public.) November 1, 2011 Panel Discussion: Navigating Your Way Onto a Non-profit Board December 6, 2011 Area Meetings:

OTR History Columbia Tusculum ‘Green’ Initiatives Kids in the Kitchen Children’s Museum Brighton Center The Welcome House January 3, 2012 CandO Fleece Blankets, Battered Women’s Shelter Announcement and 2012-2013 Board Slate Announcement February 7, 2012 Area Meetings: Member & Community Connections: an evening with Sustainers, local non-profit directors and board presidents. March 6, 2012 Women Business Entrepreneur Panel Featuring JLC Members April 3, 2012 Placement Fair and Project Announcements May 15, 2012 Annual Meeting Celebration!


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Kids in the Kitchen — A Broader Scope for a Deeper Impact by Joanne Moore The Junior League of Cincinnati has cultivated many meaningful connections with individuals, agencies, and endeavors through signature projects. Our current project, Kids in the Kitchen, is no exception. Last May, the membership voted and made the important determination that each and every member of the Junior League Cincinnati should somehow touch Kids in the Kitchen during the course of the year. In response to that, and in an effort to make as large an impact as possible in the project’s two remaining years, the KITK Leadership Team broke out of its original vision and retooled, revamped, and reinvigorated the program for the upcoming year.

Kids in the Kitchen will broaden its reach in the community with the addition of a new school. While continuing to work with Riverview East Academy and Pleasant Ridge Montessori, KITK will add Academy of World Languages to the mix. This will bring the program’s school outreach to 150-plus children. KITK has also initiated a relationship with th Freestore Foodbank. The Freestore Foodbank awarded KITK a $3,200 grant to develop and purchase the supplies for “kitchen kits,” which the students in the schools programs will use throughout the year to create healthy snacks. In addition, they’ll develop fine motor skills and work on their fractions. The kits will contain such items as bowls, wooden spoons, vegetable peelers, rubber scrapers, and measuring cups and spoons. A renewed relationship with the Duke Energy Children’s Museum is in the works to expand the program’s outreach. The Leadership Team is developing a program to present to museum visitors in December, with an additional date also in on the agenda.

Keys & Simpkinson, LLC Personalized Financial Services * For individuals, trusts, estates family limited partnerships

* Finally, a newly developed media team will work with the Events, Community Outreach, and Schools teams to develop resource

Tax preparation, bookkeeping, bill paying, payroll returns

materials for community groups, as well as share healthy tips via social media. This broader scope should make it easier for each member to get Email: 513-381-4849

involved with KITK, and will undoubtedly deepen the program’s impact on the community, and foster many new connections. Get ready for a fun and productive year!

Integrity . Service . Excellence

August 2011

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Large Provisional Class Will Experience Revamped Curriculum by Sarah Lucas We’re so happy to welcome 98 ladies into the 20112012 Provisional Class! This year, many exciting new training opportunities will be introduced to the curriculum for the Provisional members. The ladies will be assigned to small groups, each with a Sustainer Advisor; sit on committees; participate in a mini-placement fair in November; attend training seminars on topics like urban development and business etiquette; and—for the first time in many years — step back into history on a bus tour of Cincinnati to check out all the JLC’s contributions to the community through the years. Provisional Chair, Erika Robbe, and her team have their work cut out for them facilitating the bus tour and implementing all these changes, but are all very excited about the updates to the program. So are many others, including Melanie Chavez, 20112012 JLC President. “When these 98 women finish the year I want them to fundamentally understand what this League is all about” says Chavez. What prompted all the new and exciting changes? Well, in recent years, the curriculum has mostly consisted of in-class training held in the Columbia Center. There was very little hands-on training to arm the ladies for future projects. Some members felt they weren’t getting a full understanding of what the JLC was all about by the time they were starting their first Active year. Some were also feeling a little underprepared for their new roles as Active members. This talk was turned into action by a task force that was convened in April, 2011. The task force was comprised of 15 members and included then-Provisionals, Actives and a few Sustainer guests. The goals of the task force were to:

