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ANNUAL ISSUE 2015-2016



Holiday House Turns 25 PAGE 19

ublication of the Ap

Junior League of Little Rock

When the community works together, the community works A successful community depends on its people to live and grow. The more informed and innovative they are, the more they can discover new ways to meet their common goals. Bank of America supports the Junior League of Little Rock for creating the kind of environment where people work together in a community that becomes stronger day by day. Visit us at Life’s better when we’re connected®

©2015 Bank of America Corporation | ARB8SPB6

CONTENTS A publication of the Junior League of Little Rock, Inc. Volume XXII, Annual Issue 2015-2016

Editor’s Note

Interaction Staff


Women Empowered

Editor-in-Chief: Stephanie Maxwell

By The Numbers

Editor-Elect: Haley Burks


Junior League in the Community

Staff Writers: Alex DeJoy, Mandy Ellis, and Crady Schneider Staff Photographer: Alicia Austin Smith

Presidential Q&A

Contributing Photographers: Charrell Young, Arshia Khan, Lizzy Yates, and Megan McCain


Marisha DiCarlo, Ph.D.

Advertising Manager: Layne Baxter Publication Design: Amy Vaughn

2015-2016 Board of Directors


Making Headlines


Nonprofit Board Institute

President: Marisha DiCarlo, Ph.D. President-Elect: Amanda M. Richardson

Meet Three

Community Vice President: Sabrina Lewellen

Nonprofit Center

Membership Vice President: Mickey Willett Marketing Vice President: Allison Drennon

Little Rock Eats

Development Vice President: Stacy Wilson Administrative Vice President: Amanda Sutherlin Owens Treasurer: Mary McCraw Treasurer-Elect: Jennifer Goss Nominating Director: Nikki Parnell Training Director: Vontifany Smith Sustainer Advisor: Jennifer Ronnel


‘Berry Tasty Brunch Cake

19 22

Mission: The Junior League of Little Rock 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. Community Impact: The Junior League of Little Rock improves our community by assessing community needs, developing solutions and training civic leaders. These efforts, concentrated within the following areas of impact, give direction to our organization: school preparedness and nutrition and wellness.

Features Holiday House Turns 25


A Place to GROW


The League Goes Digital


Who’s Who

Interaction is published annually by the Junior League of Little Rock. All rights are reserved. Reproduction without permission, except by other Junior League publications, is prohibited.

Junior League of Little Rock 401 S. Scott St. Little Rock, AR 72201 501-375-JLLR


Noteworthy Names


Know Your Board


Moneywise Financial Standing


Thanks to the editorial team for making this year’s Interaction fantastic: Haley Burks, Stephanie Maxwell, Mandy Ellis, and Alex DeJoy. Not pictured: Layne Baxter, Crady Schneider, and Alicia Austin Smith.

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While combing through the archives in research for this edition of Interaction, I realized just how much change has occurred in the Junior League of Little Rock in the past 93 years. There have been changes in leadership and membership, in policy and procedure, in community projects and meeting spaces—now, some of that innovation goes without saying, but thumbing through flimsy Kodaks and Xeroxed newsletters really makes it all the more evident. Some change is necessary to further the mission of the League. This year that meant rotating out GROW, one of our community projects, after 10 years of successful programming to pursue new opportunities (page 22). Evolution even occurs within what seem like our oldest traditions, including Holiday House, now the League’s main source of income. The fundraiser is a monolith compared to its inaugural year a quarter century ago, and it celebrates those 25 years with all-new branding and decorations (page 19). Change in the League also means adapting to change in the world. In 2015, that means getting online (page 24) to reach new audiences and connect with members and sustainers to tell the League’s story. With that, we’ve been doing some thinking about how to make Interaction the most meaningful for our readers—our members, sustainers, and donors. Which is why we’re posing the question: Is the printed version of Interaction that you receive in your mailbox every year valuable to you? We will always publish Interaction to serve as an annual report of the League, but if it is important to you that this publication be mailed and not only distributed digitally, get in touch. Let us know. We have provided a card in this issue that you can send in with your feedback. You can also email or visit to send us your feedback. I hope you enjoy this edition of Interaction, which itself has gone through a makover this year by way of a redesign. Whether you tell us to keep on mailing or go even more digital, the League will always provide Interaction to you who have helped make this organization thrive—through all its many changes and steadfast traditions. Cheers,

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THANK YOU TO OUR 2015 SPONSORS FOR MAKING DOWNTOWN DASH A HUGE SUCCESS! To find out more about the 2016 Downtown Dash, visit



WARM UP/WATER STOP Pure Barre Cache Restaurant & Lounge Crews & Associates, Inc. OneBanc SPRINTER Allstate – Jennifer King Agency, Inc. Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield Bumper to Bumper Cromwell Architects Engineers, Inc. Dassault Falcon Jet Pleasant Ridge Town Center Smiley Technologies, Inc. Timex Ben E. Keith Coke

25th Anniversary

Fleet Feet Sports Hiland Dairy Premium Refreshment Service JOGGER Baldwin and Shell Construction Moses Tucker Real Estate, Inc. Noble Strategies, Inc. Orangetheory Fitness Little Rock The Little Rock Racquet Club/ Little Rock Athletic Club Inviting Arkansas L’Oreal USA Allegra Print & Imaging of Arkansas WALKER Trane MidSouth Capital City Traffic Control

Presenting Sponsor

Diamond Sponsors



First Tee Fun Dunk Go! Running The Capital Hotel OTHER SPONSORS Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau Arkansas Children’s Hospital Catering to You Edwards Food Giant Rock City Running Soiree Sonic State Beauty Supply

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

TO OUR 2015


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Junior League in the Community

The year Junior League of Little Rock started supporting projects and programs that benefit the Little Rock School District

Since 1922, the Junior League of Little Rock has been 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—though the ways in which we have impacted the community over the past nine decades has changed, that mission has remained the same. These are a few of the ways our community projects have made a positive difference in Little Rock in the past year.



