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SCHENEXUS October 2011 2011-2012 JLSS Officers President: Julie White Eklund President-Elect: Mary Catherine White Treasurer: Patty Christensen Secretary: Paula Ohlhous Committee Chairs Communications: Leesa Perazzo Community: Shannon Kelly Stephanie Russell Membership: Traci Koppenhafer Jae Tracey Ways & Means: Mary Catherine White Staci Marra Nominating: Sarah Stotz Supporting Roles Schenexus Editor: Deanna Fox Sustainer Advisors: Barbara Landon NYSPAC Delegate: Kathy Van Allen

JLSS Creates Another Successful OBTS Campaign Since 2003, Operation Back to School has distributed backpacks to over 8,000 students with supplies valued at $70,000. In 2010, the Junior League partnered with Schenectady Community College and Schenectady City School district to start providing the Smart Scholars students with school supplies. Smart Scholars are students who receive extra academic support to make sure they are learning at grade level and ready to participate in rigorous collegiate courses. The purpose of the program is to increase high school and college completion rates for those historically left in the gap. It is also to reduce student tuition costs as a result of the compressed time needed to complete a college degree. We couldn’t have said it better than a smart scholar, “It makes me happy inside to know that college and high school is also important to others like me. I just wanted you to know that I appreciated what you guys have done for everyone.” And from one of our members, “I think the backpack thing is one of the best things I do. Giving supplies to kids that have the potential to be embarrassed or ridiculed because they lack them is wonderful.” As a means of thanks, the Board of Trustees for SCCC presented a Resolution of Appreciation to JLSS for our ongoing support of the Smart Scholars program. A huge thank you goes out to the individuals and special donors who continue to support OBTS. This year the donors included: Stewart’s Shops, Huntington Learning Center, David and Mary Catherine White, Fenimore Asset Management, and WGY Christmas Wish.

SCHENEXUS JLSS ~ October 2011

A Message from our President As I was tearing out the walls of my in-laws’ flood-damaged house, I realized I felt lucky. It had been a crazy couple of weeks with Hurricanes Irene and Lee - our Stockade neighborhood near the Mohawk was evacuated twice and neighbors experienced significant damage. My father was trapped in his house near the Susquehanna without power for days due to flooding. My husband’s mother, grandmother and aunt in Prattsville had much of their town demolished and their homes completely filled by the Schoharie Creek. And of course there had been more stress at work and home - isn’t there always? I generally try to be positive, but that day I was simply sad, and felt I had no energy to be otherwise. So, I wasn’t even bothering to try to make myself feel good. I was just JLSS President doing what had to be done, which that day was pulling up the floors Julie White Eklund and pulling down the walls of a house my husband’s family has lived in for 65 years. When the day started it was just me, my husband, my mother-in-law and two of her girlfriends - hardly an impressive work crew. But people just kept showing up. Most of them weren’t from the area and didn’t know anyone in the area. They just wanted to help. Some had hammers and shovels, some brought water and Gatorade and sandwiches, some provided information on other resources my in-laws could utilize. And somewhere between tearing out the bathroom and the hall closet, coated in river muck and sweating in my rubber boots, I realized just how lucky I felt. Firstly, because I was able to consciously experience what it felt like to have a stranger come and help me at a pretty difficult time, simply because they wanted to make that little corner of the world better. I know I have experienced the kindness of strangers many times in my life, but I don’t think I ever really appreciated it in the moment. Secondly, because I remembered that I am rarely in that position. By any standard, simply by being healthy and well-fed and educated, I am one of the luckiest women ever to walk this planet. I am fortunate enough to usually be on the other side of charity. I am the one handing out backpacks of school supplies, or donating clothes, or writing a check, or even unskillfully wielding a hammer and helping someone build (or rebuild). It could so easily be otherwise, as I saw that day. Any of us could find ourselves laid low by circumstance. But today, and most days, I get to be the one who is helping. We give you a lot of opportunities to help in the Junior League and our relatively small group of women does an incredible amount of good in the community. I’m sure you all have your own craziness and I am more grateful than I can express that you take the time and effort to lend a hand; to make a difference. But I hope that, the next time you get in your car to volunteer or attend a meeting or you sit down to write a check, you will also, even for just a minute, feel what I recently recognized - that even when things aren’t perfect, you are so lucky simply to be in a position to be able to give to someone else that day, instead of being the one in need. A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.