Inspired by their two Sustainer guests, Darlene Kamine and Linda Smith, and fueled by their passion for the JLC, the task force unanimously decided it was “time to get on the bus.” Everyone agreed that the talents of these new members needed to be harnessed immediately instead of having them “watch” for 12 months. After all, the purpose of the League is to train women through experiences to make an impact on the community. The task force decided to implement a rule of 70/30 for the training curriculum — 70 percent community/volunteer focus, and only 30 percent internal processes focus. Furthermore, they decided that the ideal way to introduce the women to the organization and mission was to show them, by letting them see, touch and feel what those before them had done. Hence, the historic bus tour was brought back to the training curriculum. Once the task force had compiled their great ideas and put the bus tour back into the curriculum, they started researching the logistics of literally “getting on the bus.” The cost involved exceeded the entire budget for the Provisional training year. For a moment, some weren’t sure they’d be able to make the bus tour happen. That’s when Melanie Chavez decided to request funding from the Jeannie Boyce Morrison Leadership Development Fund. The request was approved, and thanks to those funds, the Provisional bus tour will take place on September 17.

Determine how to integrate the JLC Mission “to improve communities through effective action and trained volunteers” within Provisional curriculum.

Determine ways to offer a Provisional experience that cannot be replicated by other organizations or by volunteering on their own.

Define the goals of the Provisional year against what incoming Provisionals typically expect from that first year.

For those who did not know her, Jeannie Boyce Morrison was a beloved member of the JLC who sadly lost her battle with cancer just a few days after she was set to assume her role as JLC President in 1992. Her family and friends started the JBM

Utilize the information gathered to create a strategic curriculum for the Provisional Class.

...Continued on page 6


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Provisionals, continued... “To really understand the value that the JLC has added to the Greater Cincinnati community, it is beneficial to study (and observe where possible) the programs that the JLC started beginning in 1920. In most cases, the programs JLC started were turned over to a community organization to continue to run.“ Ellie Berghausen

Leadership Development Fund in honor of her memory, to further her vision of encouraging women to assume leadership roles. The fund is administered by the past presidents of the JLC, and chaired by the immediate past president. Funding proposals are taken to the group for consideration on a yearly basis. “Originally, the fund was put towards a couple of all-day seminars with keynote speakers and breakout sessions,” said Sustainer Ellie Berghausen, who has long been involved with the fund. “Now it focuses more on funding opportunities for up and coming JLC leaders.” Why then, did the JBM Leadership Development Committee decide to offer the funding for the Provisional Class bus tour?

By the numbers… 98 Number of incoming Provisionals

15 Members of the task force that reviewed the Provisional program

70/30 The ratio of the Provisional program: 70% community focus, 30% internal process focus

“To really understand the value that the JLC has added to the Greater Cincinnati community, it is beneficial to study (and observe where possible) the programs that the JLC started beginning in 1920. In most cases, the programs JLC started were turned over to a community organization to continue to run,“ Berghausen said. “As well, to understand why the JLC started programs, understanding the history and development of the local community is vital. Funding this bus tour reinstates what had been a tradition for many years for the Provisional class. The committee certainly hopes that introducing the Provisional members to the history of the

community (and the Junior League’s role in designing, funding, directing, and manning the programs that better our community) lays a groundwork for pride in and loyalty to the JLC and its mission.” Berghausen’s involvement with the Fund is natural—she was a friend of Morrison, and had the opportunity to work with her on many projects. She went on to share: “Jeannie was a warm, caring individual, friend and mentor to many. She also had a wonderful sense of humor. She was one of the most productive women I knew – she could wring out more productive time in a day than anyone could imagine. She was mission- driven and a valuable member of five JLC boards she served on – two years in vice-president spots and one as president-elect. Her favorite words were synergy, connectedness and passion. Above all, whether at home, at work (P&G) or the JLC, Jeannie had the positive power to help people see the potential in themselves. She could identify positive, hidden talents and with this perception and perspective, her leadership and example were valuable assets.” “Jeannie strongly believed in taking advantage of the training that was offered to increase each person’s capacity as a volunteer. To this end, her last wish for the JLC was to have a fund that could assure that this kind of training was always available. She’d say, ‘Volunteers. If you can’t fire them, fire them up!’ The JLC Leadership Development Fund attempts to provide the spark that fires up

volunteers!,” added.