Nonprofit organizations utilizing the Nonprofit Center on the third floor of the League building


Amount raised at Holiday House 2014

500 Number of attendees at the inaugural Little Readers Rock event in 2015

Number of hours Nightingales volunteers spend with patients and families at ACH and UAMS



Total members at time of publication

The year by which Little Readers Rock aims to see all third graders reading at grade level



Number of children who received dental and vision screenings and immunization shots at Boosters & Big Rigs

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Number of women in Admissions and New Member Training

Current impact areas: Nutrition and wellness and school preparedness

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Age of Holiday House

Total number of participants in the 2015 Downtown Dash



Participants in the second annual Nonprofit Board Institute


Participants at Camp Aldersgate’s Kota Camp in summer 2015

We’re All About Seniors!

Did you know? A snapshot of our 2015-2016 community projects Boosters & Big Rigs Founded: 2011 Boosters & Big Rigs is a free, family-friendly event that provides children with immunizations and dental, vision, and wellness screenings as well as the opportunity to explore ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, and more. Kota Camp Founded: 2001 Junior League of Little Rock provides volunteers and programming for Camp Aldersgate’s Kota Camps, which are inclusionary camps for disabled and non-disabled children. Little Readers Rock Founded: 2015 Little Readers Rock is aimed at improving Arkansas children’s literacy skills through literacy events and tutoring. Its goal is to have all children reading at grade level by the end of third grade by 2020.

We understand the needs of seniors today. We know the importance of their health, happiness, and independence. We want our members to be

Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors;

to be proactive with not only their health, but also with their happiness. For over 50 years our services have helped our seniors develop new skills, build lasting friendships, and lead more fulfilling, productive lives.

Nightingales Founded: 1999 Nightingales provides diversionary activities and personal care services to the parents and caregivers of children who are patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and UAMS Family Home. Nonprofit Board Institute Founded: 2013 This annual training opportunity provides nonprofit board members with the knowledge and resources they need to be effective board members and community leaders. Nonprofit Center Founded: 2015 The Nonprofit Center serves as a shared workspace for a diverse group of start-up nonprofit organizations serving Arkansas communities. Stuff the Bus First Year: 2007 Stuff the Bus provides more than 3,000 elementary school students at seven Little Rock School District schools (determined “most in need” by LRSD) with new back-to-school supplies at the start of every school year.

Senior Citizens Activities Today, Inc. Contact: JinJer James-Green

at 501-374-0123

: Senior Citizens Activities Today

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Marisha DiCarlo A conversation with Junior League of Little Rock’s president by


President Marisha DiCarlo, Ph.D. wears many hats. In addition to her leadership role in the Junior League of Little Rock, she is director of health communications for the Arkansas Department of Health, wife to Tony, and mom to “Little Tony,” 5, and Savannah, 2. Her passion for the League’s vision is contagious.

What influenced your decision to join the Junior League of Little Rock? When Tony and I evacuated New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina with his family, we were not able to leave with much. Arkansans generously provided us with the essentials: food, clothing, and bedding. Once we knew we wouldn’t be returning to New Orleans, I wanted to find a way to give back to Little Rock. I didn’t know much about the Junior League, but I called Christy Copeland, our administrative assistant, and that day she connected me with my mentor, future League president Tammie Davis.



Marisha 8 | Interaction

FAVORITE SONG “The Downeaster Alexa” by Billy Joel

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ANY HIDDEN TALENTS? With a soda can and a good crowd, I can impersonate a T-Rex.


What has been your favorite placement as a member of the League? One of my very favorite placements was as a staff writer for Interaction. I loved it so much, I asked to be on it a second year. I enjoyed seeing how a magazine is published and talking to members about their placements and projects. I’m excited to see Interaction transition back to being more of an editorial magazine this year. As president, I’m looking forward to being part of the excitement of many of the placements I’ve never gotten to experience.

How has your time on the Board shaped you as a leader?

How do you maintain a balance between your career, your family, and your leadership role in the League? I have a very supportive family. They recognize my commitment to the community and they are, in turn, committed to the community by helping me. I also have the support of an amazing board, sustainers, and members that help make my position possible. Staying organized, knowing your deadlines, and understanding your priorities are really important, too.


To empower someone is to enable them—to give them the power and authority to do something. The League is a place where women are provided with the tools, training, mentorship, and service opportun ties to successfully develop as effective community and civic leaders. An empowered woman has the resources and authority for success to accomplish what she sets out to achieve—in the League and outside of the League, too.

Where do you see the League in five years?

Being chair of Advocacy and Community Vice President were great opportunities to learn how our council system works. It helped shape my perspective as a leader. Your primary role as a leader in the League, whether you’re chairing a committee or a Vice President, is to help develop the skills of the people on your team. I’ve enjoyed seeing our efforts come together to form an effective vehicle for community change.

