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folio spring 2018

The Region’s


in Births

At USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, more families trust us to deliver their babies than any other hospital in the region. With that trust comes our commitment to health care focused on the needs of infants, children and women.

Our highly trained team of physicians and nurses will give you and your baby the best care close to home. And if your baby needs more specialized care, you won’t have to be separated. We have the area’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our promise to you is our mission: We help people lead longer, better lives. folio spring 2018




Spring & Summer Recipes



5 advertisers index

9 community thank yous

6 letter from the president

13 healthy children: hunger, nutrition and fitness

7 how to advertise in the next issue of folio 8 letter from the editor 10 contributors to folio


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16 stronger together: sustaining the junior league of mobile 38 community assistance fund

PROMOTING VOLUNTEERISM 22 creath edens townsend: 2017 sustainer of the year

24 2017/2018 jlm leadership team 32 2016-2017 jlm fundraiser highlights 33 2016-2017 jlm annual report



Stronger Together: Sustaining the JLM

The Power of Mentors



Focus Women’s Conference


Cooper Restaurants ................................................ PG 2

St. Mary Catholic School........................................PG 32

USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital ....................... PG 3

JLM Membership..................................................PG 33

Friedman’s Fine Jewelry.......................................... PG 7

ServisFirst Bank.....................................................PG 36

29 the power of mentors

Regions ......................................... Centerfold PG 20–21

The Orthopaedic Group.........................................PG 37

34 tempting recipes for spring and summer

Ocean Springs, MS................................................PG 23

Corpus Christi Catholic School...............................PG 37

Downtown Mobile Alliance...................................PG 23

Designer Collection...............................................PG 37

High Cotton Consignments...................................PG 23

Chapel Farm Collection.........................................PG 39

UMS Wright Preparatory School............................PG 28

JLM Save the Date......................................... Back Cover

12 focus women’s conference

The Center for Reproductive Medicine..................PG 31 Port City Rentals....................................................PG 32

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President’s Letter Often, I am asked, “What is the Junior League of Mobile?” My response, “The Junior League of Mobile (JLM) is an organization of powerful women who are game changers, civic and community leaders, who get things done in our communities all while adhering to our mission of promoting volunteerism, improving our communities and developing the potential of women through effective training and leadership development. JLM members know how to execute fundraisers and create magical, well run events all while having a great time, developing their leadership skills and meeting like-minded women. The Junior League of Mobile is a top notch, well run organization.”

Amy Carpenter President, Junior League of Mobile 2017–2018

Throughout this year, I have watched us in action and have had the great opportunity to witness the beauty in all that the JLM does in our surrounding area. Our members have volunteered thousands of hours to put together our fundraisers (BluePass, Christmas Jubilee and Jubilee Bargains), support our community projects and provide training opportunities inside and outside of JLM. Each volunteer hour that JLM contributes, every organization we support, every cause we help, and every life we touch makes a positive impact on our community. The members of JLM never cease to amaze me. I am constantly humbled by their commitment to make a difference in our communities. For the past four years, JLM has committed to improving our community through specific actions focused on Healthy Children: Hunger, Fitness and Nutrition. For 2018– 19, JLM remains committed to making a measurable impact on healthy children. Our Research Council has researched the needs of Mobile and Baldwin Counties for over two years. After reviewing the data, our membership has selected Arts and Education as the focus of our financial and volunteer resources for the next five years beginning in June of 2019. The JLM is committed to making this focus area a success. We look forward to working with new corporate and individual sponsors who share our dream of a better community for our children through arts and education. It will be exciting to work with new and existing community partners as we share the tradition of giving that the JLM has enjoyed for 87 years. Non-profit agencies should look for future communications from JLM on the new focus area and how they can apply and partner with JLM moving forward. Enjoy this issue of folio as it highlights the outstanding work of several Sustaining members and showcases the current work of our trained volunteers. The Junior League of Mobile membership is made up of civic and community leaders from the past 87 years and these ladies will continue to make a difference over the next 87 years. Amy Palmer Carpenter President 2017–18


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A COMMUNITY PUBLICATION OF THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE EDITOR Lee Williams Weldon CONTRIBUTORS Valynda Jerome-Williams (Editor-elect), Monica Peterson, Ann Eleece Kouns, Contina Woods, Casandra Butler Andrews, Mary Jane Cobb GRAPHIC DESIGNER Courtney R. Smith MISSION STATEMENT Junior League of Mobile is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. folio is published twice a year. All rights are reserved. Reproduction without permission, except by other Junior League publications, is prohibited. The office is located at 57 N. Sage Ave., Mobile AL 36607, (251) 471-3348.


Learn more at



Please address all advertising space and rate inquiries to: folio Magazine, Ad Manager 57 N. Sage Ave. Mobile, AL 36607 p: (251) 471-3348 f: (251) 471-3340 e: For more information or to download an advertising contract, visit us at:




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Letter from the Editor As summer approaches, the passing of the gavel for the Leadership Team and the welcoming of the newest members of the Junior League of Mobile (JLM) signifies a time to reflect on the work of JLM throughout the past year. As we emphasize our recent impact on the community, we remain cognizant of the work accomplished by so many before us. This issue of folio features a special THANK YOU to the Sustaining Members of JLM who make us Stronger Together (p. 16). In addition, we have featured some of the recipes from Bay Tables, a cookbook published by the JLM in 1999 as a fundraiser of the JLM. Each year, members of the JLM invest countless hours of volunteerism in our community. This issue of folio features the work of these volunteers. Our focus of Healthy Children: Hunger, Fitness and Nutrition (p. 13) illuminates the community partners we work with throughout the year and the collective impact our volunteers have. This issue also highlights one of the defining aspects of the JLM mission, developing the potential of women, in the articles on the Power of Mentorship (p. 29) and Focus Women’s Conference (p. 12).