Darlene Kamine, who also worked on the Provisional Class curriculum task force earlier this year, stepped up as President in Morrison’s place back in 1992. Kamine said that to her, “The name Jeannie Boyce Morrison was synonymous with excellence in training. After more than 20 years I still have the materials that Jeannie prepared and presented and I still rely on everything she taught me.” Kamine also fondly remembers Jeannie’s quote about firing up volunteers, and said that she has “lived by [Morrison’s] motto.” And, hopefully, having the opportunity to take this historic bus tour to see all the contributions of the JLC’s past volunteers will be just the “spark” the new Provisional class needs to get them fired up about volunteering and leaving their mark on the community. By actually showing ladies what can be accomplished through the work of the JLC, and by allowing them to participate in projects first hand, this graduating class will be ready to hit the ground running in whichever projects they may choose. Welcome, Provisional Class 2011-2012, and enjoy the ride!

August 2011

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Put on your running shoes for the...

JUNIOR LEAGUE JOG! by Tessa Wolfarth and Bess Ganeff The Junior League of Cincinnati will host its second 5K Run/Walk, the Junior League Jog, on Sunday, October 9, 2011, from 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Hyde Park Elementary School, 3401 Edwards Road, in Hyde Park. The event will raise heart rates and funds to support JLC programming. Julie Isphording will emcee kids races, music, and other family activities throughout the afternoon. Online registration is available at

Date: Sunday, October 9 Time: 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:15 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

Registration/Free Family Festival 5K Run/Walk Begin Kids Warm Up hosted by BeneFit Studio Kids Races, Awards, Free Family Festival Continues Event Concludes

Location: Hyde Park Elementary School 3401 Edwards Road, Cincinnati , Ohio 45208 Parking: Street parking is available throughout the Hyde Park neighborhood. Registration: Available through October 5 at First 150 adult registrants and 50 child registrants receive an official 2011 Junior League Jog 5K Run/Walk race t-shirt! Adults:

$30 Early Registration (through 10/5)

$35 Day of Race Children (10 and Under)

$10 Early Registration (through 10/5) $15 Day of Race

Sponsorship opportunities: Organizations and businesses interested in participating or becoming event sponsors can visit or email


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Honor September 11 with Day of Service Giving back to the local community is inherent to the Junior League of Cincinnati’s mission. In an effort to deepen League’s connection to the community, the JLC is partnering with the Keep Cincinnati Beautiful in the National Day of Service. The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of a seven-year effort started by 9/11 family members and support groups to establish a way to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 and to rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that followed the attacks. Junior League will connect with the community in a meaningful way and give back to the community through assisting with beautification of a business district. Tasks include weeding, planting, window washing, painting flower pots, and other related activities. Junior League participants will be encouraged to wear their new JLC t-shirts to visibly display the League’s commitment to the community. Please bring your family and friends to join us from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, September 11th. More details to follow in the eBlast and Hotsheet. — BG

Jody’s Network: A Different Way to Get Involved

by Lisa Hubbard

Who doesn’t love a knock on the door when you’re greeted by a fellow JLC member holding a basket of muffins or even a whole meal? Sometimes life gets in the way of real world necessities – new baby, new job, new place to live, or an unexpected crisis. Life can be overwhelming. That’s where Jody’s Network comes in to make a difference for our members. Jody’s Network is a voluntary network designed to support all of our members whenever a helping hand is needed. Jody’s Network, or Jody’s Job, as it used to be called, started in 1985. Leslie Cannon, the JLC’s long time office manager, recently recounted the history of this network: “Jody Whiting Kuempel was a very active Sustainer and much loved because of her kindness. She died suddenly of a brain aneurism while at the airport. It was very shocking because she was quite young and ‘healthy.’ The committee was started in her memory in 1985-86 and named after her. Its job is always to care for our members.” Liane Szucs heads up the network, and she works to coordinate meals for members in need, and to reach out with congratulations to celebrate births, weddings, and other significant events in our members’ lives. But Jody’s Network depends upon all of us to pitch in and help however and whenever we can. So when you get a Jody’s Network message that one of our members needs some extra help, know that what you are doing is making a difference in her life. For more information and to get involved, please contact Liane Szucs at

Congratulations to all Junior League members who have recently celebrated an accomplishment or milestone!