IDEAL FRIDAY NIGHT DATE I love a night at The Rep!

Your theme for the 2015-2016 year is Women Empowered. How do you hope to see League members empowered this year?

My hope is that we are well on our way to fulfilling our long-term strategic plan of being the premier source of female leadership development in Little Rock and supporting the health and learning of those who are most vulnerable in our community. I see us continuing to be a vital and relevant organization. Five years will bring us right up on the doorstep of our 100th anniversary, and I’m excited to see how the League will celebrate such an important milestone.

What advice would you give to a new member during her year in training? Your League experience is what you make it. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

If you could describe the Junior League of Little Rock in one word, what would it be? Dynamic.

FAVORITE PLACE IN LITTLE ROCK TO TAKE YOUR KIDS The Zoo. They are fond of the League-sponsored playground.

HAVE ANY PETS? We used to have a hermit crab named Filmore, but he’s since gone to the great crabatorium in the sky.

2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 9

VNA of Arkansas is now

CHI St. Vincent Health at Home Same excellence service, new name.

Take advantage of a special Junior League of Little Rock membership offer now!

Health at Home






| Volume XXII | 2015-2016

1 Executive Center Court, Suite 110 LIttle Rock AR 72211 P 501.664.4933 F 501.552.4235


Educating the future board seats of Little Rock Junior League of Little Rock program prepares community leaders for effective board service by


Twenty-three participants took part in this year’s Nonprofit Board Institute, a five-week training hosted by the Junior League of Little Rock throughout September. Now in its second year, the NPBI is about “developing potential nonprofit board members here in the central Arkansas community,” said Anna Beth Gorman, NPBI chair. “The purpose of the NPBI is to create a network of professionals that are prepared to serve on nonprofit boards.” At each training session, guest speakers presented hourlong seminars on topics ranging from improving staff relations, organizing finances and protecting assets, fundraising, employing effective communication, and becoming brand ambassadors. In week one, Paul Leopoulos, executive director of the Thea Foundation, spoke on the role a nonprofit board plays in advancing a mission. Week two focused on overseeing the organization’s finances and protecting its assets. The speakers that week were Nikki Parnell, CFO of the Museum of Discovery; Paul Parnell, a partner at the Rose Law Firm; Gordon Silaski, division president at Centennial Bank; and Randy Milligan, a partner at Thomas & Thomas. Week three featured talks

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on fundraising by Joyce Taylor, executive director of the American Heart Association, and Lynnette Watts, executive director of Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. Week four was about leadership, communication, and developing a brand. The featured speakers were Dawn Prasifka, CEO of Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas; Sonya Murphy, private banking vice president at Arvest; and Holly Fish, director of client services at EGP. The final week included a talk from keynote speaker Georgia Mjartan, executive director of Our House. Mjartan joined Our House in 2005 and last summer opened a new $5 million facility to provide summer and after-school programs for underprivileged school-aged kids. In her role as executive director, Mjartan has helped Our House spread to 39 states. NPBI participants also had a chance to network with local nonprofits who are currently looking for board members and participants from last year’s NBPI. The hope for the future of NPBI is that the League will act as a “clearinghouse for our graduates and local nonprofits who need professionals to sit on their boards,” Gorman said.




For more information email

2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 13


Nonprofit Center

comes to life

After a major fundraising campaign and months of construction, six Little Rock nonprofit organizations call the Junior League of Little Rock building home by


Over the past four years, the Nonprofit Center has grown from an idea into a physical space on the third floor of the Junior League of Little Rock building, where the center celebrated its official opening in spring 2015. “The Nonprofit Center aims to produce greater community impact by equipping nonprofit organizations with the resources needed,” said Maradyth McKenzie, chair of the Nonprofit Center. “By creating the Nonprofit Center, we are opening the door for small and start-up nonprofits to increase their visibility, to have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other, and to increase their services to our community members.” Now at capacity with six tenants, the people filling those six offices are hard at work improving the Little Rock community. Here are the stories behind three of the nonprofit organizations that currently call the Nonprofit Center home.

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MEET OUR NEIGHBORS These are the organizations calling our Nonprofit Center home base in 2015-2016 AR KIDS READ Mission: To improve the future of children and families by advancing literacy education through community engagement and tutoring so that all children can read proficiently by the end of third grade.

Right now, 33 percent of third graders are reading below grade level in the state of Arkansas, and AR Kids Read is looking to lower that percentage. AR Kids Read is a Little Rock nonprofit that provides tutors to help students to be able to read proficiently by the end of third grade. “Being a tenant of the Nonprofit Center has exceeded our expectations,” said Charlie Conklin, executive director of AR Kids Read. “Having the ability to office with other community minded nonprofits has enabled us to learn from one another and support one another in our efforts to serve our community. One of the unexpected pleasures has been that several of the Nonprofit Center tenants have connections with our mission of elementary and children literacy,” Conklin said, referring to The Imagination Library, Reach Out and Read, and the Rural Community Alliance. One of Conklin’s goals for AR Kids Read through its connection with the League is to increase the number of trained tutors in the community.

ARKANSAS BIRTHING PROJECT Mission: To assist local communities in improving their health status by addressing the systemic causes of their lack of well-being.