SCHENEXUS JLSS ~ October 2011

AJLI President Delly Beekman to Visit JLSS JLSS is honored that AJLI President Delly Beekman has chosen to visit our League and recognize our outstanding efforts and committment to the Junior League mission. We have two events and opportunities for League members to come meet Ms. Beekman. Please RSVP by November 1st to JLSS President Julie White Eklund at or 518-618-2554. We hope to see you there! Tri-League General Member Meeting: Tuesday, November 8, 6:00pm-8:00pm. JLSS will be hosting a TriLeague meeting with AJLI President Delly Beekman at Saratoga National (458 Union Avenue, Saratoga NY). Members of the Troy and Albany Leagues will be joining us at this very special Tri-League event. Ms. Beekman will address the Tri-League delegation in honor of JLSS’ 80th Anniversary. Complimentary appetizers will be offered, along with a cash bar. Sustainer breakfast: Wednesday, November 9, 8:00am-9:30am. JLSS will host a sustainer event with AJLI President Delly Beekman at Mallozzi’s, 1930 Curry Road, Schenectady, NY. We will be honoring the legacy of the many years of service by our amazing sustaining members at this breakfast. Juice, coffee, tea, pastries, muffins, coffee cake and fresh fruit will be served. There is no charge for sustaining members, though a $10 fee is applied to other members.

JLSS Members Mary Catherine White and Paula Ohlhous (second and third from left) pose with AJLI board members and AJLI President Ms. Delly Beekman (far right) at the AJLI Leadership Conference in Baltimore September 2011.

A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.

SCHENEXUS JLSS ~ October 2011 October and November Birthdays Betty Kay Cullen Karen D’Ascoli Mary DeMasi Marilyn Gibbons Susan Renna Miriam Peters Joanne Coppola Patricia Kramer Cristina Harter Mary Jo Pierpont BJ Pierce Becky Norton M. Constance Hayner

May Your

Mary Olsen Kelsey Bovee Lindsey Fargnoli Amy Carhide Margaret Buhrmaster Cristine Cioffi Joan Spencer Leesa Perazzo Christy Potratz Gina Ricci Martha Lupe Maria Greskovich Rose Marie Knauss

Wishes Come True!

Eager-Leaguer Recognition

Kelly Lamp

Lynn Aclander

Lynn Aclander and Kelly Lamp are this newsletter’s Eager Leaguers. Both Kelly and Lynn joined the league last year as part of our Fall 2010 Provisional Class. These ladies spent much of the late spring and summer working closely with Julie and several committees to plan the General Membership events for this year. Lynn and Kelly made a concerted effort to meet the training, retention and social goals set out by the board. They were instrumental in pulling together the October GMM at the Regional Food Bank held Saturday, October 8th. Both of these ladies embody the spirit of the League. They are professional, team oriented and committed to volunteerism and organizational development. A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.

SCHENEXUS JLSS ~ October 2011

JLSS Holiday Happenings Right Around the Corner! Plan on decking the halls with boughs of holly … from December 1st - 3rd! The event begins with a Preview Party of our Presidential House Tour and Holiday Bazaar on Thursday, December 1st at the magnificent home of Mark and Terri Little, 512 Windsor Court, Niskayuna from 6:00-8:00 pm. Invites will be in the mail on October 15th. The 2011 Presidential House Tour features the following area President’s Homes: Union College President Stephen C. Ainlay and his wife Judith welcome you to tour the President’s House on Union College’s Campus in Schenectady. Originally built by Eliphalet and Urania Nott in 1871, this home is steeped in graceful tradition. Dr. Quintin B. Bullock, President, Schenectady County Community College invites you to view his home at 1150 Ruffner Road, Niskayuna. Dr. Bullock’s contemporary home is one not to be missed. Raymond and Valerie Bleser, President, Northeastern Fine Jewelry open their home at 204 Agostino Avenue, Niskayuna to you. Words can’t describe this beautiful home. You’ll just have to see it for yourself! The homes will be open for viewing Friday, December 2nd from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. We are currently seeking volunteers to hostess at all of the homes. If you haven’t yet signed up yet, please contact Joanne Coppola at 518-346-9019 to arrange for a time slot. We’re asking for just two to three hours of your time. On Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, the House Tour will be complemented with our second annual Holiday Boutique. This fabulous Boutique filled with one-of-a-kind merchandise will be held in Robb Alley at Proctors’ on State Street. Don’t miss this unique shopping experience highlighted with a fashion show and a cooking demonstration. As if that wasn’t enough, the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation’s Holiday Open House will fill the streets with activities and music, culminating with a tree lighting ceremony. Please stay tuned for more details! The next meeting of the House Tour Committee is on Tuesday, October 11 at 5:30 pm at the Parker Inn. If you would like to join the committee, please contact Deneen Palmateer at or call 518-421-9680. A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.