Member Milestones Weddings Tara Boinstall Noland married Zac Noland on April 9, 2011. Lizzie Vollmar Polston married Blane Polston on May 14, 2011. Meredith Yacso married Steve Meyer on June 11, 2011.

Babies David and Laura Stiller welcomed Charlotte Ruby on August 1. Andrew and Meghan Seitz welcomed Margaret Constance on May 23. Allan and Vicki Calonge welcomed Lucia Jeanne Carmen, born on May 20.

Promotions Tory Neyer received a promotion, from account manager to fleet manager at Equipment Depot. Myrkol Bolden was promoted from Performance Improvement to Lean Leader at The Christ Hospital. Megan Stacey was promoted to Elementary Curriculum Coordinator for Forest Hills School District.

The following members were announced to the Business Courier’s class of Forty under 40: Melanie Chavez Tracey Conrad Katy Crossen

August 2011

Committee Effort Beautifies Columbia Center by Natalie Schoney and Carole Siegrist

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Support the Columbia Center Beautification Project Approximately $5,000 is still needed. Bricks are available for $1,000 each, however, donations of any size are most welcome!

To make a donation:

Above: Preliminary sketches put forth the plan for Columbia Center’s beautification. The Junior League garden clubs had a vision… and it is now coming close to fulfillment. The result will be a Columbia Center that is refreshed, renewed, and resplendent! The Columbia Center Beautification Project grew out of the concern several members of the Junior League Gardeners had regarding how the Junior League was presenting itself to the community. Having numerous air conditioners visible at our most accessible doorway did not seem to present a good image. So, two years ago these concerned gardeners began discussing how the Junior League of Cincinnati could enhance its outward appearance. The more they delved into what would make the parking lot entrance more presentable, the more they realized this was a project too big for just their small group. So, about a year ago they began talking with the Junior League Garden Circle and the Junior League Garden Club asking if the three Sustainer garden clubs could sponsor a beautification project that everyone could enjoy. Each garden club selected a representative, Janet Hauck from the Junior League Garden Circle, Natalie Schoeny (mother of Active Dorrie McCarthy) from the Junior League Garden Club and Carole Siegrist from the Junior League Gardeners. The three representatives met and decided a landscape architect was needed to assist in the effort. In consultation with the garden clubs, permission was granted to contract with John Bentley to prepare preliminary sketches drawn for a nominal fee. John provided a conceptual plan and sketch illustrations, while the JLC would serve as contractors due to budget constraints. In discussing the sketches with others, it became time to consider who might help make this project a reality. The Junior League’s own Shannon Cathey, a landscape architect, and Denise Carl, a fundraiser for the Easter Seals, both volunteered to be on the committee, providing invaluable expertise and input. With much work, plans were finalized and presented to Shelley Poffenberger and the JLC Board last December. The committee was given the Board’s blessing to pursue the project and raise the funds. The committee then began meeting monthly to hone plans and begin presenting the project at meetings of the Provisionals, Actives, garden clubs and Sustainers. In addition, each committee member volunteered to accept and follow through with an aspect of the project. Janet was influential in procuring a generous contribution from the Hauck Foundation. Cathey kept the committee on track and provided expertise in executing John Bentley's plan. Carl introduced the team to and followed up with a nonprofit organization, Building Ability, for fence construction

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All donations are payable to The Junior League of Cincinnati with Columbia Center Beautification Project (CCBP) in the memo. A tax deductible receipt for any donation will be issued by Sustainer Treasurer Linda Nitzschke.

A very special thanks to the Columbia Center Beautification Project Committee: Denise Carl Shannon Cathey Janet Hauck Natalie Schoeny Carole Siegrist These women have given substantial time and talent to ensure our Columbia Center maintains a polished and positive community presence.