OPERA IN THE ROCK Mission: To enrich the cultural life of Arkansas through opera by utilizing local, state, and regional artistic talents.

REACH OUT AND READ Mission: To prepare America’s

REACH OUT AND READ Reach Out and Read partners with pediatricians to prescribe books and help the youngest population in the state succeed in school. Children are given a new book at every check-up from 6 months to 5 years old. “Families served by the Reach Out and Read program read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills,” said Molly Young, executive director of Reach Out and Read. This organization’s primary focus is serving children growing up in low-income households. Young said that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, literacy intervention should always be a component of preventative health care for kids because of the impact an education can have on the children’s well-being. “With this intervention,” Young said, “the optimal health, development, and school-readiness of our children is not just worked toward, it is a real promise delivered in the form of a book.”

families to read together.

Through the Nonprofit Center, Young said that Reach Out and Read will be able to work to support and collaborate with other early literacy intervention nonprofits AR Kids Read and The Imagination Library. Reach Out and Read also hopes to implement their program in more counties in the state.



youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage

Mission: To empower low-income rural communities to effect change by creating opportunities in education, economic development, and youth empowerment to improve quality of life and place.

THE IMAGINATION LIBRARY Mission: To foster a love of reading in preschool children and ensure that every child born has books, regardless of their family’s income.

Established in spring 2012, Opera in the Rock was founded to enrich Arkansas culture through opera. “Our principal goal is to bring professional opera back to central Arkansas,” said Arlene Biebesheimer, artistic director of Opera in the Rock. “Additionally, we introduce opera to youngsters in central Arkansas through our Once Upon an Opera series, which brings opera geared for elementary school-aged children to area schools and to the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library.” Because of the partnership with the Nonprofit Center, Opera in the Rock now has a central location for storing files and holding meetings, as well as a physical address in Little Rock. Along with day-to-day operations, Opera in the Rock will have the chance to exchange ideas with the other nonprofits in a close proximity. “We love having such a beautiful office space and enjoy the association with other nonprofits from whom we can learn,” Biebesheimer said. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with Junior League members.” 2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 15

LITTLE ROCK EATS Blueberry Brunch Cake from page 103 of Traditions INGREDIENTS: 3/4 cup of sugar 1/4 cup of shortening 1 egg 2 cups of flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup milk 2 cups blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw)

1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup cold butter RECIPE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and shortening thoroughly. Add egg and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Fold in blueberries and pour into a buttered 9 x 9 pan. Blend together sugar, flour, and cinnamon for topping. Cut in butter until crumbly and sprinkle over batter. Bake 45 minutes.

‘Berry Tasty Brunch Cake Recipes from Junior League of Little Rock cookbooks help you get ready for the holidays by


Tired of ho-hum holiday fare? Spice up your party menu by trying a festive recipe from one of the Junior League of Little Rock’s four cookbooks. Delight guests with a trendy modern recipe from Big Taste of Little Rock. Dazzle with a show-stopper from Apron Strings. For a throwback recipe, consult Little Rock Cooks. Or get cozy with a taste of Traditions, like the blueberry brunch cake, pictured here, which is as delicious for dessert as it is at its namesake brunch. Visit to purchase Junior League of Little Rock cookbooks.

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Like adventurers with appetites, we choose to dine with discerning palates. We savor a farm-to-table freshness that’s more like two miles away, rather than 200. And sometimes the best plan for a night on the town is to not have any plans at all. Because the more we explore our own backyard, the more surprises we find hidden in plain sight. You can taste it all here. Where many of the flavors are locally owned – right here in Little Rock.

Enjoy exploring our more than 600 restaurants > To see more, visit

Proud to support

Holiday House and

Junior League of Little Rock

Holiday House Turns 25

Junior League of Little Rock’s biggest fundraiser marks its silver anniversary with new look, Sunday shopping by


Holiday House has been bringing joy

to central Arkansas shoppers since 1990. In

that inaugural year, when it was first held at Pavilion in the Park, the event had 55 merchants. Now, held at the Statehouse Convention Center, the annual holiday shopping spree draws triple the number of merchants from all over the country and is expected to bring 18,000 shoppers to central Arkansas this year. It’s the Junior League of Little Rock’s largest source of funding, bringing in over $476,088 in 2014. 2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 19

Holiday House Turns 25

This year, Holiday House welcomes a couple of changes: a new look and, for the first time ever, Sunday shopping. In fact, Holiday House has seen its share of changes as it has grown over the past 25 years. For example, in 2013, Holiday House committee members decided to end the annual silent auction and instead raise additional funds through a raffle. “The auction was just during the preview party, and the raffle goes all weekend, giving shoppers more opportunities to participate,” said Laura Crone, raffle coordinator for Holiday House 2015. Plus, this format allows the committee to make asks for higher ticket items, Crone explained, while keeping ticket costs low. This year’s raffle prizes include diamond earrings donated by Jones and Son Fine Jewelry, a golf cart, a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag, and Elfa shelving and services from The Container Store. Also new this year? The floor-to-ceiling decorations filling the Statehouse Convention Center Governor’s Halls. “We have worked with Tanarah of Tanarah Luxe Floral and Christi Ingle with Southwest Design & Display to create a new feel for the event,” said Holiday House chair Brooke Womack. “Colors will be red with gold and silver accents, with pinecones and tree branches. Trees will be sprinkled with snow to give a wintery feel. Like our new logo, deer will also be used,” Womack said. 20 | Interaction