SCHENEXUS JLSS ~ October 2011

News From the Community Committee JLSS has been hopping with amazing volunteer opportunities over the past two months. Members from our League traveled to Pattersonville, NY to assist Peaceful Acres Horse Farm with falltime farm fix-ups (like installing new fencing). Peaceful Acres is a non-profit sanctuary for retired horses. Our September GMM was held in accordance with the volunteer event. Members donned red cowboy hats and western apparel to get in the spirit! Many thanks to our fabulous September volunteers Stacey Midge, Traci Koppenhafer, Freddie Anderson, Marilyn Gibbons, Tamara Beasley, Joanne Coppola, Shannon Kelly, Jae Tracey, Julie White Eklund, Lynn Aclander, Steph Hunter, Katelyn Galbraith, Mary Catherine White, Lyn Niemeyer, Tara Mahnk, Patty Christensen, Christianne Smith and Stephanie Russell.

JLSS members at the September GMM and volunteer event at Peaceful Acres Horse Farm, Pattersonville NY

October has already played host to our volunteer activities at the Regional Food Bank. JLSS members spent a Saturday morning stuffing squashes and other foodstuffs in boxes to serve local food bank patrons and help sustain them through the fall. An apple gleaning event is also planned for October 22nd at Riverview Orchards. Please stay tuned for more information! The Community committee is always looking for new ideas for volunteer events. If you have an organization that is near and dear to you that you would like the committee to consider for volunteer opportunities, please contact Community Co-Chair Stephanie Russell at

A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International,

SCHENEXUS JLSS ~ October 2011

Remembering Helen George We are sad to report the passing of Helen George, a steadfast member of the Junior League right through her final days. Mrs. George died peacefully on August 24, 2011 at the Kingsway Arms Nursing Center in Schenectady. She was 99 years old. Mrs. George was full of grace and always willing to share a story about the League to any ear that would listen and gave wonderful insight and advice about the League. A humble person, she would often respond with, “of course, but wouldn’t you like someone more important?” when asked to serve as an honorary member of League-related committees. As past-president Deneen Palmateer said, “There was never anyone more important than Helen!” Helen became part of the League in 1934 as a transfer from Youngstown, Ohio. She went on to serve as President twice (first from 1946-1948, then from 1951-1952). As President, she helped the League collaborate with Pleasant Valley School to establish the Cerebral Palsy School. In addition to volunteering at the school, the League donated nearly $30,000 between 1947 and 1956. In 1948 the Junior League established the Next-to-New Shop. The shop provided a source of funding for many Junior League initiatives. Our League is undoubtedly better because of Helen’s commitment over the years. A cocktail party was held in June 2011 to celebrate the commitment of our outstanding sustaining members. Held at the Kingways Manor to honor Mrs. George, over 40 Junior League members were in attendance to pay tribute to Helen for her years of service and dedication. The day after the event, in true fashion, Mrs. George called to thank organizers for arranging the event and then sent a note for our Schenexus to thank all who attended. All who knew Mrs. George are better because of it, and every organization she touched has benefitted from her caring heart. She will be deeply missed within our League and throughout our community. Special thanks to Ms. Deneen Palmateer for her assistance with this article. Helen George is pictured here, second from left, with other JLSS sustaining members.

A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International,

SCHENEXUS JLSS ~ October 2011

New JLSS Phone Number New Phone Number: JLSS has transitioned to a new phone number. The new number is 518-618-AJLI (2554.) We will continue to offer a forwarding message through the end of 2011 for any stray callers. We expect this change to save the League approximately $500 annually!