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Columbia Center, continued Schoney contacted the League’s neighbors and arranged an easement agreement for the parking lot hedge. And Siegrist arranged for the Flower Framers, supplied by John Simpkinson. “As the project proceeded,” Siegrist noted, “it became apparent that a general contractor was needed to pull all the facets of the project together and maintain a coordinated effort. Shannon was influential in providing contractors she had worked with in the past, and after interviewing, Tony Nassar of ABG Build was selected. “ As Shelley Poffenberger passed the gavel as President to Melanie Chavez, the project was about ready to "bloom!" Chavez and her legal advisor, Kendal Shaw, spent many hours assisting with bylaw compliance. The committee developed a fundraiser flyer and distributed it at various Junior League affairs during the year. When the Junior League purchased Columbia Center, donations were solicited by having members purchase a brick for $1,000, and their names were engraved on them. You all have seen the numerous donors engraved on the bricks at the parking lot entrance as you ascend the ramp. “Since we as a committee were sponsoring a beautification of our Center,” Siegrist added, “we wanted to give those members who have joined the League since the building was purchased, the opportunity to continue this heritage by also purchasing a brick. This can be done as an individual, for an individual, or as a group. All donations of any amount are welcome.” The committee still needs about $5,000 to complete the project. If you have thought about donating but just haven't yet, there is no better time than now! It is the committee’s hope that the project will be completed by the time the September meetings commence. Donate today, and you can be proud you helped make your Junior League Columbia Center beautiful!

Member Spotlight: Megan Stacey College: Miami University for undergrad and Xavier for master's degree. Neighborhood: Mt. Lookout

Years in JLC: Two JLC Committees: I am currently the CoChair of Membership Outreach and Events. Last year I was Vice Chair as well as a Provisional advisor. Hometown: Cincinnati Occupation: Elementary Curriculum Coordinator for Forest Hills School District. High School: Archbishop McNicholas

Married? I've been married to my husband Drew for three years. I also live with my two adorable dogs who I treat like our children. Murphy and Briggs are my fave. Why did you want to join Junior League? To give back to the city I love. Has Junior League been everything you expected? The league has exceeded my expectations. I was hoping to meet new people but cannot believe how many wonderful friendships I've developed. Favorite JLC memory? Cleaning up for the 90th gala. It was fun to debrief with the girls the next morning. We were all exhausted from a fun evening but worked together to clean

up. Why do you feel Junior League is important to Cincinnati? The JLC supports women and children in the community by addressing current, relevant issues. The quality of women leaders we release into the community is unprecedented. Collectively, we are making big changes in Cincinnati. Hobbies? Spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, reality television, volunteering. Where can we find you on the weekends? Trying new restaurants, out and about enjoying Cincy's nightlife and The Echo after church every Sunday morning. As Events Co-Chair, what do you keep in mind when planning events? The venue is the most important aspect of planning. I like to try to select local places that are new, unique and will draw a crowd. The more intimate

the venue, the better. You want people to mingle. What is your favorite Cincinnati landmark or activity? I love living by all the Squares. It is so enjoyable to be able to walk to Mt. Lookout and Hyde Park Square to enjoy the local restaurants and shops. I could not live without visiting UDF for coffee in the morning. Favorite quote: Celebrate mistakes! I used to tell my students this on a daily basis. It is so true that some of my greatest lessons and opportunities have been a result of learning and growing from a mistake. Life's too short and precious to try to be perfect, accept yourself for who you are and own your decisions. Most influential person in your life? My mom — she inspired me to be an educator, taught me to be independent, caring, fun and optimistic.

Interviewed by Natalie Bieser

August 2011

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The Help by Katy Crossen Man, I hated Hilly Holbrook. When I read the award-winning novel, The Help (also a major motion picture of the same name in theatres now), I was struck by some parallels that resonated with me. A gawky, journalist-type serving as a member of the Junior League? The “Skeeter” character fit parts of me to a T. Thankfully, my real-life Junior League experience mirrors few other plot lines found in this page-turner.

From the Placement Committee… If you are an active member, you should have been contacted by your committee by now. If you have not, please let us know. We’re happy to help.

We’d also like to know how your league year is getting started and want to be sure you know are here to answer any of your questions.

Simply email jlcplacement with any feedback, questions, or concerns.

Thank you!

Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s, The Help reveals a story about a budding writer who uncovers different societal dynamics when covertly interviewing some of the community's domestic labor. Skeeter Phelan, a white, privileged, 22-year-old college graduate, begins noticing differing philosophies among her fellow Junior League members and herself. These polarizing beliefs inspire her to secretly interview some of her friends' African American maids, an effort that helps uncover the civil rights movement unfolding before her very eyes. The young author and her subjects are honest, dedicated and courageous. Some of Skeeter's Junior League counterparts are stalwart in their stance against diversity. The ringleader of this opposition is Hilly Holbrook, a wealthy socialite who is married to an up-and-coming politician. She and her closest allies openly oppose any moves to accommodate their maids, and they also rally against a white woman with a modest past who is desperate to be accepted by their group. Their unwillingness to accept others yields several mishaps, including an unfortunate stunt with an unsavory pastry. I'd tell you more, but the story is just too good, and I'd hate to ruin it for you. This resistance to include others might have been the scenario in the 1960s Jackson, Mississippi League, but I am grateful and proud to say our own Junior League of Cincinnati openly embraces diversity of all kinds. Our organization welcomes members who represent different races, nationalities, beliefs and other points of diversity. Our League's richness and strength come from a membership with a wealth of experience, knowledge and talents - points that only come from celebrating our uniqueness. If you haven't read or seen The Help, I highly suggest you check it out. Soak it in and revel in how much our society at large has evolved, and how blessed we are to champion a membership with a variety of differences. And then dig in to a big piece of chocolate pie.


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Sustainers’ Segment: There’s No Place Like Home by Darlene Kamine matriculated from eighth grade to high school as the cultural beliefs of the families made them reluctant to allow their children to go to school outside of their neighborhood. Adult illiteracy in the neighborhood was among the highest in the region and parents were unable to help students with their homework or provide the support typically available from a PTA. Epidemic teen pregnancy also meant that many of the parents of children at McKinley were barely more than kids themselves.

When the Junior League of Cincinnati moved into our new home at Columbia Center in 1991, we decided that our commitment to improve the quality of life in our community should begin in our JLC neighborhood. As the well- being of children was our long standing priority, we looked for the nearby public school to see if we could be of help. Just a short distance from Columbia Center on Eastern Avenue we found McKinley School, a Cincinnati Public elementary school which had served the children in Columbia Tusculum and the East End since 1876. Despite its proximity to Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout where most of our members lived, McKinley and the surrounding area were a world apart from what most of us had ever known. Through our JLC training and general meeting presentations, we learned that the neighborhood was predominantly Urban Appalachian, a minority group not common in most of the country. The





Carol Conlan, a teacher at McKinley and a Junior League member, worked with us to develop a project that would help level the playing field for the McKinley students. Beginning in the fall of 1991, FLIGHT was launched with an initial grant from the JLC of $5000. Dozens of League members became tutors and mentors, working one-on-one on a weekly basis with McKinley students. One of the most innovative aspects of FLIGHT was an incentive program which the FLIGHT Committee developed to motivate and reward students. Students earned points for regular attendance, good behavior and academic achievement and banked their points to spend at the monthly visit to the FLIGHT store. The children were given the independence to shop for whatever their points would buy, from small items like pencils to wondrous merchandise like roller blades and boom boxes. Coming from low income families which typically lived from paycheck to paycheck, the incentive system taught the kids how to save and plan for the future. If they wanted to buy more expensive merchandise, they had to skip some shopping sprees and save for the big ticket item that they could afford the following month. Judy Dalambakis, one of the JLC FLIGHT volunteers, recalls how moved she was when one little boy saved his points to buy a present for his sister. Many of the

children used their dearly held points to buy presents for their moms at Christmas. “The kids loved when the League came,“ said Conlan. “The League volunteers were so patient and loving. The kids adored them. And the teachers loved the incentive program too. It really helped them motivate their students.” Another unique and invaluable feature of FLIGHT was the field trip program. Tight school budgets and lack of family resources made most field trips an impossible dream. As a visit to a museum or the symphony or the downtown library would only happen for the students as part of a school sponsored event, field trips took on much greater importance for the McKinley children. The FLIGHT Committee jumped into action with a field trip catalogue which they assembled with input from teachers and their own research. Each teacher received a bound field trip book and the opportunity to select two field trips – all expenses paid by the JLC. The JLC FLIGHT volunteers made all of the arrangements including transportation and chaperones. As parent involvement is commonly regarded as a key element in student success, FLIGHT volunteers developed close relationships with the parents and families to help them help their children. They were able to start a PTA, first with three parents, then ten and growing. By the third year of FLIGHT, the PTA had officers and organized their first school carnival. The president of the McKinley PTA came to a JLC meeting to share her excitement about the transformation that the JLC had led for their school. Most important, she was proud that her son was the first in recent memory to be accepted to Walnut Hills High School from McKinley. ...Continued on page 13