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The 25th annual Holiday House kicks off October 28 with an event called Twas the Night Before, a preview party allowing shoppers to peruse the booths of 188 merchants from all over the country before the doors open to the general public the following day. Womack said shoppers can expect to see old favorites and new faces in this year’s vendor booths. According to Womack, Arkansas apparel line Nativ will be expanding to include a children’s section, and Amber Marie, who showcases vintage-inspired holiday decor, will be back. Shoppers should also be on the lookout for newcomers Mother Shucker Tamales for a bite to eat and Stilo Salon, which sells a line of top-notch beauty brushes. Guests at Twas the Night Before will be able to mix and mingle to live music while shopping. A limited number of VIP tickets, which include reserved seating, a private bar, and hors d’oeuvres, are available for $75. Thursday is a busy day for all kinds of shoppers. The morning is open only for Private Shopping for those who prefer to

shop without maneuvering through crowds. Doors open for general shopping at noon, and at 6 p.m., shoppers and their girlfriends are invited to join Stockings and Stilettos, the Holiday House ladies night event. Tickets allow shoppers access to a Mexican-themed buffet and two complimentary beverages in the Wally Allen Ballroom. Cookies & Milk with Santa Claus, another well-loved Holiday House tradition, will be held on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Children decked out in their Christmas finest are invited to the Convention Center atrium for story time, milk and cookies, a holiday craft, and a photo with Santa. Womack said one of the most exciting additions to Holiday House in its 25th year is Sunday shopping. Because Halloween falls on Saturday, the League wanted to offer attendees even more opportunities to shop. “With this year being the 25th anniversary, we decided to try Sunday shopping,” Womack said. “Sunday shopping will be great for anyone who can’t think about Christmas until Halloween is over.”

This year’s raffle prizes include: Diamond earrings donated by Jones and Son Fine Jewelry, a golf cart, a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag, and Elfa shelving and services from The Container Store.

Holiday House Turns 25 SPECIAL WAY TO SHOP There’s more than one way to enjoy Little Rock’s most beloved holiday market PREVIEW PARTY: TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE


October 28, 6–10 p.m.

October 29, 6–9 p.m.

Tickets: $45

Tickets: $30

VIP Tickets: $75 (includes entrance into a VIP area

Ticket gives you access to the Wally Allen Ballroom

with reserved seating, a private bar and food area)

where you can enjoy two complimentary beverages

Be the first to see and purchase the amazing selection

and a Mexican-themed buffet.

of merchandise at this snappy-casual event featuring live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary


beer and wine.

November 1, noon to 3 p.m. Tickets: $10


Join us for cookies and milk with Santa Claus. This is a

October 29, 9 a.m. to noon

fun event for children held in the Statehouse Convention

Tickets: $30

Center atrium. Ticket includes a photo with Santa, milk,

Experience crowd-free shopping, a complimentary

and cookie.

shopping bag, and a wonderful continental brunch.

Know Before You Go Location Statehouse Convention Center 101 E. Markham St., Little Rock

General Shopping Hours Thursday | October 29 | noon to 9 p.m. Friday | October 30 | 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday | October 31 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday | November 1 | 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

General Shopping Tickets One-Day Pass: $10 Four-Day Pass: $25 Children 5 and under get in free.

2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 21

A Place to

Young women’s lives changed over 10 years of League community project by


In 10 years as a community project of the Junior League of Little Rock, Girls Realizing Opportunity Within—also known as GROW—provided adolescent women a chance to improve their self esteem and develop confidence while getting to know League members. When GROW was created a decade ago, the League invited girls from schools in the Pulaski County area to meet once a month and improve social and real-life skills On top of this, League members placed on the GROW committee each year served as a strong support system for girls who may not otherwise have had anyone to talk to about the everyday struggles of being a teenager. Sustaining member Brandy Harp was on the very first GROW committee when it was founded in 2004. “I loved being able to provide these girls with an experience that they had never gotten before, to learn about the history of Little Rock and hopefully provide a philanthropic inspiration in them,” Harp said. As part of GROW, the League was also able to partner with businesses and community leaders to expose the participants to new opportunities. In the 2014-2015 League year, Phyllis Hodges, the owner of Carousel Fit-4-Life Wellness Center in Little Rock, donated her time to provide a physical fitness session for GROW participants. A partnership with Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance led to the Cooking Matters program, which taught the young women how to maximize their food budgets and cook healthy meals. Additional sessions focused on etiquette, careers, and finance. Along with learning skills to use in their daily lives, for many girls, GROW was an opportunity to discover more about themselves and build confidence.

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“Just this past year, we had a young lady who literally did not speak,” said Nakisha Taylor, who served as chair of GROW for 2014-2015 and as a committee member since 2011. “She showed up monthly and signed in and literally just sat through each session. Her mother had the need to drop her off early so she started to arrive about 30 minutes early each month. I encouraged her to help me set up and break down each session, all while engaging her in conversation,” Taylor said. “By the end of the year, she had blossomed so that her mother was in tears and was ever so grateful. Even I was in tears, I was so grateful that the small amount of time spent with the young ladies was making a difference.”

“By the end of the year, she had blossomed so that her mother was in tears and was ever so grateful.” —Nakisha Taylor

At the end of every school year, GROW celebrated the end of a successful year with a GROW Graduation. This year held on May 15 was a celebration of 10 years of dedication to the future female community leaders of Little Rock. Taylor said that over the past decade, “teaching and learning from the future ladies of this great city” has been one of the greatest successes of the program. “Each of them knows that with hard work and dedication, they too can be gracious ladies that lead.”

Clockwise from top left: Gwendolyn Rucker and Nakisha Taylor, GROW chair-elect and chair for 2014-2015; GROW Class of 2015; 2014-2015 President Lindsey Gray speaking at a GROW event; GROW Class of 2011; GROW participants learn about healthy meals in 2010; GROW takes a trip to the Little Rock Zoo in 2006.

“When we say goodbye, it is not necessarily the end, but actually a new beginning full of opportunities. We will move on to bigger, better, and successful futures because of the things GROW introduced us to and taught us … GROW gave us a voice and an inner power that has made us strong.”

—MAKIYA EVANS, GROW CLASS OF 2014 2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 23

The League Goes Digital Junior League of Little Rock growing its reach, audience, and membership online by


From growing its social media presence to taking new member applications online, the Junior League of Little Rock is fully immersing itself in the digital age. Sustainers will remember some of the first steps the League took toward moving communication and League functions online—for example, when the League stopped mailing out the monthly newsletter, opting instead for an email format. But while there have been slow and steady changes over the past decade, the past two years have seen substantial growth for the League’s membership online.

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Let’s Get Social Find, follow, like, favorite, retweet, and share

The League’s social media presence began on Facebook, which the League uses as a tool for sharing news with current members, attracting new members, and communicating messages to the public. “Our social media presence became more strategic in 2013 under then-Marketing Vice President Amanda Richardson,” said Allison Drennon, current Marketing Vice President. “Since then, the Facebook audience has grown by 300 percent.” It has also become a resource for those who have questions about the League and has served as a vehicle to grow interest and awareness about the organization. Though Facebook is the League’s most active social media platform, you’ll also find updates about what the League’s 400-plus active members are up to on Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Facebook: What you can do: RSVP to League events, see photos of your friends, share League news with your Facebook friends

Another way to keep the organization relevant in the 21st century has been to find more ways to utilize our website—for members, prospective new members, and the public. The 2015-2016 League year is a milestone as it’s the first year members have been able to submit their applications online. Now, whenever a prospective member visits the “Join” section of the League’s website (, they can simply fill in their contact information and “will get reminders of recruitment open house events and application deadlines,” said Corey Gilmore, chair of Recruitment. “But the biggest accomplishment so far has been creating an online application for prospective members,” Gilmore said. “Out of the 97 new member applications this year, 31 of them applied online.” In the future, she thinks that nearly every application will be submitted online.

Pinterest: What you can do: Get inspired by boards dedicated to League fundraisers, community impact areas, and local interests

The League is also using its growing online presence to raise additional funds. In April, the League participated in Arkansas Gives, a 12-hour online giving event hosted by Arkansas Community Foundation The League was one of 361 nonprofits to participate in the inaugural fundraiser, which “helped introduce our organization to a new audience, spread awareness of our mission, and cultivate new relationships,” said Abby Hughes Holsclaw, who served as Development Vice President in 2014-2015. The League raised over $2,800 this year through Arkansas Gives and plans to participate in the giving campaign in 2016, as well. Finally, the League Marketing Council and Publications Committee plan to add a blog to in 2016. “The blog will be a place for members and the public to be able to quickly access the League’s news,” said Stephanie Maxwell, current editor-in-chief of Publications. “A blog will be a central place for all Junior League of Little Rock content to live instead of being spread across multiple platforms.” There, you can expect to find news about upcoming events, recaps of events, and member highlights—as well as stay informed on all the ways the League will continue to grow and change in the coming years.

Twitter: Handle: @JuniorLeagueLR What you can do: Find brief, headline-style snippets of news concerning the League; join the conversation about #JLLR (and maybe be retweeted!) Instagram: Handle: @JuniorLeagueLR What you can do: See behind-the-scenes snapshots of League events and community projects

Flickr: What you can do: Flip through full-length photo albums of images from League events taken by the League photographer Youtube: What you can do: Watch videos of past League fundraisers, events, and trainings

What’s a hashtag? A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the pound sign (#) used to indicate that separate messages and photos all belong to the same larger conversation. The Junior League of Little Rock uses #JLLR (primarily on Twitter and Instagram) to group together all of our posts about our organization, and we encourage you to do the same.

We want your feedback Do you have any ideas about how we could improve the way JLLR functions online? Would you like to see the organization do even more online—even moving Interaction from a printed publication to an annual digital edition? Please share your thoughts with us! You can return the insert in this issue, send an email to, or visit

2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 25

Old State House



History, 180 Years Worth, That’s What We Have to Offer The Board of Directors invites you to become a member of the Old State House Museum Associates and support Arkansas History. A portion of your tax-deductible membership donation will go to the School Bus Fund enabling Arkansas students to travel to the Old State House for educational purposes.

Visit for more information or to join now.

May 13, 2016

Statehouse Convention Center

To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Learn how you can get involved at 26 | Interaction

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When you give someone a Junior League of Little Rock cookbook, you give them a taste of Little Rock’s rich history and culture. For more than four decades, the Junior League of Little Rock’s award-winning cookbooks have nourished the community efforts and mission of our League. Each book is beloved in our city and beyond, serving up the Southern tradition of cooking in Little Rock.

Visit to purchase Junior League of Little Rock cookbooks.



From November 1 to December 31, Little Readers Rock is holding a book drive at Barnes & Noble. Purchase a children’s book at the 11500 Financial Parkway, Little Rock location to contribute.

2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 27


Member Spotlight The Junior League of Little Rock is only as strong as the dedication of its members. That’s why every year we honor those who have gone above and beyond to give their time, energy, and expertise to the League. They were nominated by fellow members for the honor of Sustainer of the Year, New Member of the Year, and Active of the Year, and their outstanding contributions were acknowledged at the Annual Meeting in May 2015. by


Sustainer of the Year: Wendy Saer Wendy Saer truly embodies the mission of the Junior League of Little Rock: she’s committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community. During her time as an active member in the League, Wendy says her favorite placements were serving on the Nominating and Riverfest committees. A native of New Orleans, both of these placements helped her get to know her adopted city in ways she never could have imagined when she joined the League. She got to know how everyone was connected, and she got to meet people—she got to know “everyone from the mayor down to the men and women who cleaned the parks,” Saer says. Since her time in the League, Saer has remained very involved in the community. She started Safety Town in 1984, which is still thriving today, and she’s involved with the Auxiliary Board for St. Vincent’s Hospital and the CARTI board. She also remained on the Riverfest board until five years ago. Saer says the League taught her how to run a meeting, gave her confidence to plan and organize events, and saw potential in her that she didn’t know was there. But she says the most important thing she gained from her time in the League was the opportunity to build relationships with fellow members.

CHEERS TO OUR NEW ACTIVES, WELCOMED MAY 2015 Keri Adkins Elizabeth Akama-Makia Christina Aleman Layne Baxter Kailyn-Marie Bostic Hope Brookins Akissi Brooks-Hill

28 | Interaction

Erin Chambers Allison Clark Maegan Clark Karyn Coleman Rosalyn Daniels Jennifer Davis Alex DeJoy

| Volume XXII | 2015-2016

Mary DeLoney Brittney Dennis Martiel Drinkard Meredith Elizondo Mandy Ellis Pamela Evans Roshanda Franklin

Shannon Fratesi Jamie Freeman Sarah Gibson Freda Grandy Leslie Heister Tatiana Hicks Mary Dudley Hodges

Priscilla Howard Kandi Hughes Tranice Johnson Amberlie Jones Shana Jones Tameka Jones Chelsea Kane

NOTEWORTHY NAMES | WHO’S WHO New Member of the Year: Kandi Hughes Throughout her new member year, Kandi Hughes served as chair of the new member project at Franklin Elementary School. “The role allowed me to embrace a more collaborative leadership style and has helped me in my roles as a mom and as a leader in my workplace,” Hughes says. Hughes seized the opportunity to join the League last year when encouraged by her husband, Dwight Hughes. Having been involved in volunteer work through her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, she had been researching other organizations where she could continue serving her community. The Junior League of Little Rock fit the bill. Now in her first active year, Hughes is involved in two placements. She is the volunteer coordinator-elect for Downtown Dash and is a member of the Planned Giving Committee, a new branch of Development & Donor Relations this year. In addition to her commitment to the League, Hughes is employed at The University of Central Arkansas as associate general counsel and continues to be an active member of the graduate chapter of her sorority. She and Dwight have a 5-year-old daughter, Kairi, and a 2-year-old son, Dwight, Jr.

Active of the Year: Brandy Harp To say Brandy Harp is dedicated to the Junior League of Little Rock is an understatement— she dedicated the past 11 years of her life to the League. In those years, Harp split her time between community and in-League placements, eventually becoming more involved in development. As chair of Development & Donor Relations from 2014-2015, Harp more than doubled the amount of money the League raised in the previous League year. She attributes this success to writing grants and working closely with sponsors to show them the benefit of partnering with the League. Harp has now gone sustainer and says she plans to remain active in the League. Harp is a residential real estate agent and also serves as a member of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Board. “Invest in your time and yourself ”—that’s Harp’s advice for getting the most out of your experience in the League. “The more you get out there and invest, the more you will get out of it. Give of your time—you may not have monetary resources. Without a doubt, you will make a positive difference in the lives of others and develop skills and relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Mary Kennedy Allison Graff Koonce Amy Lamb Amanda Legate Jenna Martin Andrea McDaniel Kim McGraw

Caitlin McNally Kelsey Morehead Nikki Nichols Kendra Norman Sioban Osborne Brittany Peters Erica Phillips

Rachel Rainwater Jessica Sabin Wendy Sanders Caitlin Savage Crady Schneider Jennifer Shuler Abby Simmons

Nicole Smith Margaret Staley Susi Taylor Linda Thomas Michelle Tinker Jennifer Trzebiatowski Sarah Volgas

Stephanie Waller Melissa Walsh Tina Watson Sarah Wendel Emily Whitehead Caitlin Wolfe Mellorya Wynn

2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 29



The 2015-2016 Board of Directors shares anecdotes and inspiration about the Junior League of Little Rock

Back row, left to right: Vontifany Smith, Allison Drennon, Nikki Parnell, Sabrina Lewellen, Jennifer Goss, Mickey Willett, Mary McCraw, and Amanda Sutherlin Owens Front row, left to right: Jennifer Ronnel, Amanda Richardson, Marisha DiCarlo, and Stacy Wilson

30 | Interaction

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Marisha DiCarlo, Ph.D., President “The Junior League of Little Rock allowed me to develop skills, serve the community, and develop lifelong friendships. To me, empowerment is about enabling people to have the authority and resources for success.”

Allison Drennon, Marketing Vice President “To me, ‘women empowered’ is decision-making influence plus confidence that gives a group of females the strength to overcome any challenge. I joined the Junior League of Little Rock in 2011 to be a woman empowered.”

Amanda M. Richardson, President-elect “Over the last eight years, the Junior League of Little Rock has empowered me to continue to fight for the world as it should be, and to work on projects inside this organization and out in the community that will make a difference for the future of Little Rock.”

Mickey Willett, Membership Vice President “I love the League and everything is stands for! I believe the vision of the Junior League is to empower women to reach their full potential and am very proud to serve as your Membership Vice President this year.”

Amanda Sutherlin Owens, Administrative Vice President “The Junior League has empowered me by giving me self-confidence. I did not know many League members when I transferred. The more involved I became, the more confident I felt in who I was as a valued member of the League.” Sabrina Lewellen, Community Vice President “My father and mother, a minister and educator respectively, required each of us to be servant leaders. Like my family, the Junior League has empowered me for over a decade, and I hope to continue doing the same for others every chance I get.” Stacy Wilson, Development Vice President “[This position] will allow me to help continue fundraising efforts to add and grow more exciting projects to the League’s reach in the community and empower other women to reach their personal, professional, and volunteering goals through training and hands-on-experiences.” Jennifer Ronnel, Sustainer Advisor “The training that I received during my years as an active equipped me to be a meaningful contributor to other nonprofit organizations in their strategic planning and fundraising efforts. I encourage you to sign up and take advantage of the formal trainings offered, in addition to the hands-on training you receive from serving on and leading committees.”

Nikki Parnell, Nominating Director “I am constantly amazed at what the Junior League, as a group of organized volunteers, is able to accomplish in the community by training members to become community leaders and lifelong volunteers.” Vontifany Smith, Training Director “Serving as Training Director allows me the privilege to give back to the organization as well as the community my skills, experiences, and passion in the field of professional development and education.” Mary McCraw, Treasurer “The League has empowered me by providing training and resources to allow me to step out of my comfort zone into a leadership position. It’s an honor to serve with the amazing women in the League to improve our community.” Jennifer Goss, Treasurer-elect “Through the past five years of being in the League, I have continued learning what an amazing organization I am a part of and how much we support the city of Little Rock through all of our endeavors.”

“I believe the vision of the Junior League is to empower women to reach their full potential ” —Mickey Willett

2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 31


Statement of Financial Position ASSETS Cash and cash equivalents . . . . . . . $ 1,299,937 Certificates of deposit. . . . . . . . . . . $72,239 Contributions receivable, net. . . . . . . $121,349 Inventory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $192,199 Prepaid and other assets. . . . . . . . . . $15,301 Investment securities. . . . . . . . . . $1,360,887 Property and equipment, net. . . . . . $3,025,861 Total Assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6,087,773

LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS Liabilities: Accounts payable. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $41,074 Accrued liabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,670 Deferred revenue. . . . . . . . . . . . . $165,298 Line of credit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $74,100 Total liabilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $283,142 Net Assets Unrestricted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,199,134 Temporarily restricted . . . . . . . . . . $891,472 Permanently restricted. . . . . . . . . . $714,025 Total net assets. . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,804,631 Total Liabilities and Net Assets. . . . $6,087,773

Junior League of Little Rock presents its statement of financial position for the period ending May 31, 2015.

32 | Interaction

| Volume XXII | 2015-2016


T H E C H I S T. V I N C E N T A U X I L I A R Y is a membership organization dedicated to supporting the hospital, staff and surrounding community through the organization of a wide range of activities. These activities raise funds to support the hospital, striving to enhance its stateof-the-art facilities and award-wining patient care and services. More than 383 men and women are involved in the organization, volunteering their time and supporting projects that benefit the hospital, patients and community.

Circle of Friends

Find out more by visiting

2015-2016 | Volume XXII | Interaction | 33

Happy Holidays from your Friends at Windstream!

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Founders of Westrock Orthodontics

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CALL OR VISIT US ONLINE TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE EVALUATION, A $250 VALUE! Central Arkansas locations in Little Rock at Chenal Blvd and S. University (formerly West Rock Braces and Rock City Smiles) and Bryant (formerly Bryant Braces), Pine Bluff (formerly Pine Bluff Smiles) and Hot Springs (formerly Hot Springs Braces). Check out for a full list of locations in Arkansas and Missouri!

1 . 8 4 4 .W R O R T H O


W E S T R O C KO R T H O . C O M

Arkansas Children’s Hospital is proud to be the


Holiday House 2015

We thank the Junior League of Little Rock for their continued support and volunteer efforts that make a difference in the lives of our patients and families.

Bring the Kids to meet Santa and his helper, Scout, at Milk and Cookies with Santa, Sunday, November 1st during Holiday House. We champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow. #iloveach

Interaction Volume 22, 2015-2016  

Junior League of Little Rock's annual publication

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