the official magazine of the
3039M junior league of washington
3039 M STREET, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20007 | 202.337.2001 | WWW.JLW.ORG
The Journey to JLW Leadership Personal Development through Voluntarism Horton’s Kids at its 25th Anniversary
t’s an exciting time for the Junior League of Washington! Now in our 103rd year, we continue to build upon our first century of accomplishments, and our 2,300 members are more committed than ever to our mission of developing the potential of women, promoting voluntarism and improving our community. This year’s theme is “Where the S.T.A.R.S. Shine.” Just as stars light up the night sky, our volunteers shine as they live out our mission every day to improve the community around them through Service, Training, Action, Results and Sharing our Story. To advance our mission, this year’s Board of Directors is focused on strengthening and quantifying our impact in the community, increasing training opportunities and improving member engagement and satisfaction. As we approach the halfway point of the League year, our members have already accomplished a great deal. Once again we served as the Library of Congress’s primary volunteer partner, providing over 3,000 hours of service at the 15th annual National Book Festival. For the first time ever, we were recognized on the event poster. We held another successful Holiday Shops, raising funds to support our mission and hosting a first-ever Women’s Leadership Luncheon to celebrate women making an impact around the world and in our community. We convened community partners and literacy experts to examine how the JLW can increase its impact in the community, and we are analyzing our membership model to examine how we can help our members find the right balance. To support our members’ work both within the JLW and throughout the community, we kicked oﬀ a second Get On Board training program through the newly launched JLW Leadership Institute. As we look towards the second half of our year, our volunteers will continue to lead the way to make a positive diﬀerence in the D.C. community. Whether you support the JLW through your membership or a financial contribution, or are one of the District non-profits that benefit from the direct support of our trained volunteers, thank you for helping us shine! CAMERON GILREATH President
Our cover features JLW Member Kasia Witkowski at The Women’s Leadership Luncheon. Photo by Ronald Flores.
t the Junior League of Washington, members are often so dedicated to living out our mission of voluntarism in the community that it can be easy to overlook the other part of the JLW’s mission: to develop the potential of women. In order to amplify our collective impact on Washington, D.C., one truly cannot happen without the other. For this issue of 3039M, we wanted to understand the many ways our League is working to help members learn, grow and do, and the impact those eﬀorts are having in our community as a result. Inside, you will find information about the new JLW Leadership Institute, the second year of the Get on Board program and the many ways a community placement can help members develop unique skills. You’ll hear from past presidents about their journey to JLW leadership, and can check in with one member making an impact on the Board of the Virginia Trust for Historic Preservation. Additionally, you can catch up with Meg Graham Scholarship winners, ride along with Iona volunteers as they deliver meals to senior citizens and get a behind-the-scenes look at Horton’s Kids in its 25th year. These stories of our community impact, along with many others you’ll find within this issue, demonstrate the incomparable ways JLW members are able to invest in those around us because the League invested in us with training and support. Every time I pick up an issue of 3039M, I’m inspired again by the special contributions JLW members are making all across our nation’s capital. Hopefully this issue will do the same for each of you. TARA ANDERSEN Magazine Committee Chair
MAGAZINE COMMITTEE Tara Andersen Chair
Meaghan Leister Rising Chair
Sarah Bogart, Mini Placement
Kelly Giedraitis Phillips
Heather Mandelkehr, Mini Placement
IN THIS ISSUE
IN EVERY ISSUE
IN THIS ISSUE SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
22 Horton’s Kids at its 25th Anniversary
10 A Discussion With Three Past JLW Presidents
5 Recipe 18 JLW From Every Angle
12 JLW Leadership Institute: Year In Review and a Look to the Future
32 Dates to Remember
13 More Than Just a Placement
14 Personal Development through Voluntarism
4 Catching Up With Meg Graham Scholarship Winners
16 Making an Impact Year after Year 17 League Experiences Help Members Break Out of Their Comfort Zone
7 JLW Helps NRH Walk, Wheel and Run To Success
ABOUT OUR LEAGUE 26 Committee Profile: Marketplace 27 Meet the JLW Staff
6 Delivery Day With Iona Senior Services
8 An All-Star Reading Squad
24 Behind The Scenes at the 15th Annual National Book Festival
28 ’Tis The Season to Start Creating A Great Tossed & Found Pile
SUSTAINER 30 I’m A Sustainer, Now What?
20 Book Clubs That Bring Women Together
Junior League of Washington
Members are encouraged to tag the League’s accounts when posting photos from JLW events. As with all social media sharing, please use #JLWvol as the main hashtag.
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD President Cameron Gilreath
Vice Treasurer Erinn Colaianni
Adult Community Placements Jackie Malkes
Nominating Marie Hahn
President-Elect Elizabeth Keys
Communications & PR Catherine Pepper Pickels
Community Aﬀairs Amy Shuart
Strategic Planning Tycely Williams
Secretary Amanda Walke
Youth & Family Community Placements Elizabeth Cathcart
Membership Development Courtney Mesmer
Sustainers Rosemarie Hamm
New Membership Stacey Tuneski
Ways & Means Diane Lebson
Treasurer Kelly Wilson-Pisciotta
Cultural Community Placements Genevieve Moreland
CATCHING UP WITH MEG GRAHAM SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS By Jacqueline Bauer
or more than three decades, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) has awarded an annual $10,000 scholarship to college-bound students with a passion for volunteering and who show a promise of achievement in college. The Meg Graham Scholarship was established in 1982 in honor of the Reverend Margaret Graham, a former president of the Association of Junior Leagues International and a former member of the JLW. The application is open to any high school senior who is a DC resident attending public, charter, private or parochial high school and who has been admitted to an accredited four-year post-secondary institution. Candidates for the scholarship must supply a resume of public service, a transcript with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation and two essays. Finalists also participate in a half-hour interview. The process is very competitive and the winners are always impressive. 3039M wanted to check in with some recent scholarship recipients to see what they’ve been up to on campus and ask about the impact the award has had on their education goals:
JIONI TUCK, 2015 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT College: College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia Major: International Relations Things I Enjoy On Campus: My favorite part of college is my freshman seminar, “Critiquing the American Dream.” It is discussion-based and we talk about inequality in America. It is one of my smallest classes, and I have made a lot of friends in the class. What Winning This Scholarship Means To Me: My Junior League scholarship has given me the opportunity to try new activities
regardless of cost. I am playing club softball, am in the International Relations Club, am going on a service trip to Nicaragua and I plan to participate in Model UN conferences. All of these activities cost money and since my tuition is partially paid for, I can pay the club dues and participate in the activities. Favorite Quote Inspiring College Success: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela
EKRAM JIRU, 2014 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT College: Pomona College, Claremont CA Major: Undeclared, considering Economics or International Relations Things I Enjoy On Campus: Pomona has been a great learning experience. I have met a lot of people who have challenged me and motivated me to change my views on a lot of issues. Through Pomona programs, I have been able to give back to my community and think critically about how I can use my education to help others. What Winning This Scholarship Means To Me: My Junior League scholarship has been a blessing. Because I have enough funds for personal expenses, I have not had to work while going to school. This allows me to focus on my schoolwork and the diﬀerent organizations I am involved with on campus. Favorite Quote Inspiring College Success: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” —Eleanor Roosevelt
KATHERINE THOMAS-CANFIELD, 2013 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT College: University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Degree: International Development focusing on Economics and Sub-Saharan Africa Things I Enjoy On Campus: Though I have been involved with many things on campus, including the minority students’ political party, the Sexual Assault Commission and numerous research projects, I would say the most rewarding part of my college career thus far has been teaching a class this past year. UC Berkeley oﬀers select undergraduates a unique experience to work intimately with faculty in developing a curriculum and eventually [teach] their own courses through the Democratic Education Program (DeCal Program). I have developed a course called ‘Rebuilding Haiti through a Multidisciplinary Approach’ that critically analyzes the development theories and praxis deployed in Haiti chiefly since the 2010 earthquake. What Winning This Scholarship Means To Me: The Junior League scholarship has helped to ease some of the financial burden of tuition hikes on my family and has allowed me to focus my energies on school rather than needing to be employed to a bigger extent (beyond my research positions) during the school year. Favorite Quote Inspiring College Success: “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
JLW COOKBOOK Whether hosting friends and family or standing out at a potluck, make your holidays memorable by serving a classic JLW dish that warms hearts and fills bellies.