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No Place Like Home, continued FLIGHT became one of the longest running JLC projects. After three years at McKinley, FLIGHT moved to other schools and remained active until 2001 with a total of almost $100,000 allocated from the JLC over the nine years. Relationships between JLC members and their FLIGHT kids continued even beyond the run of the project. Francie Morrison, an early FLIGHT volunteer, began mentoring McKinley student Melissa in the sixth grade and remained in regular contact with her until Melissa was 25 years old. Last year, the Junior League went home again when Kids in the Kitchen expanded the school program to Riverview East, the new building and new name for the former McKinley School. And once again, JLC Sustainer Carol Conlan, now retired from teaching, became the Sustainer Advisor to Kids in the Kitchen. Conlan is still working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the children and families in our JLC neighborhood, now helping them to make healthy choices in food and lifestyle. More than 55 students were engaged in the year-long Kids in the Kitchen after school program and the KITK Committee will be back again this year with expanded and even more exciting programming. “The success of FLIGHT and now KITK,” said Conlan, “is that we are empowering the children to improve their own lives.”

JLC Interest Groups include… Wine Tasting Children/ Families— New Moms Book Club Exploring Cincinnati Networking Exercise Contact Lisa Hubbard, Membership VP by email at lp_hubbard@

Introducing… JLC Interest Groups! Are you a foodie? Love trying different wines? A new mom looking for fun activities with your children and other JLC families? Love reading and talking about books? Want to explore our vibrant city? Do you network? Or, want to try different exercise routines? Yes? Then, the JLC Interest Groups are for you! Born out of the Membership Council’s goal to engage our members at all stages of life, and to help foster the JLC community beyond meetings activities, the Membership Engagement Task Force has created five wide-ranging interest groups designed to do just that. We piloted the Food & Wine Interest Group in June, hosted by task force member and Jody’s Network Chair, Liane Szucs. She even created a “box” of supplies to hand off to the next hostess. “The beauty of the way we set up the interest groups is that the next event will be hosted by a new person, but providing this box gives everyone a sense of continuity,” says Szucs. For my box, I included a book about wine, sacks to put the bottles in, and tags for wine glasses. Plus, a list of group members, of course. We all had a fabulous time sampling various wines, voting on our favorites, and just spending time with friends.” If you are interested in joining and/or hosting any of the Interest Groups, please contact Membership VP Lisa Hubbard at or (859)322-4072. — LH


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Congratulations, Pat Matchette Congratulations to Pat Matchette, director of the Junior League Choral Group for the last 40 years, for receiving the Alumni Merit Award from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Pat received this distinguished honor for her service in music in school, church, and community. We are incredibly proud you are a part of the Junior League of Cincinnati, and thank you for giving back to our community for more than four decades. — BG

Calling all transfers! First-Ever All Transfer Event... Did you transfer into the Cincinnati League? If so, Transfer Committee wants to hear from you! They are very excited to announce two all-Transfers events this year. The first event will be a happy hour on October 19 at the home of Natalie Schoney. Transfer Chairman, Katie Koppenhoeffer, is really looking forward to this event. “We're hosting this Happy Hour for all Transfers from last week, last year and decades past. We're really excited to see many, many Transfers on October 19." There will also be an all-Transfers “Think Tank” event on January 26. "Transfers have a wealth of information and experiences from other Junior Leagues,” said Koppenhoeffer. “We want to better tap into that knowledge bank to improve the Junior League of Cincinnati." So, come mingle with new and established Transfers, and share your great experiences from the Cincinnati League and Leagues past. Locations for both events are to be determined. — SL

Cookbooks — always a perfect choice! by Tiffany Boyd Whenever you need a gift for a hostess, holiday, or other special occasion or celebration, don’t forget a Junior League cookbook! Not only can you purchase copies of our latest cookbook, Cincinnati Seasoned, but also copies of When Pigs Fly and other League books. Please visit the JLC website, and click on the eStore link for more information. You can also purchase any of the books straight from Columbia Center. Email Meredith Comin,, or Kim Hemmer,, for more information. Exciting news! In preparation for fall, the Cookbook Committee is working on a great new event that will be sure to grab your attention. Make sure you stay tuned for further details about the weekend of November 12, 2011!