Lee Williams Weldon folio Editor, 2017–2018

Thank you to the many contributors to this issue of folio. I would especially like to thank Valynda Jerome-Williams for her assistance throughout the year. We wish our readers a wonderful summer and year ahead. Lee Williams Weldon

2017–2018 LeadershipTeam: Back Row Left to Right: Ashley Suggs, Sarah Bumgarner, Breanna Pryor, Beth Sumlin, Alison Herlihy, Krista Harrell, Lucy Pryor Slaton, Kaiesha Ford, Jennifer Denson, Amanda Gonzales,Kate Irvine, Amy Groves, Jenny Humphries, and Dot Howard. Front Row Left to Right: Ann Sirmon, Meagan Barnett, Amy Carpenter, and Sabrina Alexander.


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Community Thank Yous

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Contributors to folio Valynda Jerome-Williams, Editor-Elect Education Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida (A.A., B.S. in Criminology and English Literature, Master of Social Work in Social Policy and Administration) Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, Montgomery, Alabama (J.D., LL.M. in Dispute Resolution and Advocacy) Spouse Derrick Williams, Assistant City Prosecutor for the City of Mobile, husband of nearly nine (9) years. Occupation Staff Attorney, Legal Services Alabama

Favorite Thing About JLM I absolutely love being around women leaders who selflessly give their time, ideas, and resources to better society. My favorite thing about being in JLM is the endless opportunity to volunteer in the community, year-round, with all groups of people. Volunteering is a rewarding experience. Oftentimes I volunteer to help others, but I leave the experience having enriched my own life. Hobbies Writing, dancing, teaching, helping others, learning and meeting new people from different walks of life.

Contina Woods Education University of Southern Mississippi Spouse & Children She and husband, Ricardo Woods, have two children, Danielle and Morgan. Occupation Vice President, Treasury Management Officer, Regions Bank

Favorite Thing About JLM JLM makes it easy to contribute to the community by providing flexible options to participate that fit a variety of different schedules. Hobbies Reading, food, wine and spending time with family.

Monica Peterson Education Newcomb College of Tulane University Occupation Experience in Sales, Marketing and Special events Spouse & Children She and husband, Craig Peterson, have five children ranging in ages from 10–32.

Favorite Thing About JLM Monica is happy to be a part of such a wonderful organization. She is still in awe of the Junior League’s power to make our community a better place and relishes being part of that. Hobbies Running, reading, writing, genealogy and traveling.

Casandra Butler Andrews Education University of South Alabama, Class of 1996. Occupation Assistant Director, Marketing & Communications, University of South Alabama Hospitals Spouse & Children She and husband, Glenn, have two children.


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Favorite Thing About JLM Writing for folio offers the opportunity to share stories of JLM’s amazing members, such as Vaughan Morrissette, who have made our community a better place to call home.

Ann Eleece Kouns Education Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of South Alabama; Master’s in Public Administration, pending. Occupation Associate Director, Medical Alumni Relations, University of South Alabama Spouse & Children She and husband, Jeff, are the proud parents of 4: Rhiannon (a Jack Russell), Gypsy (Boxer), Sammy (Chihuahua), and Sadie (Miniature Pinscher)

Favorite Thing About JLM The members are Ann Eleece’s absolute favorite part of JLM. She has the pleasure of meeting inspiring women who, through their actions and mentorship, have pushed her to do more, grow more, and be proud of the accomplishments and impact JLM has made on our community. Hobbies Hand embroidery because it is an incredible stress reliever allowing for time to relax and unplug while still being productive and creative.

Mary Jane Cobb Education Louisiana State University (LSU in Baton Rouge), with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1958. Graduate Courses at the University of Houston and the University of Maryland. Spouse & Children Married to H. Stewart Cobb, Jr. (Hank), a 5th generation native Mobilian. Two sons, Stewart III and Mitchell.

Favorite Thing About JLM She has enjoyed meeting new friends while working on her Jubilee Bargains and Christmas Jubilee placements. Hobbies Participating in various organizations, such as JLM, Bay Gales at Mobile Yacht Club and Friends of Old Mobile. She also enjoys playing with her beagles, Sassy and Snoopy, visiting with friends and reading books on her Kindle.

Oftentimes I volunteer to help others, but I leave the experience having enriched my own life.

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By Anne Eleece Kouns After spending time in Los Angeles, Devin Ford moved back to Mobile about five years ago. While in L.A., she attended the West Hollywood Women’s Conference, an event that became a catalyst for personal development, inspiring her to become intimately involved in women’s groups in L.A. that focused on female mentorship and empowerment, including the Women’s Political Caucus and the Ebell Wilshire Women’s Club. The impact these social, political, and volunteer involvements had on Devin runs deep. So much so that she decided to develop a conference similar to the West Hollywood Women’s Conference that serves Mobile and Baldwin Counties women called the Focus Women’s Conference. On September 22, 2017, women from across our area gathered at the Mobile Convention Center for a myriad of workshops and speakers; illuminating professional development opportunities, inspiring personal growth, fostering entrepreneurial skills, and calling for collective community action. Junior League of Mobile members Stacy Wellborn, Shellie Teague, and Susan Shaw assisted Ford with facilitating this event. The mission of Focus is to educate, encourage, and empower women to achieve economic independence by identifying mentors and igniting a passion for change in our community. Sponsored by the Junior League of Mobile, the key note speaker, Rachel Macy Stafford, began the day with an inspiring challenge to participants to set aside daily distractions, be captivated by the simple moments in life and not live according to to-do lists. Stafford, a celebrity blogger and New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama and Only Love Today, also encouraged the attendees to live a life that brings joy, hope and happiness. The day progressed as participants chose which workshop presentations were applicable to their personal or professional needs. Speakers worked in concert to enact the mission of the conference, focusing on personal and professional growth, and building community. The topics ran the gamut from empowering women for financial freedom, how to become an elected or appointed official,