WARM BRIE CHEESE WITH BLUEBERRY CHUTNEY • • • • • • • • •
1 cup fresh blueberries 2 tablespoons chopped onion 1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons vinegar 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick 1 wheel (8 ounces) Brie cheese
Combine blueberries, onion, ginger, brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon stick. Cover and refrigerate 30-45 minutes or until chutney is cold. Blueberry chutney can be made up to four days ahead.
EDWIN MUSIBIRA, 2012 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
Bake Brie in an ovenproof serving dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or until softened. Top warm Brie with cold chutney. Serve with crackers.
College: The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Yield: 15 servings.
Major: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Yield: 6-8 servings
What I Enjoy On Campus: Participating in the U.S. Naval Academy Science and Engineering Conference, volunteering for GW’s Alternative Spring Break in New Orleans, mentoring a student at Francis Stevens Middle School and attending keynote speeches, guest lectures and panels by renowned scientists, journalist, poets and world leaders. What Winning This Scholarship Means To Me: The Meg Graham Scholarship has not only eased my family’s financial burden as I attend college but also aﬀorded me the opportunity to get a college degree. Favorite Quote Inspiring College Success: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are more hills to climb.” —Nelson Mandela
DELIVERY DAY WITH IONA SENIOR SERVICES By Jessica Feddersen
JLW Members Christy Melugin and Lia Clark have their smiles ready as they load the car for another Saturday of deliveries for Iona.
ach Saturday, volunteers gather at Iona Senior Services in Tenleytown to prepare that week’s meal deliveries. Food is assembled, packaged and delivered to approximately 105 seniors who otherwise might not have enough to eat. For more than 30 years, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) has provided volunteer support to Iona, and for many years that has included weekend meal delivery. Volunteers are divided into pairs and assigned delivery routes each weekend and on holidays. Meals are designed by a nutritionist and feature both a cold and hot selection for each weekend day. On a beautiful fall Saturday, I had the opportunity to join the JLW volunteers for a morning of food delivery. As the morning began, volunteers arrived at Iona to receive their assignments. We quickly grabbed our deliveries and loaded the car. Accompanied by second year committee members Christy Melugin and Lia Clark, we set oﬀ to a senior community around the corner. They explained that the routes diﬀer each week, but volunteers usually serve the same individuals a few times throughout the year.
Melugin and Clark noted, “It shows you another perspective of the city, as well as lets you meet new people, both in the committee and the recipients.” We delivered four meals that morning and were able to chat with two of the recipients about what the Iona meal deliveries mean to them. Martha, a D.C. resident for almost 50 years, told us, “I’m a person who likes to be alone, but I know I will see you every Saturday. This lets me spend my Saturday how I want without having to structure my time around the services in my building.” With Iona’s meal deliveries, the JLW meets an important need of an underserved group in the community. In some cases, volunteers may be the only social interaction a senior receives that weekend. Iona volunteers frequently mentioned the reward of spending time with seniors who have many colorful stories to tell – from the gentleman who pulls up a chair with his dog to wait each Saturday for the volunteers, to the internationally-known dancer. As another senior, Gregory, put it, “You are a godsend each weekend. An old man is always happy to see three pretty ladies on his doorstep.” •
JLW HELPS NRH WALK, WHEEL AND RUN TO SUCCESS By Jessica Feddersen
JLW Members Tarina Charleston, Anna Monsour and Nicole Ninh help Superman cheer on the race participants
ost Junior League of Washington (JLW) members are familiar with the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), known around the world as a leading provider of physical rehabilitation services. Each week, JLW volunteers host bingo for the patients so that children and their families can enjoy some time away from their treatments. Each day of treatment can last up to ten hours and some patients can spend up to a month in the hospital. As volunteer Nicole Ninh said, “It’s one hour a day when they are not thinking about recovery. We help them with motor skills and also just provide some contact with the outside world. You quickly become a part of their family after a couple weeks of volunteering.” What JLW members may not know is that in addition to the weekly bingo, JLW volunteers assist with the NRH Walk/Wheel/Run
race. This year, approximately 200 people met in Tyson’s Corner to raise money for the NRH, including former patients of the NRH, who were able to compete in wheelchairs, specially equipped bicycles and as traditional competitors on foot. JLW volunteers waited at the finish line, providing cheers and encouragement for the participants. The NRH race raises money to support the Washington Paralympic Sports program and the D.C. chapter of BlazeSports America, which is the hospital’s community-based sports program for children and adults with physical disabilities. Joan Joyce of the NRH said, “The success of our race can be directly tied to our volunteers. We have over 40 volunteers who start arriving as early as 5 a.m. to put the cones out and stay until everything is cleaned up. The support of JLW was awesome – JLW volunteers are always recognized for their willingness to do whatever is needed.” •
AN ALL-STAR READING SQUAD By Kelly Giedraitis Phillips
hen Sarah Berg first started working with sevenyear-old Isaac through her placement with the 826DC Committee last fall, he was reading picture-heavy books geared toward younger readers. By late spring – after reading with Berg nearly every other Saturday as a part of 826DC’s “Reading All-Stars Program” – he had moved to longer stories with more complex themes and fewer pictures. “It was a pivotal moment to see him, at the end of the year, wanting to read chapter books,” Berg said. “It was really rewarding.” This fall marks the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) second year participating in 826DC’s “Reading All-Stars Program,” which pairs volunteers with students at a Washington, D.C. elementary school for two hours of one-on-one literacy enrichment on Saturdays during the school year. To promote continuity, the program pairs a student with the same volunteer for most Saturday reading sessions. Julia Whitelock, a returning volunteer with JLW’s 826DC Committee this year, said that the impact of the committee is worth the time commitment. “You’re with the same student throughout the year, and you get [to] see that they’re really growing,” Whitelock said. “It’s a really rewarding program. This is the kind of thing that made me want to join Junior League.” Berg, also the JLW’s assistant council director for the Youth and Family Community Placement Council, echoed those thoughts. “The program enables you to see and have an impact within the scope of literacy and also engage with the kids. It puts your feet on the ground in the community,” she said. For JLW volunteers, improving students’ literacy skills is about more than just reading books. Whitelock explained the goal is to challenge students but not push them so hard that they get frustrated and shut down. “I’ve learned to be more creative – trying to figure out how to encourage reading and also have fun – because kids don’t always have that long of an attention span,” she noted.
Whitelock also said she and her student, a second grader named Katherine, would act out or draw some of the ideas in the books to break up the reading, while maintaining the focus on learning. JLW volunteers said they are excited for the second year of JLW’s participation and hope to see the students grow even more this year. •
AN ALL-STAR SATURDAY Julia Whitelock and her All-Star, a rising third grader named Katherine, have a system. Katherine must pick an on-grade level book to read before they move on to her favorite books in the “Elephant and Piggie” series. Whitelock explained that the “Elephant and Piggie” books, which feature big pictures and only a few words per page, were far below the then-second grader’s reading level. Only after Katherine read the more complex stories did Whitelock reward her with reading the less advanced books she loves. Week after week, Whitelock enforced the rule. One week, Whitelock was unable to meet, but rather than push for an easier day of reading with the substitute volunteer, Katherine told the substitute the rule: you have to read a harder book first. “I was really proud of her for telling him the rule,” Whitelock said. One day near the end of the school year, Katherine read a book that was a few levels higher than what she had been reading previously. “She was doing really well,” Whitelock said. “I was so proud of her because I was able to see the development and progress she’d made.”
SPECIAL EVENT SPONSORS
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
MY JOURNEY TO JLW LEADERSHIP:
A DISCUSSION WITH THREE PAST PRESIDENTS By Parker Jenkins
utside of the general requirements to become a Junior League of Washington (JLW) oﬃcer, which include previous positions of leadership and a dedication to the League’s purpose, goals and objectives, 3039M wanted to know what the path to JLW president really looked like. Three past JLW presidents took time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions and provide insight into their experiences on their journey to the JLW presidency.