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Save the Date for Upcoming Events... SEPTEMBER


9/6/11 September General Meeting: Amy Tobin ‘Inspired Ideas’ & The Scar Project

10/4/11 October General Meeting: PAC, City Council Candidate Reception and Senate Bill #5 Debate Cincinnati Museum Center (open to the public)

9/9/11 Membership Outreach and Events, Happy Hour at The Rookwood 9/11/11 CandO: National Day of Service and Remembrance 9/15/11 Kroger Private Selections Tasting Columbia Center, 6:30 pm 9/17/11 New Mom’s Interest Group: Blue Ash Nature Preserve 9/24/11 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 9/29/11 Book Club Interest Group, “Something Borrowed” by Emily Griffin

10/9/11 5K: Junior League Jog: with emcee Julie Isphording. Join us for the 2nd JLC 5K Run/ Walk and family festival at Hyde Park Elementary School. 10/20/11 Emerging Leaders Orientation Session Hosted by Nominating & Leadership Development. Learn about JLC leadership tracks and the nomination process. 10/22/11 CODE Day (Connect Ohio Develop Educate); Canton, OH If you haven’t experienced CODE Day, please join us as we connect with all of the Ohio Junior Leagues to network and share ideas. The JLC will send 10 people to CODE Day. If interested, please contact your Council VP.

10/22/11 New Mom’s Interest Group Pumpkin Patch 10/27/11 CandO Annual Halloween Party Children’s Hospital Medical Center

NOVEMBER 11/1/11 November General Meeting: Leadership Development, Navigating your way onto a Non-Profit Board panel discussion 11/10/11 CandO, Past Project Volunteer Day. Choose a volunteer opportunity from a selection of past projects. Learn more about our history and contributions to the city while giving back! 11/12/11 Cookbook: Tour of Kitchens Event — BG

Engage, Enhance Your Membership, and Enjoy! by Natalie Bieser The Junior League’s Membership Outreach and Events committees have merged to create a new, improved Membership Outreach and Events Committee, which will result in coordinated recruitment events and increased member engagement. Under the leadership of Co-Chairs, Lisa Mayer and Megan Stacey and Vice Chairs Alex Doyle and Emily Roberts, the committee has been working hard to plan the next JLC Social on Friday, September 9th at The Rookwood in Mt. Adams for the first event of the 2011-2012 JLC year. Check out the historic kilns and view of the city. Relax with a cocktail and great company on the outdoor patio. A $5 donation will be collected at the door benefitting the JLC. All are welcome to attend! The Events and Membership committee has the dual mission of recruiting new members as well as providing an opportunity for League women to continue to build relationships. The committee is looking forward to planning several unique events and information sessions throughout the year. As a committee, they plan to collaborate with other chairs to make membership information available during all of our events.

Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 1876 Cincinnati, Ohio

Columbia Center 3500 Columbia Parkway Cincinnati, Ohio 45226

Presenting… JLC’s Member T-Shirt! After receiving 15 t-shirt design submissions, and narrowing the field to three, the votes are in and a winner has been selected! We’re pleased to present the 2011-2012 Junior League of Cincinnati Member t-shirt. Molly Rice submitted the original design, JL “loves” Cincy. Dorrie McCarthy then produced the final image designs, which incorporate the Junior League’s projects to incorporate the JLC’s identity. “We believe that by placing the projects on the shirt, it will mean more to everyone who wears it,” McCarthy says. “In the past 91 years, so much heart, effort and commitment has gone into these projects. The JLC has made Cincy a better city by contributing to these, and we think it is a good reminder as to where the JLC has been and where we are going.” Congratulations to Molly for the wonderful design, and special thanks to Dorrie for the final product. T-shirts will be distributed at our September General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, September 6, and members will be encouraged to wear them proudly as they volunteer around the city this year. — CB

JLC Perspectives - Summer 2011 Issue  

The quarterly newsletter of the Junior League of Cincinnati

JLC Perspectives - Summer 2011 Issue  

The quarterly newsletter of the Junior League of Cincinnati