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save the date October 19, 2018 Location: University of South Alabama Student Center

keynote speaker Anjali Forber-Pratt 2011 World Champion in the 200m and holds two bronze medals from the Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.

skill development on conflict resolution and communication skills, and how to create and mobilize a personal brand. Other speakers included: Connie Hudson, District Two Mobile County Commissioner; Liz Freeman, President of Long’s Human Resource Services; Ashley Rich, Mobile County District Attorney; Dr. Krista Harrell, Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator for the University of South Alabama; Rev. Dr. Beverly Gibson, 23rd Rector and 2nd Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile; and Dr. Jamie Loran Franco-Zamudio, Associate Professor of Psychology at Spring Hill College. Lunch was held midday between workshops and featured a panel who focused on the topic of breaking the glass ceiling, an informal barrier to professional advancement. The discussion was guided by Kelly Finley, a 17 year news veteran and current member of the FM 106.5 talk team. Other panelists included Judge Terri Willingham Thomas, Alabama Court of Civil Appeals; Angela Adams Suggs, President, Florida Sports Foundation; and Ashley Rich. Drawing from diverse backgrounds and professional duties, this panel was able to illuminate the challenges they have faced in their careers and personal lives and how they each overcame them.

BY: M O N I C A P E T E R S O N folio spring 2018


In September 2013, the general membership of Junior League of Mobile (JLM) voted to adopt the Impact Area of Healthy Children: Hunger, Nutrition and Fitness. The new impact area’s mission is to combat childhood hunger while teaching the importance of nutrition and exercise. The Junior League of Mobile embarked on this important initiative with new volunteer opportunities.

The Backpack Program In partnership with Feeding the Gulf Coast Food Pantry, the Backpack Program provides children needing assistance with packaged food to eat on the weekends. Currently, JLM assists Mobile area schools: Collins-Road, Spencer Westlawn, Craighead, and Just 4 Development. DeAnna Ferguson, backpack program chair, explained that teachers at these schools have been trained to pick out signs of chronic hunger in their students. On Friday afternoons, teachers discreetly place two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners in the backpacks of 154 children. Darlene Lewis, M.Ed. School Counselor of Craighead Elementary School, explains, “Our parents, students, and school staff are highly appreciative of the availability of the Backpack Program through the Junior League of Mobile. Many of our students are so excited to receive food bags to take home on the weekend. We are blessed to have the Junior League of Mobile as partners in education. Thanks for all you do!” Not only do the members of JLM participate, but children of JLM members also assist as JLM Little Leaguers. These JLM members’ children ages 6-12, helped pack 200 bags of weekend food for the Backpack Program. Not only did this serve to encourage volunteerism in our own children, but also taught them the importance of healthy eating.

“Our parents, students, and school staff are highly appreciative of the availability of the Backpack Program through the Junior League of Mobile. Many of our students are so excited to receive food bags to take home on the weekend. We are blessed to have the Junior League of Mobile as partners in education.” 14

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The Dumas Wesley After School Project and Summer Program As part of this JLM community program, volunteers arrive on Wednesday afternoons to offer children a healthy snack and fitness class. Children in this program are exposed to healthy foods, healthy eating on a budget, and a fitness activity such as, Yoga or Tai Chi. Rebecca Eskridge, JLM volunteer, shared that parents who arrive early always wait patiently for their child to finish the activity. The parents and children love this program and don’t want their children to miss it.

Prodisee Pantry In Baldwin County, JLM volunteer Shelly Thigpen chairs a committee of 16 volunteers, who pack boxes for weekly donations at Prodisee Pantry. Additionally, her committee participates in fundraisers benefitting Prodisee Pantry such as the Turkey Trot 5K race and Fun Run held in Daphne during the fall. JLM supported Prodisee Pantry last year with $1500 to provide needy Baldwin County families with milk over the summer.

The Joseph Project JLM past president and sustainer, Leigh Faircloth, operates a “well-oiled machine” to provide food for needy families, with partners Dumas Wesley and Ashland Methodist Church. As many as 4,902 households are served annually, with 6,796 children receiving food from this program. Faircloth is selective about the food she allows into this program and refuses to give anyone “junk food”. Sweet potatoes, citrus fruit, beans, and peanut butter are among the nutritious foods Faircloth insures to the beneficiaries of The Joseph Project. She also mentioned basic toiletries are collected to give along with food. JLM provides seven volunteers per week during the Summer as well as $9,000 annually to help buy food from Feeding the Gulf Coast Food Pantry. Rachel Beebe, JLM chair of The Joseph Project placement, explained she does her placement in the summer, but then she can’t stay away. Beebe said, “All of it’s rewarding, but Thursdays are the most personally rewarding as I interact with the clients of The Joseph Project, and see what a direct impact it makes on them.” She never tires of knowing these grateful people are served in such an important way. JLM volunteer, Cassidy Cooper, is a Sociology Professor at The University of Mobile. Because of her exposure to The Joseph Project through JLM, Cooper has a group of her students join the efforts on Project Serve. This is an annual day off of classes

for students at The University of Mobile in which the students are introduced to volunteering in the Mobile area. Her students have prepared the supplemental bags that The Joseph Project distributes to veterans in commemoration of Veteran’s Day. She also provides The Joseph Project with student volunteers to deep clean the food pantry. Cooper added, “Leigh is a gifted leader. She sets the tone and provides the framework for the operation to run smoothly and efficiently while simultaneously allowing others to take the lead and feel empowered to make The Joseph Project their own…Faircloth’s less than 5 minute introduction to the program connected so deeply with these students that their work and prayer was a genuine reflection of TJP’s mission.” Celle Hudgens, JLM sustainer and Joseph Project volunteer has joined her longtime friend, Faircloth, regularly over the years and shared, “ Giving back to the community just gives you a great feeling!” JLM has truly made an impact in the focus area of Healthy Children: Hunger, Nutrition and Fitness, through these current placements. There are so many additional layers of volunteerism in these placements than active volunteers fulfilling a placement. Whether members’ children, members’ college students, or sustaining members – the JLM’s extended community has pulled together to lend continuous crucial support to these programs.

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SUSTAINING THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MOBILE By Casandra Andrews The Junior League of Mobile’s (JLM) sustaining members, also known as sustainers, play a vital role in the women’s volunteer organization, giving their time, financial support and leadership skills to ensure the sustainability of the group in the community for years to come. “We are so grateful for the assistance that sustaining members offer the Junior League of Mobile,” said Amy Carpenter, JLM President for 2017–2018. “A Sustaining Representative has a place at the board table each year to offer perspective on the history of our group, ensuring that we know where we have been as we look to the future.”


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Left to Right: Kit Caffey (Sustainer), Amy Carpenter (2017–2018 President), and Susan Mims (Sustainer).

It’s because of their hard work and dedication that we are able to continue developing the potential of women and building stronger communities."

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It takes more than a decade before an active member of the Junior League of Mobile qualifies to become a sustainer. JLM members are eligible to become sustainers after serving as a provisional member for a year and then by serving as an active member for a minimum of 10 years. Sustainers may continue to seek volunteer placements within JLM if they choose, but are not required to attend meetings. A sustainer liaison also is named each year within Junior League of Mobile to maintain an open line of communication with the longtime members. Because of their importance to JLM, sustaining members have been recognized annually for several decades with a special luncheon where a “Sustainer of the Year” is selected who best exemplifies JLM’s mission. Junior League of Mobile is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. “Sustainers, who make up the largest portion of our membership,” Carpenter said, “also offer meaningful support to Junior League of Mobile’s active members in other ways. They take part in fundraising events such as Christmas Jubilee, BluePass and Jubilee Bargains, which help fund our mission. We certainly wouldn’t have the impact in the community we have today without our sustainers.” Sustainers also have all the privileges of membership except that they don’t hold office or vote, with the exception of the Sustaining Representative on the Board of Directors, who is granted the right to vote on matters that come before the board. More than 1,000 women strong, Junior League of Mobile sustaining members have been instrumental in developing many of JLM’s most enduringly successful legacy projects during its 87-year history in Mobile. Legacy projects are organizations which were founded all or in part by Junior League of Mobile support and funding that continue to thrive today as sustaining entities addressing specific community needs. JLM legacy agencies and programs include: The Carlen House Museum, The Child Advocacy Center, The Preschool for the Sensory Impaired, Volunteer Mobile, Mobile Arts Council, The Gulf Coast Exploreum HandsOn Science Learning Center, The Drug Education Council, Mobile Public Library’s Bookmobile Program, Mobile Area Education Foundation, the Visiting Nurses Association, United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile, and the Child Daycare Association among others. “I encourage all of our active members to show their gratitude to our sustainers whenever they have an opportunity,” Carpenter said. “It’s because of their hard work and dedication that we are able to continue developing the potential of women and building stronger communities.”


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Top: Ann Sirmon, Jessica King, and Beth Majure. Middle Left: Jessica King, Beth Majure, Deb Becker fill out their name tags for the event. Middle Right: Shay Kintz, Jeanie Wilkins, Louise Battiste pose for a photo at the event. Bottom: Hostess of the Sustainer Cocktail Party, Julie Gonzales Flotte and her mother Dean Gonzales

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We come together

for reaching goals. THIS COMMUNITY

This community is where you invest in the future, and it’s where we love to watch you grow. We share your commitment to a brighter tomorrow and the community we’re all a part of. You make this community better every day, and you inspire us to make banking easier, so we all have more time to enjoy life as we take our next step together in this place we call home.

1.800.regions | © 2018 Regions Bank. Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.


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2 0 1 7 S U S TA I N E R O F T H E Y E A R

Creath Edens Townsend BY CASANDRA ANDREWS


o recognize their important role within

Creath’s commitment to the DYW program,

Junior League of Mobile (JLM), a

formerly known as America’s Junior Miss,

Sustainer of the Year award is given annually to

began more than two decades ago, Diehl said.

a sustaining member who best exemplifies the

For many years, Creath has served as the Host

organization’s mission. The award recipient also

Family Coordinator where she works with area

demonstrates outstanding volunteer service and

families, recruiting them to open their homes

continuous dedication to JLM and the Mobile

each year for two weeks to the young women

and Baldwin County communities.

coming to Mobile to compete during National Finals.

Creath Edens Townsend was selected as the 2017 Sustainer of the Year during a luncheon

“Pairing local families with 50 young women is

held in November at the Mobile Convention

no easy task!” Diehl said. “Creath has worked

Center. Elizabeth Diehl, the Junior League of

to find the right matches for the girls, help

Mobile’s 2016 Sustainer of the Year, presented the award. “Creath has provided servant leadership to JLM for more than 20 years and continues to serve our

Elizabeth Diehl (2016 Sustainer of the Year) and Creath Edens Townsend (2017 Sustainer of the Year)


the families prepare for two weeks of hectic schedules, and ensure that everything runs smoothly.” Creath also served as a host family for many years

community,” Diehl told those gathered at the 2017


luncheon. “Her passion for people and improving


young women she hosted. In 2017, Creath and

dedication to our community. She strives to make a


Miss America finals to support participants she

positive impact on the activities about which she is


the lives of those around her truly speaks to her

passionate. Her community involvement is driven by a deep concern and care for her neighbors.” One of Creath’s greatest impacts on JLM, according to those who nominated her for the award, is her continued involvement with Distinguished Young Women (DYW), a program


that awards college scholarships and offers life skills training to high school students in the U.S.

and continues to have close relationships with the her family attended the Miss Washington and personally hosted. The longtime volunteer now serves on DYW’s Board of Directors and is working to coordinate logistics for the two weeks of finals that begin in June 2018. Her Junior League of Mobile tenure includes serving as Community Vice President, Provisional

Chair, Preview Party Chair for Christmas Jubilee twice, Provisional Small Group Leader and Sustaining Advisor to the Membership

Creath is credited with implementing JLM’s volunteer opportunity “Done

Development Council.

in a Day” which later became known as “Be Your Best Self Day” that allows young women taking part in the national Distinguished Young

“She is a wonderful example of servant leader,” Diehl said. “Creath is

Women program to serve for one day with JLM’s community partners.

the definition of a Junior League of Mobile member who continues to unselfishly serve our community with her training and gifts.”


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Fowler Lighting

May 10: Taste of Ocean Springs Food & Wine Festival (Tickets Required)

June 2: Red, White & Blueberry Festival High Cotton ad

July 20-21: July Sidewalk Sale


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2017–2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Amy Carpenter, President Active since 2003. From Jackson, MS. Married to Richard E. Carpenter, Sr. with two children, Reed (13) and Andrew (9) and one sweet dog Molly (7). Works at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals as an Executive Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist, focused on selling respiratory products for COPD and asthma patients. I joined JLM to meet like minded women in my community and to find an organized way to volunteer in Mobile. I have made so many friends and connections. Through my placements, I have learned so many leadership skills that I take with me into my workplace and other organizations where I volunteer. JLM has allowed me to grow as an individual and allowed me to make my community a better place while enjoying time with my fellow League members. Favorite placement to date: It is a tie! Being the Project Chair for our new members and being the 85th Anniversary Chair.

Meagan Barnett, President-Elect Active since 2009. From Mobile, AL. Two children, Emerson (8) and Bobby (6). Works at Barnett Millworks as a Controller. I returned to Mobile in 2008 and joined JLM to meet new people through community service. I had no children and also recently left a time consuming career in public accounting. Today, almost ten years later, I have two children who see volunteers committed to improving our community through hands-on service. My children and I have spent our days packing meals for others, maintaining and planting community gardens, and preparing for fundraisers. The Junior League of Mobile has provided me lifelong friendships, organized volunteer training and service, and mentorship from the most fabulous women leaders in our area.

Sabrina Alexander, Executive Vice President Active since 2013. From Mobile, AL. Married to James M. Alexander, III with three children, Sudduth (21), Ethan (18), Jonah (9). Works at S. Alexander Consulting, Inc. as a Public Relations Consultant. I waited a long time to join Junior League of Mobile. I waited until my family and my career were ready for me to go “all in.” I joined to develop my own potential as a community leader and communications professional but I did not expect to gain lifelong friends along the way. Serving as your EVP has been the most challenging and yet the most rewarding volunteer “’job” I have ever had the pleasure of doing. I have had the very best team leading our hardworking volunteers to serve our community and complete successful fundraisers to fund our mission.

Kate Irvine, Treasurer Active since 2006. From Daphne, AL. Works at Bellator Real Estate & Development as a Realtor. I joined The Junior League of Washington, D.C. as a way to meet new people while also getting involved in the local community. I have always looked up to my best friend, my Mom, and she has been a long standing member of JLM and wanted to follow in her footsteps. I will never forget meeting my everlasting friend Barb Brousseau, whom transferred from the Northern VA chapter just next door to DC at the very same time I transferred to JLM. We both live in Daphne and instantly clicked as friends with those small similarities.

Jennifer Denson, Recording Secretary Active since 2010. From Mobile, AL. Married to Joe with two children, William and Elizabeth. Works at Partners for Environmental Progress, as an Executive Director. While I have enjoyed all my placements, my favorite was the Summer Reading Program. I visited daycares each week to share my love of reading and stories with children who were always so glad to see me. “It’s the library lady!” When I returned home to Mobile 12 years ago, I quickly found that almost all of the women that I admired and looked up to were active or sustainers in JLM. And I was amazed at the organization’s impact in the community. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that story and I have been for 9 years.


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Amy Groves, Governance Director Active since 2010. From Johnson City, TN. Married to Bill Groves with two children, Lawson (11) and Lilly (8). Works at MediTech Media (Atlanta, GA) as an Account Director. When I moved to Mobile in 2008, I joined Junior League of Mobile mainly to make friends, but I have gotten so much more out of my experience! I have found a network of women with common interests who are committed to making our community amazing. And the training I have received has been invaluable in my career and managing different personalities to ensure everyone achieves their potential. I am honored to be a member of JLM!

Amanda Gonzales, Public Relations Director Active since 2010. From Gulfport, MS. Married to R. J. Gonzales with two children, Reese (12) and Jay (11). Works at Volunteers of America Southeast as Director of Development. I joined JLM to get know Mobile better. I wanted to embrace its people, its history, and the needs in the community. How quickly did the statement, “What can I do for JLM?” turned into “Wow! Look what JLM has done for me!” I learned about the need in the community, the history of the city, and made many friends but more than anything, I developed personally and professionally. I have learned how to work in groups, lead a team, produce a budget, and the bonus is the life long friendships I have made!

Jenny Humphreys, Planning Director Active since 2008. From various places #gypsylife. Works at CPSI as a Sales Support Manager. Over the years, JLM has expanded my skill set greatly, which has directly impacted my career path. Plus, I have developed many deep friendships that will be one of my most cherished takeaways from JLM.

Dot Havard, Nominating Director Active since 2010. From Selma, AL. Married to Chuck. Works as a Director at TruBridge. I joined JLM to volunteer in my community and meet new people. While I’ve done both of those things, I’ve also been able to benefit from the development prong of our mission statement. From the trainings and by working closely with so many talented women from different backgrounds, I’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to and learn from many different leaders.

Ann Sirmon, Sustainer Advisor Active since 1997. From Andalusia, AL. Married to Danny, with one child Forbes. Works at Mobile County District Attorney’s Office as Youth and Family Services Director. I am not from Mobile, so one of the reasons I joined Junior League of Mobile was to meet women that are volunteering together to make a difference in the community. During my active years, I had two favorite placements, Communications Vice President and Done in a Day Chair. They engaged both my passion for volunteerism and making a difference in our community. My parents taught me at a very young age the importance of volunteerism and making things better than you way you found them. Junior League of Mobile has helped me to accomplish this and so much more.

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2017–2018 JLM MANAGEMENT TEAM Krista L. Harrell, Membership Development Manager Active since 2014. From Newport, VA by way of Huntington, NY. Works at University of South Alabama as Associate Dean of Students & Title IX Coordinator. I’m a proud volunteer with JLM. I got engaged with Junior League because I wanted to focus my attention on developing myself amongst a group of extraordinary women who work passionately for our community. Fortunately now, I call them friends. It has been a privilege for me to serve in a leadership role the past two years. I’ve become more connected to the community and our members serving as a Council Manager for both facets of the league. In these roles I’ve been able to give back, and to continue gaining leadership experience with the dedicated group of people. I look forward to many years of laughter and service with JLM.

Beth Sumlin, Fund Development Manager Active since 2007. From Mobile, AL. Married to Matt with two children, Will (11) and Lilly (8). Owns Old Shell Market and works at Claude Moore Jeweler, as a Manager. I joined Junior League to meet new friends and volunteer my time to a worthy organization. I just wanted to give back. Little did I know I would meet some of my best friends and have made other life long friendships. My years chairing Christmas Jubilee and Jubilee Bargains really taught me that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And I love knowing that the fundraisers we put on raise money to fund the Junior League’s mission.

Sarah Bumgarner, Communications Manager Active since 2011. From Mobile, AL. Married to Jacob with two children,Olivia (4) and Anders (1). Works at Lifelines Counseling Services as a Marketing Manager. Junior League of Mobile has meant more to me than I could have ever imagined. Once I joined and began learning about what the volunteers of this organization provide for our community and who the Junior League of Mobile members were for this community, I knew I wanted to do more. I have met some of the most incredible women that I would have never met if not for the league. It amazes me that women who have different backgrounds, political views, and thoughts on life, can come together as one and work side by side to meet the needs of this community.

Ashley Suggs, Community Manager Active since 2011. From Mobile, AL. Married to Kevin. Works at University of South Alabama as Associate Registrar. When I joined the Junior League of Mobile, I had a desk job that didn’t give me a great sense of purpose or connection to the community. The community placements I’ve completed through JLM have given me much more than the “warm fuzzy” feeling I was seeking. My favorite placement has to be the summer I volunteered with United Cerebral Palsy’s Camp Smile. It’s hard to pick one favorite memory from that volunteer experience. My top two would be: 1) playing a watery version of kickball (we had super soakers, sprinklers, and all sorts of water was a blast! ) and 2) the talent show at the end of the week.

Lucy Pryor Slaton, Research Manager Active since 2011. From Mobile, AL. Married to William. Works at St. Ignatius as a Kindergarten Teacher. Junior League has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I spent many summer days playing school in the board room and stacking the auditorium chairs to the ceiling while my mom and her fellow board members were hard at work. My grandmother was also an active member of JLM. When I left for college, she gave me a Recipe Jubilee that had been signed by all the original members of the cookbook committee, including herself. I still use this cookbook often, and when I open it up and see the signatures, it reminds me of all of the wonderful legacies that have been left by the members that came before me. I am thrilled to follow in my mother’s footsteps and serve as the President of the Junior League of Mobile in 2019–2020.


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Kaiesha Ford, Secretary Active since 2015. From Gulfport, MS. Works at TEK Systems as IT Project Manager. I have always had a heart for serving the community since a young age. For me, I feel a sense of satisfaction when helping someone or a group of people in need. In return, I have the opportunity to meet and interact with other people that are there to accomplish the same goal. It is fulfilling to provide guidance and assistance in order to bring awareness and benefit a particular cause. I can fulfill my passion of serving and giving back while interacting with a group of amazing women that I can call my lifelong friends.

Renie Kennemer, Nominating Director-Elect Active since 2010. From Mobile, AL. Married to Seth Kennemer. Works at Thompson Engineering as Communications Director. I joined Junior League of Mobile nine years ago with the hope of “getting my hands dirty.” Maybe I would plant a garden or build a structure or read a book to a child. I never expected to sort racks of clothing by size, color and season, but the experience was rewarding knowing that affordable clothing can help families dress confidently for work and school. I didn’t expect to be part of a brainstorming committee to name one of our major fundraisers, but I am proud to know that every BluePass sold helps raise money for healthy snacks for students. I didn’t expect to spend the majority of my Junior League commitment working on internal councils, but I am a better employee, colleague and future community steward because of the training and leadership development skills I’ve learned at JLM.

Alison Herlihy, Governance Director-Elect Active since 2012. From Mobile, AL. Married to Garrick Ogburn. Works at Alison Baxter Herlihy PC as a Lawyer. Volunteering has always been a big part of my life. I was raised to believe that the world is ours to make better. As a lawyer, you tend to end up spending a whole lot of time with other lawyers, so I originally joined JLM to network and meet new people. One of my favorite placements was when I got to lead a bodyweight exercise routine for Girl Scouts Fit & Fun. The girls were so excited to see how strong they were and show off what they could do!

Breanna Pryor, Treasurer-Elect Active since 2014. From Mobile, AL. Married to J. P. with one child Whitten. Works at Mitternight, Inc. as Director of Finance. My primary reason for joining Junior League was to give back to the community, but an added benefit was having the opportunity to meet women who shared the same passion and goals. My favorite position was serving on the Jubilee Bargains Committee. The committee organizes an annual rummage sale to raise funds for non-profit organizations partnered with Junior League. It was an honor to contribute to a fundraiser that impacts so many lives in the community.

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8th grade annual service week at Camp Grace

251-479-6551  28

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developing women

Chandra Brown Stewart and Ramona Hill

The Power of Mentors BY CONTINA WOODS

When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, a young Merceria Ludgood would declare teacher, concealing her true aspiration of one day becoming a lawyer. “When I grew up, there weren’t a lot of occupational role models. My mom said everyone needs a teacher’s certificate, because you can always teach.”

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Although she initially started her career as a teacher, Ludgood now uses her law degree to further the needs of her community. In addition to serving on the Mobile County Commission, she pays it forward in her role as mentor to countless young lawyers and others. “Someone else has to open the door for others to tell them their dreams are possible.” Although there were no lawyers around to encourage Ludgood’s dream, she found mentors in many of her teachers who pushed her toward success. “My mentors were accidental – people that I watched but didn’t know I was watching.” One of her favorite mentors as a child was a teacher who taught two grades in the same classroom. “It would have been easier for her to separate by grade level, but she found a way to individualize according to our strengths. From her, I learned it was important to meet people where they are and work with them on where they have the potential to go.” After hearing Ramona Hill’s personal story of leaving a secure executive position to form her own business, Chandra Brown Stewart, a young, new executive director approached Hill, a fellow Leadership Mobile classmate, with a request for mentorship. Stewart remarked that, “she possessed the poise, grace and strength that I wanted to emulate. It’s good to have someone that has already gone through some of the same experiences.”

Merceria Ludgood

Stewart is the executive director of Lifelines Counseling Services. As a

Heisterhagen said it is important to be flexible when your mentor has

way of giving back, she makes it a habit to offer support to new executive

time for you. Whether it is joining the mentor on a morning run or

directors of area agencies. “I’m a big believer in ‘To whom much is

over Sunday morning coffee, find a time that fits the mentor’s schedule.

given, much is expected.’ If I can help someone prevent mistakes or take

She said it is important to be intentional by defining the relationship

chances that I missed, I need to help. I was 26 when I became executive

and setting specific goals. Set regular calendar appointments and

director. There were things I didn’t know and wasn’t formerly trained on.

track progress.

Having the support of a mentor keeps you grounded and kicks you in the butt when you need it.”

She also suggested selecting someone you may not know very well. “It’s easy for me to pick someone just like me to be my mentor. You will

Kasee Heisterhagen, partner with Burr & Forman, compares her

probably maximize your investment if you pick someone that is different

relationship with her mentors as a corporation with its board of

from you.”

directors. “They are stable, well respected and come with different backgrounds, walks of life and career paths.” She seeks mentors for every

Heisterhagen said although the mentor-mentee relationship is by nature

aspect of her life including career, marriage, family and spirituality. She

an unequal relationship, it is important to find ways to equalize it. A

said while it is important to have cheerleaders on your team, there needs

mentee can offer an outside perspective or serve as a sounding board to a

to be someone willing to offer constructive criticism. One of her most

mentor. “If you can’t pay your mentor back directly, you can always pay

impactful mentors was a law professor at University of Alabama School

it forward by mentoring someone else. The best mentors look for nothing

of Law.

in return. They get personal enjoyment in seeing others succeed.”

“The right mentor at the right time in your life can help shape the trajectory of your career,” Heisterhagen said. “Professor Fair took an interest in my future and encouraged me during a tough time in law school. He believed that I could succeed, and he made me believe it.”


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“It’s easy for me to pick someone just like me to be my mentor. You will probably maximize your investment if you pick someone that is different from you.” Kasee Heisterhagen and Bryan Fair

Helping families grow one step at a time. The Center for Reproductive Medicine is the premier provider of compassionate and patient focused fertility & reproductive services. Call 251.438.4200 or visit


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107 N. Lafayette St., Mobile, AL 36604

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2/27/18 10:09 AM

2016-2017 ANNUAL REPORT Nancy Erwin, 2016-2017 President of Junior League of Mobile (JLM), set out to "CELEBRATE" our members for the important work we do in our community.

NEW LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE JLM implemented a new Governance leadership structure consisting of the Board of Directors and the Management Team we collectively call our Leadership Team. Our new leadership structure was a result of extensive planning and research over several years. Nancy Erwin and the 2016-17 Leadership Team completed the first year with this new leadership structure in place.

LUNCHEON WITH JENNA BUSH HAGER JLM hosted Jenna Bush Hager, at a special luncheon for 400 members and guests at The Battle House Hotel on September 22, 2016. The event brought together sustainer, active and provisional members and guests. Hager discussed her family and her new book Our Great Big Backyard she co-authored with her mother, Laura Bush. JLM recognized 2016 Sustainer of the Year, Elizabeth Diehl.

JUBILEE JOG Our 2016-2017 Provisional Class planned and executed JLM's first 5K race held at The Grounds on Saturday, April 29, 2017. JLM gave away 30 free entries to children 5 - 18 years old to support of our impact area of Healthy Children: Hunger, Nutrition and Fitness.

ANNUAL MEETING JLM's annual meeting was a memorable and fun event held at The Steeple on St. Francis in downtown Mobile. We launched our new mobile-friendly website to our members, welcomed new provisional members and celebrated the successes of our active members. We also recognized our Active of the Year, Provisionals of the Year, outgoing and incoming Leadership Teams. 

Junior League of Mobile members are trained to be volunteers for today and for the future. Our membership includes women from diverse backgrounds who become change-agents for positive growth wherever they go. We have more than 1,400 provisional, active and sustaining members, making JLM the seventeenth largest league within the Association of Junior Leagues International. HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER Visit to complete a Member Interest Form or to receive more information on our recruiting process, please reach out to us at folio spring 2018


By Mary Jane Cobb and Valynda Jerome-Williams

We have the solution for meal planners wanting to cool off and stay

To avoid mishaps in healthy meal preparation, be sure to choose the best

healthy this spring and summer: seasonal fresh ingredients and light

fruits and vegetables available. Fresh fruits and vegetables at the peak of

recipes. Seasonal fresh ingredients are not hard to find. Fresh produce

ripeness have a bright color, firm skin, crisp leaves and enticing aroma.

sections of local supermarkets, roadside stands, and farmers’ markets

When fresh items are not available, the best alternative is frozen fruits

have fresh ingredients that entice us with a seemingly endless variety of

and vegetables without added ingredients. For examples, strawberries

fruits and vegetables in different colors, shapes, and textures. Using a

and other fruit can be frozen individually, without sweeteners, coloring,

variety of healthy seasonal ingredients in your meals creates a colorful

or preservatives. Yet, when consumed soon after thawing, these berries

and healthy meal that will have everyone talking and wanting to help in

taste very much like fresh ones and can be used in the same way.

the kitchen.

Vegetables frozen without added ingredients can be used in recipes without thawing, if a little extra cooking time is allowed.

When making light and fresh recipes, children are great kitchen helpers. We know that teaching children to make smarter food choices fosters

Get ahead of the long and warm days. Stay cool and healthy with light

a healthy lifetime relationship with food. Having children help in meal

and refreshing recipes that will make healthy meal planning a success.

preparation reinforces healthy attitudes toward food and provides

Excellent recipes, including many for warmer weather, can be found

opportunities for children to sharpen math, and reading skills in the

in BAY TABLES, copyright 1999, by Junior League of Mobile,

kitchen. For instance, while making a salad, children can learn to

Incorporated. All recipes in this article have been copied

follow step-by-step directions, read food conversion tables, and practice

from this volume.

arithmetic. Children can also learn lessons about teamwork and shared success.


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West Indies Salad 1 medium onion finely chopped 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat

Open-Faced Crabmeat Sandwiches

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 pound fresh lump crabmeat

4 ounces vegetable oil

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 ounces cider vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 ounces ice water

1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Spread half the onion over the bottom of a large bowl. Cover with

1 teaspoon grated onion

separated crab lumps and then remaining onion. Season with salt and

4 large tomato slices

pepper. Pour oil, vinegar and ice water over all. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 12 hours. Toss lightly before serving. Yield: 4 servings.

2 Pieces of Holland Rusks Instant Toast 1/2 cup grated baby Swiss cheese Combine the crabmeat, cream cheese, lemon juice, salt, Worcestershire sauce and onion in a bowl and mix well. Place a tomato slice on top of

Tossed Tomato, Cucumber & Artichoke Salad 4 tomatoes, cut into quarters 2 cucumbers, peeled, sliced 1 red onion, thinly sliced

each Holland Rusk toast. Top with the crabmeat mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until the cheese melts. Yield: 4 servings

Spinach Salad Bites

1 (14-ounce) can artichokes, drained, cut into halves

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup raspberry vinegar

1 clove of garlic, pressed

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon crushed dried basil

2 bunches leaf spinach

salt and pepper to taste

2/3 cups crumbled blue cheese

Combine the tomatoes, onion, cucumbers and artichokes in a bowl and

Combine the shallots, 1/2 pint of the blueberries, salt, sugar vinegar and

toss to mix well. Mix the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic and

oil in a blender and blend well. Trim the spinach and rinse well. Pat the

basil in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetable mixture and season with

spinach dry. Combine the spinach, remaining blueberries, blue cheese

salt and pepper to taste. Marinate, covered in the refrigerator for a few

and pecans in a large salad bowl and toss to mix well. Add the blueberry

hours or up to 2 days.

vinaigrette just before serving and toss until well coated.

Yield: 6 servings

Yield:6 servings

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Our name is our mission. ServisFirst Bank is a top-ranked bank in its class.* With more than 400 years of combined local banking experience in the Mobile area, our formula blends financial expertise with excellent customer service. We have a proven track record of offering financial solutions to our clients and we will do the same for you. *Ranked 8th among mid-tier banks in 2016 by American Banker

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CORPUS CHRISTI CATHOLIC SCHOOL Building the Body of Christ One Student at a Time.

Mobile’s best source for fine name-brand furnishings and accessories. Offering Century, Taylor King, Hickory White, Hardin, Hekman, Sherrill and so much more...with unbelievable everyday discounts and great customer service.

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COMMUNITY AS S I STA N C E FUND At the Junior League of Mobile’s January General Membership Meetings, the League was able to present Community Assistance Fund awards to three agencies that embody our mission and live out the goals of our focus area. On behalf of Dance Without Limits, its Executive Director, Kerrie Benson, accepted a grant with which she plans to purchase adaptive equipment to enable all of her students, despite their different capabilities, to be able to participate in dance classes. Angie Jordan, Executive Director of Muscular Dystrophy Association, accepted a grant that her agency will use to send a child from our local area with neuromuscular disease to MDA summer camp. Tammy Ruffin, Founder of Little Angels, Inc., accepted a grant that will be used to purchase breast pumps to support her clients, primarily teenaged mothers, in their efforts to breastfeed their children. These three remarkable agencies are making a difference every day in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, and JLM is proud to be able to support their efforts.

Top: Amy Carpenter, Kerrie Benson accepting the grant, and Melody Zeidan. Middle: Amy Carpenter, Angie Jordan accepting the grant, and Melody Zeidan. Bottom: Amy Carpenter, Tammy Ruffin accepting the grant, and Melody Zeidan.


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