MARIA MARKS (2010-2011)
to your support system. I was very open with everyone involved. For my work, I started by keeping JLW emails and calls to lunchtime, early morning or after work hours. If a meeting or event infringed, I used my vacation days that year. My boss was very understanding as time went on and wouldn’t mind if I had to take a call outside those times. For family, my support system, they knew and worked around my schedule during those two years. My soccer team knew when I was missing games and why. Several of my soccer teammates attended our JLW fundraising events that year to support me. And staying a part of the team, setting Saturdays aside for soccer, gave me the chance to clear my mind.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be JLW president? If not, what experiences led to your decision? A: No, I didn’t know. My experiences on the board and in the JLW over the years led me this opportunity.
Q: What advice do you have for current members who are interested in becoming JLW president some day? A: Talk to past presidents, ask what they learned and why they stepped up. Ask yourself why you want to be president and what you will bring to the table. Where do you see the League going and how can you help it grow?
Q: How did the JLW prepare you for your role as president? A: I had many opportunities to work with our community partners and see the need in the community. I also had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of JLW volunteers (from the CPC placements to Ways & Means). Through Strategic Planning and Nominating, I had a chance to see the big picture of everything the League is doing and how it fits together. By chairing committees or working as part of a team, I had a chance to hone my leadership skills and learn when to step up and do the work myself or when to manage and delegate.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be JLW president? If not, what experiences led to your decision? A: No, I did not always want to be JLW president. After volunteering with Maria Estefania, I was in total awe of JLW presidents and then began to consider self-nominating myself for president-elect.
Q: What skills and qualities do you think are necessary to be an eﬀective JLW president? A: The ability to delegate - it’s necessary to set the year’s goals for your board team. However, you then have to allow the board to manage the process. Capacity to mentor! The president is the ultimate mentor. You need to develop future leaders so the organization will continue beyond your year. The JLW president needs to set the tone for the year so you have to be open to a conversation while managing the direction. Q: How were you able to manage your presidential responsibilities with other competing priorities? A: Be flexible! Recognize this is for a limited time frame – your president-elect (PE) and president years. Also, you are not alone. You have a team to work with from your president/PE (depending on the role)
BARBARA FRANKLIN (2005-2006)
Q: How did the JLW prepare you for your role as president? A: I had a lot of diﬀerent placements and a lot of diﬀerent leadership roles. I was a committee chair, worked with fundraising, worked in the community, edited the newsletter, served on the board and Nominating Committee. My various placements gave me a broad perspective of the JLW. Q: What skills and qualities do you think are necessary to be an eﬀective JLW president? A: Knowing the JLW and working in various placements. Public speaking. Pushing yourself to mix and mingle with members and outside stakeholders. Listening. Being organized. Facilitation skills. Ability to collaborate. Writing skills – speeches, a monthly newsletter article [and] talking points for various meetings.
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
Q: How were you able to manage your presidential responsibilities with other competing priorities? A: Being president and president-elect (PE) can be stressful on a marriage. There is a tension between doing your best as president or PE and spending time with your spouse and family. To ease [this tension] with scheduling, I put a calendar on the fridge with all my meetings listed for each night. It worked! My husband knew where I was! Work was a bit easier to manage. My boss was impressed that I was a JL president-elect/ president, which really helped. I used lunch hours and took vacation time to attend events. I was a fairly senior manager at my agency, so I had a lot of vacation time accrued, and I didn’t have to work long hours. Q: What advice do you have for current members who are interested in becoming JLW president some day? A: Self nominate. Try as many placements as you can – the more you know, the more you understand, the better you can serve. And if you are nominated to be president-elect/president, enjoy the ride. It was a fabulous two years, and I had a blast!
BETSY DUFF (1998-1999) Q: Did you always know you wanted to be JLW president? If not, what experiences led to your decision? A: No, I definitely did not know I wanted to be president … and probably was as surprised as anyone when my leadership path in the JLW ultimately led to that position. Having said that, when I was eight years old, my mother served as the president of the Junior League of St. Louis (JLSL). I spent my childhood in and around JLSL meetings and grew up knowing the importance of the volunteer work she was doing. The fact that my mother had served as a JL president may have made that opportunity — while still a great honor — seem less unattainable and more a natural part of my membership in the League. I became president in 1998 at a time when the JLW was facing decisions about our headquarters building, our financial sustainability, our ability and willingness to focus our volunteer eﬀorts in order to achieve greater impact and our membership requirements in light of ever-changing work-family balance concerns. Having served several years on the board and with a firm understanding of our strategic plan, the current needs of the JLW and its finances, I suppose I was simply the right person for the time. It was my great honor to work on the renovation of our headquarters building and to participate in both the fundraising and financing eﬀorts that ultimately made that project possible. Q: How did the JLW prepare you for your role as president? A: I was very fortunate to serve in five diﬀerent board positions before stepping into the role as president. The on-the-job experiences at the board table over those years shaped my leadership style and gave me the foundation to run eﬃcient meetings and ensure that all members of the board had the opportunity to engage eﬀectively. Most importantly,
through JLW and AJLI training, I learned a great deal about communications styles – including my own. I am grateful to the five past presidents under whom I served (Nancy Register, Melinda Baskin Hudson, Anne Riser, Janet Beckmann and Julia Fermoile) for their guidance and mentoring along the way. Q: What obstacles (if any) stood in your way of becoming president? How did you overcome them? A: My only obstacles were the ones I created – a lack of confidence and concerns that I might not be able to balance my obligations (my kids were 8 and 5 at the time, and I had a new job that demanded international travel and long hours). I gained confidence by focusing on what I could control and ensuring that I was well prepared for meetings and as accessible as possible to members and committee chairs during that year. It was a little easier then to retain some “down time” because social media and smartphones hadn’t been developed, and we just barely had begun to use email (sounds like the dark ages to many of you, I’m sure!). Q: What skills and qualities do you think are necessary to be an eﬀective president? A: Ideally, an eﬀective president is: a good listener; a strong collaborator and consensus-builder; able to understand the JLW’s role and impact (both past and current), and to use that knowledge to drive the organization forward; able to place any personal agenda she may bring well behind the collective needs and goals of the members; a solid communicator with the skill to manage many diﬀerent types of personalities; and a steward of the JLW’s history, its assets, its members and its future. Q: How were you able to manage your JLW presidential responsibilities with other competing priorities? A: I had tremendous help and understanding from my husband, Jim, and kids, Patrick and Maggie. They ate a lot of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese that year! My colleagues were very supportive, and I was able to establish a reasonable routine for the number of evenings I would devote to JLW meetings each week. The fact that our communications tools in the late nineties were limited to phone and, on a more moderate scale than today, emails, made it easier to be “all-in” when I needed to be, but still focus on my family and work. Of course, there was no time for anything else! Q: What advice do you have for current members who are interested in becoming JLW president? Raise your hand. My decision to self-nominate for a board position was the catalyst for later becoming president. Gain volunteer experience across JLW service opportunities (community, in-league, fund development, e.g.) in order to develop the holistic perspective necessary to lead the JLW. Use your volunteer experience as a way to learn new skills. Push yourself to take on types of responsibilities or experiences that you would not otherwise have (e.g. in your “day job”). Seek mentors (and, likewise, mentor others). The JLW oﬀers the phenomenal opportunity to learn from other women leaders, and, in turn, teach and develop future women leaders. •
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
JLW LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE:
YEAR IN REVIEW AND A LOOK TO THE FUTURE By Macie Leach
he Junior League of Washington (JLW) oﬃcially launched the JLW Leadership Institute this year in response to feedback from a large number of JLW members seeking opportunities for additional leadership training within the League. According to JLW’s 2014 annual survey, 36 percent of members “indicated that leadership training was a key reason for their continued membership” and in 2015 that number increased to 46 percent. The first oﬀering by the JLW Leadership Institute began last year with the four-part Get On Board program, which was created to train League members to serve on non-profit boards and community boards of directors, including JLW’s own board. Based on overwhelming interest in the program last year, JLW Leadership Institute is oﬀering the Get on Board training twice this year – once in the fall and once in the spring. Courtney Mesmer, Membership Development Council Director, explained that members who participate in the program “learn the best practices for non-profit boards.” Mesmer said participants learn how a high-functioning non-profit board operates and gain a greater understanding of roles on such a board. Firstyear program participants all reported feeling “better prepared to sit on a non-profit board and are actively seeking opportunities to do so.” Several first-year graduates of the Get On Board program now sit on boards: Kristen Kestner Maddux sits on the board of My Sister’s Place, Eleanor Worthy sits on the board of Chelsea School, Amy Shuart sits on the JLW board and Courtney Mesmer sits on the JLW board & the board of the Children’s National Medical Center Celiac Disease Program. In addition to Get on Board, the JLW Leadership Institute has hosted two intensive sessions for JLW leaders and will host workshops on diversity, communications and media training, as well as mentorships and succession planning. The Institute will
Participants of the Leadership Institute’s inaugural Get on Board training also oﬀer single session “Nuts-and-Bolts” trainings, with topics ranging from finance and how to assemble a committee budget to fundraising and how to manage conflict and conduct committee meetings. The Institute will use a mix of in-League and outside speakers to provide JLW members with access to highly skilled trainers. Plans to expand the JLW Leadership Institute curriculum are ongoing. •
We would like to have a better understanding of JLW members who are servig on community boards. If you currently serve on a non-profit board in the greater D.C. area, please email Courtney Mesmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
MORE THAN JUST A PLACEMENT By Elizabeth Jennings
hoosing a placement is an important decision because it will occupy a large amount of time during a member’s Junior League year. For some, returning to a prior placement is meaningful because of the personal connections made and for others, it has become an important part of their regular schedule. For Laura Lieberman, it is the way her placement has taken her to another level: she now sits on the board that governs the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria, Virginia. Lieberman joined the Junior League of Washington (JLW) in 2012 and knew during her first New Member Saturday Session that she wanted to find a cultural placement. As a history major, she was eager to find a placement that could complement her knowledge of 18th century and colonial American history. The decision was easy when she met the group from the Historic Alexandria Docents Committee. Lieberman volunteered above and beyond her requirements during her first year on the committee. After observing her dedication, Executive Director John Christiansen thought Lieberman would be a good fit to serve as a representative for the Historic Alexandria Resources Commission, run by the City of Alexandria. With her knowledge of the concerns of the house and its everyday needs, she could provide insight about what they needed to keep the house going. Christiansen also recommended that Lieberman join board of directors for the Virginia Trust for Historic Preservation, which runs the Lee-Fendall House. As a member of the Virginia Trust for Historic Preservation board, Lieberman reviews maintenance needs and allocation of funds, examines donations and addresses the director’s reports. To prepare for this role, she completed the JLW Leadership Institute Get on Board training, which prepares JLW members to serve on non-profit boards. She credits the JLW with helping her learn how to adapt to her new responsibilities. “It’s so great to hear the other board members listen to my input. They always suggest that it’s the younger generation that is going to keep the museum going after everyone else retires and that I represent that generation,” Lieberman said.
Laura Lieberman, Board Member, Lee-Fendall House, Alexandria, Virginia.
She said she definitely stands out, as she is younger than many other board members by 20 years. As for getting here in the first place? “My Junior League experience has led to so many opportunities to flourish in this community and to keep the torch burning. I’m pretty thankful for that,” Lieberman said. Lieberman is a great example of a JLW member living our mission out loud – a trained volunteer improving the Greater Washington D.C. community through eﬀective action and leadership. •
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
TWO BIRDS, ONE STONE:
MEETING PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS THROUGH VOLUNTARISM
By Morgan Cosby
he 2015 annual survey revealed that nearly half of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) members are motivated by opportunities to further develop their skill set. What are those desired skills? Members prioritized skills such as how to become a leader in the community, manage resources and motivate volunteers. While JLW oﬀers many opportunities to develop specific skill sets through events put on by the Development & Training (D&T) Committee, JLW members also learn and grow through their committee placements. For example, on the Targeted Grants & Volunteer Resources Committee members learn about various non-profits, as they oversee and execute the JLW grantmaking process. On the Financial Planning Committee, members hone their finance skills, while on the Public Relations and New Media Committee, members learn new marketing tactics by promoting the work of the League. Placements with community partners such as the Literacy Lab, Historic Alexandria Docents and Langley Residential Support Services (LRSS) also provide additional training opportunities for members of those committees. In the Literacy Lab placement, for instance, members receive a two-hour training from the Literacy Lab staﬀ before they begin volunteering on their own. The Literacy Lab focuses on providing children from low-income households with individualized reading instructions in order to improve their literacy. The training committee members receive equips them to interact eﬀectively with homeless children and to implement the Ready-to-Read curriculum used by the organization. The first half of the training prepares volunteers for the challenges of working with the homeless population. The training emphasizes that – because the children live in high stress environments – volunteers play an important role in providing a sense of stability by following the same schedule and curriculum each week. Volunteers are also trained to oﬀer the children options whenever possible, as they don’t have many opportunities to make their own choices while living in a shelter. The second part of the training focuses on the program curriculum. Breaking into pairs, the members take turns implementing the lesson plans with each other, taking turns acting as leader and student. Finally, in addition to trainings specific to
Historic Alexandria Docents Committee member Jennifer Hemmerdinger smiles for a quick photo while serving a traditional tea at Gadsby’s Tavern
one-on-one teaching, the JLW volunteers are also trained to facilitate group learning. Literacy Lab Chair Leanna Wood explains, “The Literacy Lab training program provides committee members with a variety of transferable skills. Members are taught how to interact eﬀectively with the homeless population, which can be applied to several diﬀerent JLW placements. Volunteers can use the literacy building skills they have learned when interacting with their own children or those of friends and family. Individuals who opt into the additional session leader training have the opportunity to build public speaking and leadership skills, which can be applied within the JLW, their work place or the community as a whole.” The Historic Alexandria Docents (HAD) Committee provides opportunities for volunteers to hone their public speaking skills. HAD Committee members serve at one of five properties in Alexandria. In addition to becoming experts on the fascinating history of these Old
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
Town Alexandria properties, JLW volunteers develop public speaking skills as they lead tours of various types and interact with the community at special events. Some volunteers even have the opportunity to practice their acting skills while dressing in colonial costume. Langley Residential Support Services (LRSS) provides comprehensive residential and community support services that enable adults with intellectual disabilities to live active and rich lives and to develop the self-confidence that comes with being independent. JLW volunteers support this goal by organizing and running cooking classes, book clubs and an upcoming spring talent show. JLW volunteers at LRSS are provided with training to teach volunteers how to protect and respect the basic rights of the organization’s clients. The training teaches volunteers how to spot signs and types of abuse and how to respond if it is suspected. Whatever each member’s personal goals may be, there are ways to meet them through JLW placements. With over 40 options for placements within the League and throughout the community, the opportunities to develop new skills abound – with the types of skills learned being as varied as the committees themselves. •
AJLI BENEFITS FOR JLW MEMBERS By Parker Jenkins
WHAT INSPIRES A LEADER AND A VOLUNTEER?
By Maj-Lene Keech f your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
The Junior League of Washington is composed of and led by an extraordinary group of women. At 3039M, we wanted to find out if there were any quotes that members of our Board of Directors use to guide them in their roles as leaders within the League, as well as in the community and in their professional and personal lives. Here is what we found out: Courtney Mesmer, Membership Development Council Director: “Stars can’t shine without darkness.” — D.H. Sidebottom Diane Lebson, Ways & Means Council Director: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
Did you know Junior League of Washington (JLW) members have access to additional benefits and discounts through The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI)?
Amy Shuart, Community Aﬀairs Council Director: “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” — Stephen Covey
By visiting www.ajli.org and logging in with your JLW username & password, you can access AJLI benefits under the “Services > Benefits for you!” section of the website.
Stacey Tuneski, New Membership Council Director: “We can do no great things. We can only do small things with great love.” — Mother Theresa
Here are just a few examples of the great deals you can find:
Rose Hamm, Sustainer Chair: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” — Vince Lombardi
1. Rent The Runway – RTR is extending an exclusive 15 percent discount to AJLI members on orders of $100 or more. 2. The Real Real - TheRealReal.com is the largest authenticated luxury consignment marketplace. AJLI is partnering with them so that you can be among the first to shop and save on TheRealReal’s luxury inventory, with 20 percent off select items.
Catherine Pepper Pickels, Communications and Public Relations Council Director: “I’ve always believed that if you do the right thing for the right reasons, good things will happen.” — Former Speaker of the House John A. Boehner
3. 1-800-FLOWERS - Through AJLI’s relationship with 1-800-FLOWERS, all Junior League members receive 15 percent off their orders. Other featured corporate partner discounts include: car rentals, hotels, insurance plans, Cross Cultural Solutions, DollarDays and Tiffany & Co. •
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
MAKING AN IMPACT:
YEAR AFTER YEAR By Elizabeth Jennings
Megan Morgan Burgoyne (left) & Robin Morgan (right) of the Folger Committee
he Morgan sisters, Megan and Robin, have served on the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Folger Shakespeare Library Committee for 9 and 8 years, respectively. Megan joined before Robin and was initially interested because she grew up going to the theater with her family. In addition to Folger being close to her oﬃce, Megan thought it seemed like a great way to see shows and learn about the community. She enjoyed it so much, she hoped her sister would join her on Folger. Robin had previously volunteered with the local theater in their hometown so Folger immediately interested her, and the great things she heard about the placement from her sister sealed the deal. The JLW allows members to switch most placements on an annual basis, leaving room to try something new. However, many members decide to stay on their placement committee for multiple years. Some will stay for a year or two, and others, like Megan and Robin, will stay for several. When asked why the sisters have continuously returned to Folger, Megan spoke of the programs for children of all ages and the museum’s promotion of voluntarism. Robin highlighted the wonderful
friendships within the committee, and how these relationships continue to grow after an initial placement. “It’s so nice that the community recognizes the JLW volunteers and their excellent work and good attitudes. The second a JLW member walks into the room, they are immediately recognized for their dedication,” Robin said. Another JLW member, Megan Parker, has remained with the Special Events Committee for three years. As a new member, she wanted to do something outside the ordinary realm of her day job. Parker felt Special Events was a nice fit because she enjoyed event planning and the placement has a positive impact on the community. After her first year, she was approached about taking on a leadership role within the committee. It wasn’t a hard decision for Parker to make, as she enjoyed the work, liked the events she was planning and had a great time putting all the details together. Whether a volunteer sticks with a placement year after year or looks for new opportunities each year to make an impact, members’ dedication to the community, the League and each other plays a critical role in the JLW’s ability to create positive change. •
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
LEAGUE EXPERIENCES HELP MEMBERS BREAK OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE
By Kristin Shaulis
s a group of about 25 women gathered upstairs at Stoney’s on L Street for trivia, the Friends theme song started playing in the background. The song seemed appropriate to members of the Esprit Committee that night as they looked to make trivia gatherings a new tradition and another opportunity for Junior League of Washington (JLW) members to build relationships. But for those new to the League, putting yourself out there to make new friendships can sometimes be a daunting task. “Everybody feels the same way,” said Barb Mickits, former chair of the Esprit Committee.* “A lot of people come in [to the League] not knowing anyone, and that’s great. Don’t be afraid.” Most JLW members have at one time or another feared walking into an event without knowing anyone, while also hoping that JLW will be the source of new friendships. For many, getting over that initial hesitancy can be hard. “In my early JLW years, I nearly always dreaded an event, mainly because I didn’t want to be the odd man out and not know anyone,” said Alex Corby, vice chair of the Esprit Committee. “But when I forced myself to attend, I always had a great time and left with a smile on my face.” Although it may seem awkward to introduce yourself to strangers, it can lead to something much more organic. “It’s sort of like dating,” said Mickits. “Don’t be afraid to follow up with people, and suggest coﬀee or exchange phone numbers.” Getting away from social media during League events can be helpful too, said Mickits. “We all rely on our phones when we feel awkward,” she said. “But instead, be okay with making conversation. Say ‘Hello.’ Everyone is waiting for the same thing.” Many members maintain busy schedules outside of JLW, but for those looking to make more friends in the League, the task often involves making an additional eﬀort to get to know more people. “I think diligence is key,” said Corby. “You have to continuously force yourself to go to events – even when you just feel like throwing on yoga pants and eating ice cream after work.”
Junior League members, including Alexandra Corby, vice chair of Esprit, play trivia at Stoney’s, a tradition the committee hopes to solidify this year. Mickits said that, just like in other aspects of the League, what you put into it is often what you’ll get out of it. Trying new activities and consistently staying involved with the League can help create friendships that last a lifetime. “Everyone feels awkward,” said Mickits. “If you just acknowledge that and move on, it can be a lot of fun.” *Mickits moved to San Francisco after press time. •
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MEMBERS
JLW FROM EVERY ANGLE:
WHAT’S YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION? W
ith the holiday season already underway and the new year rapidly approaching, 3039M wanted a peak into Junior League of Washington members’ 2016 plans. We checked in with New Member Jacqueline Wasem, Transfer Member Ivette Fernandez, Sustainer Betsy Spruill and Active Member Camden Stuebe to find out what they are resolving for the new year.
Jacqueline Wasem, New Member “This year, my resolution is to spend the time to think about long-term financial planning. I’ve got the job, the apartment, the friends... I really want to focus on smart saving and spending.”
Ivette Fernandez, Transfer Member “My 2016 New Year’s resolutions are to strengthen my faith and surrender myself to God; continue to take care of and learn from my dear mother, who has Alzheimer’s; and continue to seek inner peace, joy and work-life balance. Additionally, I would like to devote more of my time to voluntarism and philanthropic causes, as well as find the man God has intended for me to marry and start a family. I wish all of you a blessed and amazing 2016!”
Camden Stuebe, Active Member “My New Year’s resolution is to run a half marathon while eating more kale and less ranch dip!”
Betsy Spruill, Sustaining Member “FotoMaven Photography has been my side business for the past 15 years. My New Year’s resolution for 2016 is to see it blossom into a full-time venture. I actually started thinking about my resolution back in August and mapped out a plan of attack. Out of all the New Year’s declarations I have ever made, this one will require the most hard work and dedication. I know I will succeed because, unlike my previous fitness-focused goals, I won’t have to worry about ice cream. I’m absolutely powerless against that delicious dairy siren song that calls to me from my freezer.”
DID YOU KNOW? YOU CAN SUPPORT THE JLW EVERY TIME YOU SHOP ON AMAZON.COM It’s simple. Just go to: smile.amazon.com Log into your Amazon account (it’s the same login at smile.amazon. com) and designate “Junior League of Washington” (JLW) as the charity you are supporting. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5 percent of the purchase price of all eligible items to the JLW. The product detail page will indicate that the product is “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation.” What an easy way to help raise money for the JLW with just a couple of clicks! •
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Book Clubs that Bring Women Together By Kristin Shaulis
ith the Junior League of Washington (JLW) year in full swing, book clubs in the League are booming and helping members make lasting friendships. “My best JLW friends have been made through book club. I think the consistency is what does it,” said Alex Corby, a JLW member and vice chair of the Esprit Committee. The JLW oﬀers book clubs based on both genre preference and location. “This brings together women who already have at least one thing in common, which helps them to connect with the women in their clubs and create those friendships,” said Kimberly Price, chair of the Membership Outreach Committee. “When women feel comfortable and welcomed by the other members of their book or connection club, it makes it a much more enjoyable and lasting experience for everyone involved.” Most clubs average 10 to 12 people. Price noted that this helps to ensure the club can continue, even if a few members can’t make
TOOLS AND TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BOOK CLUB • • • • • • •
Pick a date, location and book in advance. Use a recurring date so it is on everyone’s calendar (ex: the first Tuesday of the month) Have each member suggest a couple ideas for what to read or do You can’t (and don’t have to) please everyone Use a group calendar for your meetings and events Have a leader and co-leaders, so that the leader isn’t responsible for everything Send out participation emails periodically to check in with inactive group members Leverage the Connection Club/Book Club subscriptions on the JLW Resources page
a meeting. Additionally, book clubs often hold tangential events for members to connect on a more social basis. “Sometimes club members just want to meet, socialize and catch up on life without having to be prepared to read and discuss a book,” Price said. “Incorporating these additional activities allows members to connect and get to know each other more, while trying out a new happy hour or brunch spot.” The JLW book clubs help to bring members together and to create stronger and more lasting connections. To join, League members were asked to participate in a survey earlier this year; however, those that missed the deadline and are still interested in the clubs can contact the Membership Outreach Committee (MembershipOutreach.email@example.com). Once participants are placed and clubs are formed, groups are assigned a liaison from the Membership Outreach Committee, who assists with the initial communications for the book club before it becomes self-sustaining. “You start as strangers, and by May you’re real friends – learning about each others’ lives and interests outside the League, but held together by that common thread,” Corby said. •
DID YOU KNOW? JLW IS NOW ON INSTAGRAM The Junior League of Washington (JLW) now has a thriving account on Instagram, thanks to member submissions from current events, as well as great “throwbacks” to past JLW events, trainings and volunteer opportunities. Follow JLW today by searching for “3039M” in the app. Be sure to tag the League’s account and use #JLWvol as your main hashtag (as with Twitter) when posting photos from JLW events. For more information on how to share your committee’s content on JLW social media platforms, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book Club Picks By Maj-Lene Keech
The Junior League of Washington book clubs are member-driven, meaning that each group chooses their own books when they meet. As in previous years, the book clubs are once again organized by genre and location. We asked Kimberly Price, Membership Outreach chair, which books are not to be missed this fall. Leadership: “Are You Fully Charged” by Tom Rath New York Times Best Seller: “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” by David Lagercrantz Chick Lit: “Who Do You Love” by Jennifer Weiner Classics: “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald Non Fiction: “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling
READING • SPELLING • COMPREHENSION • MATH
A few weeks of instruction can change learning for life. “He is now confident in school and isn’t afraid to put his hand up. He is proud!” − Pam, a mother Contact us to learn more.
(202) 237-7695 email@example.com
Horton’s Kids at its 25th Anniversary:
AN EVOLVING MISSION TO SERVE THE CHILDREN OF D.C. By Sara Nayeem
n February 2015, Horton’s Kids celebrated 25 years of serving underprivileged children in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8, marking an important milestone for this innovative community organization and long-time partner of the Junior League of Washington (JLW). Horton’s Kids was founded in 1989 by Capitol Hill staﬀer Karin Walser. She stopped for gas at a station on New York Ave-
nue one night and several children living at a nearby homeless shelter asked if they could pump her gas for spare change. She oﬀered instead to take them to the zoo the next weekend. In the following years, Karin recruited other Hill staﬀers and friends to join these weekend activities, providing enrichment for children who had few other opportunities to venture outside their neighborhood. That homeless shelter was eventually closed and a number of the families moved to Wellington
Park, a subsidized housing apartment complex in Anacostia. Karin and her friends followed the families to their new community. With only 19 percent of adults in Wellington Park having high school diplomas, the organization’s focus began to expand as Karin and her volunteers realized how far behind the children were in school, particularly in reading. Horton’s Kids expanded to provide after-school tutoring, originally in the Anacostia library and later in the Rayburn House Oﬃce Building. In 2014, as part of the organization’s eﬀort to reach older youth, Horton’s Kids partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide evening tutoring. Horton’s Kids has made a number of changes in recent years, including adding college and standardized test preparation for older youth. Early in Horton’s Kids history, volunteers noticed that the homework assigned to the children was not very useful – often they were assigned no homework at all or they were assigned work that was either too easy or too advanced for their level. Volunteers began to focus on an external curriculum with a heavy emphasis on reading remediation. “Horton’s Kids has made it a priority to enroll every student in the strongest school available to them. Changing public schools is important and people are working on this, but it takes a long time. These children need something that will work for them NOW,” said Executive Director Robin Berkley. As the education ecosystem in Washington, D.C. has transformed in recent years through the rise of charter schools, many students began to have alternatives to low-performing schools. More than two-thirds of the students in Horton’s Kids are now enrolled in charter or parochial schools. Homework is often more appropriate, both in terms of quantity and level of diﬃculty, and volunteers focus on helping the students complete this work during tutoring time. Volunteers are also encouraged to experiment with supplemental programs once homework and 15 minutes of reading to an adult are complete. This can include tablet-based programs with technology to adjust the diﬃculty of the task based on the student’s skill level. Two other organizational goals for Horton’s Kids include working towards youth development and enrichment (helping students achieve habits and behaviors linked to success as adults, such as grit, self-control and optimism) and health and basic needs (reducing stress to allow for success in academics). To make progress towards youth development and enrichment, Horton’s Kids conducts weekend programming, such as cooking classes, boxing lessons, team sports, gardening, field trips throughout D.C. and discussion groups for older youths. Addressing health and basic needs is just as critical with the average annual income in the neighborhood less than $10,000. The Horton’s Kids Community Resource Center provides hot, healthy meals Monday through Thursday for children after school, as well as weekend bags filled with food they can prepare on their
own. The organization also distributes new shoes, coats, school supplies, diapers, toothpaste, shampoo and other necessities not covered by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Horton’s Kids is working in partnership with Connected Psychology and the Wendt Center to explore the final piece of the puzzle: how to provide counseling and mental health support for neighborhood children, who are exposed to high rates of violence and drug use. JLW has had a long and rich history of partnering with Horton’s Kids, which has recognized the value of JLW volunteers’ contributions by providing greater flexibility to allow more League members to participate. The Horton’s Kids Committee can now oﬀer mini-placements and community experiences, as well as allow volunteers to serve as tutoring “floaters” if they cannot make a weekly commitment. JLW also provides volunteers to assist with some of the organization’s fundraising events, including manning an arts and crafts table at Home Run for Horton’s Kids, a yearly event at Nationals Park. Members of JLW also have taken on individual responsibilities, separate from the League, for Horton’s Kids Give Thanks and Give Back Gala. “The Junior League is an invaluable partner,” said Berkley. “It is an organization which we can ask, ‘Can you do this?’ and when they say, ‘Yes’ I know we’re covered soup to nuts.” The JLW also recently granted Horton’s Kids $25,000 to help fund a critical new initiative: reading recovery, an intensive eﬀort directed toward students who are three years behind in reading. The JLW grant will help cover the materials to put the reading recovery program in place and will allow for the expansion of the Community Resource Center’s library. This will include a new quiet room, which can be utilized for homework, test prep, story hour and more books. Horton’s Kids has led the way in holistic support for the academic development of underprivileged youth, evolving to respond to changes in everything from the evolution of education in D.C. to new technology. Twenty-five years after its founding, Horton’s Kids has grown significantly and continues to serve some of the most at-risk kids in the District, providing health and basic need support to 500 children, as well as tutoring and other intensive services to more than 150 children. The success of the organization can be measured in the outcomes for their students, who graduate high school at twice the neighborhood average. The unique and powerful partnership between the organization and JLW represents the best of what the League’s community placements can oﬀer. In the words of Horton’s Kids Committee Chair Jennifer Lackey, “I have been impressed by how many people have stayed involved in Horton’s Kids throughout their time in the League, even though it is a rigorous placement. They see the value of what is being provided at the macro level, as well as the impact they can make on individual students.” •
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Behind the Scenes
AT THE 15TH ANNUAL NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL By Kelly Giedraitis Phillips
n September 5, almost one hundred and twenty thousand book lovers descended on the Washington Convention Center to meet their favorite authors and enjoy literacy-focused events at the Library of Congress’s fifteenth annual National Book Festival. Behind the scenes and on the front lines, about 400 volunteers from the Junior League of Washington (JLW) directed eager fans and helped keep the book signing lines moving. The JLW has served as the primary volunteer partner for the National Book Festival for 13 years. “They really are amazing,” said Guy Lamolinara, co-director of the National Book Festival, about the JLW volunteers. “We could not have the festival without the help of the Junior League. There’s just no way.” This year’s National Book Festival expanded on last year’s move to the Convention Center, featuring more than 175 authors and running from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. An extended-day National Book Festival meant more fun but also the need for more volunteer hours. The JLW’s Community Event Planning Committee, which oversees JLW participation in the festival, embraced the opportunity. JLW volunteers staﬀed the book signing lines, the Pavilion of the States and the Politics and Prose book sales tent, and floaters filled in whenever and wherever needed. “This year we had nearly 50 more authors in the book signing lines [than] last year, with only two additional hours of signing,” said Marta Hernandez, the chair of the Community Event Planning Committee. “With a jam-packed schedule, our planning and preparedness – as well as a well-trained volunteer corps on the day of – made all the diﬀerence.” The book-signing lines were popular and crowded this year. Authors from Kate DiCamillo to Buzz Aldrin and David McCullough kept fans excited and volunteers busy throughout the day. “[The book signing lines] can be enormous and have some ornery people,” Lamolinara said. “But the Junior League is so professional and handles those things so well.” JLW member Carolyn Wilson, who served as a book signing line captain this year, said she got hooked on the festival six years ago and has supported it every year since. She said she has seen just about everything happen in the book signing lines, including a couple’s engagement.
The atmosphere is what keeps Wilson, and many other JLW volunteers, coming back year after year. “It’s the excitement in the air,” she said. “I’ve seen excitement for authors I didn’t even know existed, which opened my eyes to new books to read and new authors to check out.” JLW member Nancy Kohler, who volunteered for her third time at the festival this year, also worked in the book signing lines. “I loved learning more about what kinds of books [the festival goers] love and what brought them to the festival,” she said. “I was so proud to be a Junior League member that day, especially watching the way the book signing lines were run with such friendly professionalism.” To make the event a success, JLW worked closely with the Library of Congress for many months long before the festival opened, organizing logistics and retooling the event training for JLW volunteers. This coordination is critical to making the event a success. “We attend weekly meetings at Library of Congress with all the stakeholders and staﬀ involved with the book festival,” Hernandez said. “It’s been great to have a seat at the table, both to see the inner workings of the Book Festival but also to make sure our concerns are heard and addressed.” As a testament to the growing ties between the Library of Congress and the JLW, the poster for this year’s National Book Festival recognized for the first time ever JLW’s support for the Festival. “We were so glad this year to have the Junior League name on the poster to recognize the fact that the Junior League has contributed so much over the years,” Lamolinara said. Lamolinara added that the Library of Congress’s relationship with the JLW is constantly evolving and that he is excited to work with JLW for next year’s festival. If years past are any indication, hundreds of JLW members are looking forward to next year’s festival as well. •
The National Book Festival kept JLW members on their toes – and their feet. Some JLW volunteers had a Fitbit step contest during the festival, with the winner having over 26,000 steps (nearly 13 miles), and most participants hitting around 20,000 steps (about 10 miles).
ABOUT OUR LEAGUE
MARKETPLACE COMMITTEE By Macie Leach
he Marketplace Committee raises funds to support the Junior League of Washington (JLW) through the sale of branded merchandise, custom stationery and other goods to JLW members, family and friends. The committee is also responsible for cultivating and maintaining vendor relationships and promoting ongoing partnership opportunities that exist between the League and outside parties. Marketplace originally was part of the Special Events Committee, but became a separate committee in 2014. “Last year Marketplace did a great job of cementing its permanent status as a solo committee under Ways & Means,” said chair Cady Clapp. “We want all members to turn to Marketplace first when they need to buy holiday cards, shower announcements, birthday gifts or just something special for themselves.” This year, the committee is working to bring new JLW-branded items to members and also to streamline sales procedures with stationery vendors to make the buying process more user-friendly. Clapp noted, “Gone are the days of ‘Marketplace Hours’ at Headquarters where you flip through product binders. This year, Marketplace is branching out to the world of online sales.”
The committee is pleased to announce a unique JLW website via Ivy + Anchor where members can shop in the comfort of their own home for custom stationery, photo cards, personalized acrylic home and entertaining wares, gifts, tech accessories and more. Members (along with friends and family) can visit JLWDC.IvyandAnchor. com and shop ‘til they drop while also saving 15 percent oﬀ all orders with the code JLWDC. As an added bonus, proceeds from every sale advance the Junior League’s mission. Members can also visit JLW. MintedStoreFronts.com to purchase invitations and other stationery, and 15 percent of each purchase will be donated to JLW. The Marketplace Committee has made a significant investment in new JLW-branded items for members to sport around town, including Smathers & Branson hats and key chains, JLW Sweaty Bands, pocket T’s, long-sleeve shirts, tank tops and koozies. Members can be on the lookout for merchandise purchasing opportunities at the New Member Mid-Year event in February and at the Tossed & Found Preview Night in March. As Clapp explained, “Every shirt you wear, bag you carry or water bottle you keep on your desk is an opportunity for a conversation to take place about the Junior League of Washington and our mission.” •
ABOUT OUR LEAGUE
MEET THE JLW STAFF
t the Junior League of Washington, we have four amazing staﬀ members working alongside our volunteers to advance the JLW mission. Because we know you often see their friendly faces at the Loughborough House but may not know their names or how they can support your volunteer eﬀorts, we wanted to share a little bit more about these amazing women.
Name: Terry Algire Title: Manager of Donor Development and External Aﬀairs Best way to contact me: Terry@jlw.org At the JLW I … work with the Board and members to develop, coordinate and maintain corporate and individual philanthropic support. As part of my eﬀorts, I reach out to community members and connect them to the JLW mission to increase our profile in the community. I love working at JLW because … it is an honor to be part of an organization that provides leadership opportunities for women. I also strongly support the JLW’s volunteer eﬀorts that directly impact critical needs in our community. When I’m not working, you can find me … running or spending time with my family, including a new grandchild!
Name: Allison Horton Title: Manager of Technology Best way to contact me: Allison@jlw.org At JLW, I … maintain the League’s website on both the public and member side and send out the weekly League Lines e-newsletter. I also work with the Secretary and Home & Heritage Council to ensure the needs at HQ are being met. I love working at JLW because … I’m constantly interacting with the members and assisting them. Being new to JLW, I feel like I’m learning on a daily basis. I enjoy seeing the pieces of the puzzle fit together and how the League, as a whole, is enriching the community. When I’m not working, you can find me … spending time with my family. John and I have been married for 13 years. We have a daughter, Kinsley (8) and son, Hudson (5), and they keep our days filled with happy chaos.
Name: Katy Longworth Title: Membership Coordinator & Bookkeeper Best way to contact me: Katy@jlw.org At JLW, I … maintain the membership database, coordinate transfers, resignations, reinstatements and status changes, as well as provide administrative and financial support to JLW leadership. I love working at JLW because … I believe in the mission of the JLW. I enjoy being able to provide support to the 2300 JLW members so you can focus on making an impact by being a resource to the greater D.C. community. When I’m not working, you can find me … running, cooking, or playing tourist in my city.
Name: Chelsea Smith Title: Administrative Assistant Best way to contact me: Chelsea@jlw.com At JLW, I … provide administrative support to JLW staﬀ and members. I provide access to headquarters for members and visitors and work closely with the Home & Heritage Council to ensure that headquarters is properly taken care of. I love working at JLW because … the way all these women come together using their knowledge and talents to help the community around them is a really beautiful thing, and I am happy to be a part of it. When I’m not working, you can find me … spending time with my friends and family. Going to markets, concerts, museums and just enjoying all that D.C. has to oﬀer. •
ABOUT OUR LEAGUE
’TIS THE SEASON TO START CREATING A GREAT TOSSED & FOUND PILE By Jacqueline Bauer
Wristlets are always top sellers at Tossed & Found
Must-have designer dresses on display at Tossed & Found
any of you plan to do some pre-holiday cleaning in preparation for visitors and parties, or maybe there is a big closet cleanout on your New Year’s resolution list. The Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Tossed & Found organizers want you to keep the upcoming event in mind as you take a fresh look at the items in your home and decide what should stay and what should go. All new and active JLW members are required to donate $50 worth of rummage (or make a $50 contribution) to Tossed & Found. Sorting through clothes, household items, children’s toys and books is a great opportunity to create a perfect donation pile for this popular annual event. What makes the best kind of donation? • Items you would want to buy or would give to a friend. • Your favorite work clothes in your closet that no longer fit but are still in good shape. • Books you loved for your book club or summer reading but can’t fit on your bookshelf. • An old iPod or iPhone, and the corresponding accessories that you no longer use. • Former favorite handbags that are looking for a new home.
One great Tossed & Found find - a Kate Spade purse!
• Furniture such as couches, console tables and bedroom sets still in good condition. • Your starter set of plates, utensils and pots/pans, which might have been replaced this year because you got married, moved or redecorated. • Baby carriers, high chairs and baby furniture. • All sorts of baby gear (playmats, bumbos, bottles, books, clothing, gently used toys, etc.). • New for this year will be a Tossed & Found Dress Boutique, so old bridesmaid dresses, ball gowns and formal wear filling your closets won’t have to take up space any longer. “It’s so exciting to see items being donated each year! Our members are very generous and our unpacking days become a mini-Christmas of sorts,” said Vindhya Ganhewa, co-chair of Tossed & Found Public Relations. “Oohs and ahs abound and we know that almost everything, from a tiny pair of earrings to a baby’s crib, will be enjoyed to the fullest by its new owner.” The event’s famous Quality Section has grown into a small boutique of highly sought-after items, which brought in $27,000 in sales last year. If you have any of these top designer items around your house, consider adding them to your donation:
ABOUT OUR LEAGUE
Designer handbags and accessories are among some excellent treasures you can find at Tossed & Found
• Designer accessories (Burberry scarves, statement jewelry from Kate Spade and J. Crew) • Designer dresses (Lilly Pulitzer, Marc Jacobs, J.Crew, etc.) • Waterford crystal picture frames, bowls and vases • High end or nearly new shoes (Tory Burch, Prada, etc.) • Christopher Radko holiday ornaments • Designer purses (e.g. Coach and Kate Spade wristlets, wallets and coin purses) • Kitchen electronics (KitchenAid stand- or hand-mixer, Soda Stream, Crock Pot, etc.) • Wedding presents that are duplicates of items you already own • Children’s quality clothing (Ralph Lauren, Janie and Jack, Crewcuts, etc.) • The Bugaboo or Citi Mini stroller Last year, Tossed & Found attracted more than 3,000 shoppers and also enabled dozens of JLW community partners and local charities to bargain-hunt for needed supplies through the Community Cash Card Program. Each $40 cash card allows a recipient to purchase quality, gently used and much needed items. Some of these cash card shoppers may be transitioning into a home of their own or to a new job, and all of them benefit from being able to buy items they might otherwise not be able to purchase. Items that are in high-demand for these shoppers include kitchen items, decorative accessories, small furniture, vacuum cleaners (very popular), lamps, wall art and professional clothing in a wide range of sizes. Your used items really might become someone else’s treasure! Everything donated to Tossed & Found finds a new home. Items that cannot be sold are given to charity partners throughout the D.C. area. Even the thousands of donated boxes, bags and donation bins are recycled. Tossed & Found has raised more than $2 million over its twentythree-year history. Proceeds fund the JLW mission of developing the potential of women, improving communities and providing trained volunteers with a focus on literacy. •
JLW member Emorie Broemel and one of her many Tossed & Found ‘fabulous finds.’ Emorie bought this table at Tossed & Found in 2014 and painted it. It is still in her apartment today.
MY BEST TOSSED & FOUND FINDS Tossed & Found has an amazing selection of merchandise of all kinds! In the past two years, I’ve gotten a Kate Spade bag, a SodaStream, an oriental rug for my dining room, a tuxedo for my husband and his and her golf clubs! Not that our golf game has gotten any better, but my house, my husband and I are certainly a lot more stylish! – Jen Boyd, Tossed & Found auctions vice chair “Dine and Dash was so easy! In years past, I’d get busy visiting (imagine that) and lose track of my silent auction bids. With Dine and Dash, I picked a restaurant that I thought would be a fun night out, bought it right then, and went back to visiting. No lines and an easy way to support the League.” – Caren Forsten Tossed & Found’s Dine and Dash section allows shoppers to purchase discounted gift cards to local restaurants without having bid for them in the silent or regular auctions. “I have had several ‘fabulous finds’ throughout the years that thrill me to no end every time I use or wear them because I know what a great deal I got! Some of my favorites include a beautiful champagne bucket, a sterling silver bud vase and a great J. Crew silk skirt that always gets lots of compliments.” – Emorie Broemel “I have found so many great things at Tossed & Found. I would say my most interesting, fun and fabulous find is a great vintage suitcase. I could tell it had been well loved and used. I now have it under my coffee table and use it [to] store mementos such as pictures, tickets stubs, postcards, etc. from my own travels. It is always a conversation piece with friends.” – Sara Hatfield
I’M A SUSTAINER, NOW WHAT? By Phoenix Ricks
Lauren Lawson-Zilai and Sustainer Vice Chair Cynthia Toussaint
hen making the transition from Active member to Sustainer, Junior League of Washington (JLW) volunteers often wonder, “Now what?” By the time a JLW member is eligible to become a Sustainer, she has spent years giving back to the community through her placements and other JLW activities. During the course of her time as an Active, having assisted guests at Holiday Shops, sorted goods for Tossed & Found and greeted countless patrons of the National Book Festival, she will have made deep connections with community partners and fellow League members. The Sustainer Committee works to ensure that, when a volunteer is ready to graduate to being a sustaining member, those connections remain strong for a lifetime. The Sustainer Committee opened their calendar year on September 24 with a reception. All Sustainers were invited to attend, providing a perfect opportunity to reunite with friends after summer and a chance to warmly welcome the newest Sustainers. Rose Hamm, chair
Sustainers catch up and make new connections at the Welcome Event
of the Sustainer Committee, addressed the group and gave a glimpse into the exciting activities sustaining members should look forward to this year. Following her remarks, representatives of Sustainer Interest Groups provided sign-up sheets for new Sustainers. To gather information about the newest Sustainers, the committee’s leaders asked attendees to complete a survey designed to determine their JLW priorities for the next stage of their League membership. Survey results, which are displayed in the accompanying infographic, point to one central Sustainer goal: staying connected to the League. To gain more insights into Sustainers’ hopes for the coming year and gauge their expectations for what’s to come, Cynthia Toussaint, vice chair of the Sustainer Committee, also conducted in-depth interviews with a few members. On the topic of maintaining friendships in the League as Sustainer, former JLW President and sustaining member Anne Riser said that she met several of her closest friends through JLW and added,
“One of the ways I think Sustainers can expand their circle of friends is by serving as mentors and coaches to younger and less experienced JLW members.” With a more comprehensive understanding of what it means to be a League member, Sustainers can be excellent mentors to New Members and Actives. Riser indicated that one of her favorite placements was as a New Member Advisor because, “it gave me a chance to experience the JLW through a set of new eyes. It kept the JLW fresh for me and introduced me to a diﬀerent group of young women. While at the same time, I was able to pass on my institutional knowledge and experience.” While some Sustainers, like Riser, may still crave the consistency of Active membership, Toussaint’s interviews revealed that others look back on their hectic League schedules with great fondness, but treasure the more subdued Sustainer calendar. Why are Sustainers divided on what they want during this stage of their League membership? Sandra Birdsong painted a picture of the diversity within the Sustainer community: “In some ways, we are perhaps a more varied group than the younger Actives. Juggling travel, health issues, grandchildren, aging parents or spouses and [the] community boards we are trained to serve, can be daunting.” She added, “The JLW Sustainers [Committee] provides us with flexible, but predictable events and interest groups that keep us informed, energetic and sociable with women who are bright and fun and who share the ideals of our League.” The answer to the question “Now what?” for Sustainers is simply, “Everything.” Becoming a Sustainer is not the end of active League membership. Sustainers can mentor newer members, volunteer to unpack kitchenware for Tossed & Found, increase literacy rates through any number of community placements and help vendors set up ornate displays at Holiday Shops. Sustainers are valued members of JLW and benefit from all that the League oﬀers to Actives as well. As Birdsong said, “I think the JLW helps us to appreciate the many facets of this great area we live in and to enjoy the company of our fellow members who strive to make it even better.” •
DID YOU KNOW: “Sustainer” is shorthand for sustaining member. The name emerged over Junior League history because sustaining members often take on another important role to sustain the Junior League with critical financial support, which enables the women coming behind them in the League to have the same great opportunities they did!
3039 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20007
DATES TO REMEMBER DECEMBER 6 Sustainer Holiday Tea JANUARY 25 Winter General Membership Meeting JANUARY 28 Toast of the Tour FEBRUARY 1 Chair and Assistant Council Director Nominations Due
FEBRUARY 27 Kids in the Kitchen at YMCA Anthony Bowen MARCH 1 Member Dues Deadline MARCH 5 Tossed & Found Children’s Trunk Show MARCH 18-20 Tossed & Found
APRIL 16 Kitchen Tour APRIL 20* Bright Beginnings 5K APRIL 25 Spring General Membership Meeting MAY 19 Annual Reception *Date subject to change
FEBRUARY 10 Tossed & Found’s Diamonds and Dessert FEBRUARY 20 New Member Mid-Year Event
APRIL 7 Bloomingdales Fashion Show APRIL 9 Kids in the Kitchen at Children’s National Medical Center