Consider Schenexus Advertising! The JLSS Schenexus is an important newsletter that keeps our members connected and relays our exciting news and achievements to members of our community. Sponsoring the Schenexus through advertising helps us fulfil our mission to serve Schenectady and Saratoga Counties. In return, advertisers gain exposure amongst a highly-targeted, extraoridanry and influential group of women who will recognize your support. Advertisements run in our bi-monthly newsletter for one year. The cost for advertising is $150 for a 2”x3.5” standard business card sized advertisement. Please consider advertising in Schenexus by contacting Mary Catherine White at or call 518-618-AJLI (2554).

Upcoming Changes to Schenexus As indicated in previous correspondence, JLSS will soon be distributing the Schenexus via email as a digital copy. This means the League will be able to better archive information, host issues and information online, save time, money and resources, and allow us to reach a larger audience. The digital version will be interactive and easily read on computers, smartphones and tablet PCs. Print copies will still be distributed to those who request them. If you prefer to receive your Schenexus in the mail, please email or call Deanna Fox at 518-527-8448 with your name and address. You will only need to submit your information once, and can choose to receive your Schenexus via email or post at anytime.

Our Condolences Our heartfelt condolences go out to JLSS sustaining members Nancy Lange, who recently lost her husband Richard, and Margaret “Pinkie” Moon, who also lost her husband, Rexford. Our thoughts are with both women and their families at this time.

A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International,

SCHENEXUS JLSS ~ October 2011

Photographs Needed for 80th Anniversary As part of the celebration of our 80th Anniversary to be held on Friday, May 4, 2012 at Key Hall on State Street in Schenectady, we will be creating a video history featuring photographs and articles of our 80 year history. Members have reviewed our scrapbooks, but we are in need of photos/articles from 1989 to present. If you have photographs and/or articles of any league activities please send them to JLSS, PO Box 857, Schenectady, NY 12301 or email them to Megan Haessig at or Stephanie Hunter at Please be sure to include a short description of the photo, when it was taken, who is in it, what the activity was, and where it was held if you recall. If you would like to meet about your submissions please contact Megan at 518-209-1199 and either she or Stephanie will be happy to meet with you.

Farmers Market Volunteer Opportunity A note from Community - The Community Committee is working on creating a DIAD for early 2012 at the Schenectady Green Market as well as the Saratoga Farmer's Market. We'll also be working with the Senior Center - more details to follow. Since it is our goal to create community events that all of our active and sustaining members are interested in, if you have a suggestion or an agency you would like to see us work with, please contact Stephanie Russell, Community Co-Chair, by emailing her at

Happy News for JLSS Members! Congratulations to Stephanie Hunter, Stephanie Russell, and Amy Carhide on their recent engagements. Further congratulations to Jae Tracey and Kathy Ozimek on their new positions within General Electric. We are keeping Nominating Chair Sarah Stotz in our thoughts as she prepares for baby number two to join big sister Rachel! Also, Becky Norton and husband just welcomed daughter Charlotte into her family, joining big brother Owen. Congrats to all on your wonderful news!

A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International,

P.O. Box 857 | Schenectady, NY 12301

Non-Profit Organization US Postage PAID Permit #460 Schenectady, NY 12301

Our Mission The Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Dates To Remember! October 22

Apple Gleaning at Riverview Orchards More details TBA

November 8

JLSS Tri-League Event with AJLI President Saratoga National

November 9

JLSS Sustainer Breakfast with AJLI President Mallozzi’s, Rotterdam NY

December 1

House Tour and Gift Boutique Preview Home of Mark and Terri Little

December 2-3 Presidential House Tour and Gift Boutique Proctors and area homes May 4, 2012

80th Anniversary Gala Key Hall

Helping Our Neighbors JLSS Member Rev. Stacey Midge is organizing volunteers to help with the Hurricane Irene and Hurrican Lee clean-up efforts in Schenectady and Schoharie Counties. If you are interested in helping storm victims prepare for winter, please contact Stacey at

JLSS Schenexus October-November 2011  
JLSS Schenexus October-November 2011  

The October-November 2011 Issue of the Schenexus - The Official Newsletter of the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties