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League Lore ~ February 2017

Mission Statement The Junior League of South Bend, Inc., is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

President’s Message Dear Members and Friends, Happy New Year! The start of 2017 marks the approximate midpoint of our League year and serves as the perfect time to celebrate what we have accomplished and outline what lies ahead. As you flip through the pages of this edition of League Lore, you will see highlights of our recent activities, events and initiatives. Below you will find the mid-year progress report of JLSB’s achievements and accomplishments, as identified by the Board of Directors: Communications Council • Reestablished printed League Lore, in addition to an updated format for electronic version • Created a ‘members only’ Facebook page • Updated logo created and in use • Website update is complete (Please visit to see the final product!) Finance Council • Focused on clarity in reporting to ensure best financial practices • Treasurers leading the efforts within councils and committees to bolster transparency and accuracy Fundraising Council • Holiday Ball was a beautiful event that far exceeded the budgeted revenue • Fundraising ad-hoc committee presented findings to membership regarding potential new fundraisers • Fund Development and Endowment campaigns are in full swing Community Council • Hosted a Community Partners Holiday Happy Hour to connect with our network of like-minded local agencies • Planned and prepped for “work weekends” associated with our Community Projects at The Center for the Homeless and Hope Ministries • 130 volunteer hours were completed through a variety of unique Done-in-a-Day opportunities • Announced that the 2017-2018 community project will be a partnership with the United Way of St. Joseph County’s Born Learning Academy Membership Council • At the January 10, 2017, General Membership Meeting, 16 New Members were installed as Active Members of the Junior League of South Bend • The completion rate for placement interviews for Actives was 100% • Membership attendance at meetings and socials has been at the highest level in recent history Sustaining Members • Increased participation in long-standing social events (Fall Cocktail Party and Holiday Luncheon) • Sustainer Committee remains strong with 20+ members • Streamlined process for the integration of new Sustainers


President’s Message, cont. Looking ahead, our membership will be working together to complete the sensory playroom at the Center for the Homeless and the refresh of the Hope4Kids classroom at Hope Ministries. We will come together for our annual training in March and will be launching our new micro-fundraiser and awareness campaign, The Little Black Dress Initiative. Behind the scenes, the current board and incoming board will be convening to slate the 2017-2018 Full Council, draft a new budget, and update our strategic plan. Along the way, we will serve local high school girls with our beloved Princess for a Night Done-in-a-Day, spend time together at socials organized by the Placement Committee, and begin preparations for May Dinner, our annual meeting and year-end celebration. Our membership is engaged, active, and thriving. Our community connections are healthy and expanding. Our vision for the future is strong and clear. Thank you, members and stakeholders, for the essential role you play in the Junior League of South Bend’s pursuit of improving our local community through the effective action of trained volunteers. Here’s to a productive and memorable 2017! In voluntarism, Amy Stewart-Brown President 2016-2018

The Junior League of South Bend, Inc., is proud to support Center for the Homeless as they present “Dancing with Our Stars” April 21, 2017


The Done-in-a-Day Experience: by Erin Montie (A), DIAD Chair

Junior Achievement Business Gala The Junior League of South Bend, Inc., was very busy during the months of November and December! On Saturday, November 12, JLSB members were on hand at the Junior Achievement Business Legacy Gala at the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart. Members helped to register and guide event guests. This is a new Done-in-a-Day event for JLSB, as it was the inaugural event for Junior Achievement. Junior Achievement works with other Junior League groups across the country. Junior Achievement and the JLSB are excited to build a relationship with one another, and this was a good introductory session.

Logan Center Protective Services Christmas Party One of the most anticipated Done-in-a-Day events during each League year is the annual Logan Center Christmas Party, which takes place each December. This year, JLSB volunteers greeted guests, served food, and helped clean up. Even though some Logan clients could not attend due to a severe snowstorm, those who did attend delighted in the festivities! JLSB members may have relished the experience as much as the Logan Center clients. Melanie Ellis (A) commented, “I enjoyed the excitement on the faces of everyone there. How happy they were when they received the Christmas gifts just makes you smile. I also enjoyed working with the group of JLSB ladies. They were awesome!” JLSB Community Vice-President, Carrie Bossung (A) said, “My favorite part of helping out with that DIAD is just seeing the joy [the Logan Center clients] find in the little things in life. I also enjoyed interacting with them and how one of them was sharing his love for music and telling us about his favorite artists Kiss and Justin Bieber.”


Making a Difference, One Event at a Time Salvation Army Bell Ringers Salvation Army Bell Ringer shifts were offered as Done-in-a-Day opportunites this year to provide Junior League members flexibility. Members could select their time, date, and location. In total, five shifts were filled with JLSB members. Some members partnered together, while others brought along their family members.

Jackie Potter Mullin (A) and Kim DeCook (A), left, enjoyed the experience. Jackie explains, “Even though it was a cold day, I would totally do it again! It was great to have Kim there with me because it allowed us to talk and catch up, but we were also out there together doing something for the community. I also loved that we posted on Facebook that we would be out there, and friends came out to donate money and brought us Starbucks to keep warm.” Jessica Knapick (A), left, brought her family along for her shift.

Courtney Bennett (A) and Lisa Hammond (A), below, were all smiles for their shift!

Jennifer Liddell (A) and her daughter, above, rang on a cold day. Jennifer said, “I thought the experience was very rewarding. It was a great, real-life opportunity to teach my daughter the importance of giving back, as well as what the Salvation Army does for people in our community!” 5

Holiday Ball Exceeds Expectations by Jennifer Swisher-Carroll (A)


oliday Ball 2016: Let It Snow was a huge success! The Holiday Ball Committee hosted this year’s event at The Brick in South Bend. Suzanne Dunne, Chair, believes that the “new venue generated a lot of interest.” Those who attended loved the new venue, atmosphere, and fabulous music. While Holiday Ball is an enjoyable evening for all who attend, it is also an important fundraiser and serves as an opportunity for JLSB to raise funds, which make it possible for the membership to continue to make positive impacts on the Michiana community. The Junior League of South Bend, Inc., is proud to announce that Holiday Ball 2016 was more than a good time. This year, 181 guests enjoyed dinner and dancing, and another 45 guests arrived for dancing after dinner. In total, the JLSB raised over $24,000. There were several things that made this year’s event such a success. The Holiday Ball Committee wanted to “go local” this year, and this theme was evident from menu selections to the micro-fundraiser. Cafe Navarre catered the event, and Ali Oesch provided unique jewelry selections that guests could purchase in “mystery boxes” before and during the event. Blammo, a local band, provided the entertainment for the evening, and they were a big hit! JLSB member Jessica Knapick (A) remarked, “As a new member, this was my first time attending Holiday Ball, and it won’t be my last. The Brick was a beautiful choice of venue, and the highlight of the evening was definitely dancing to Blammo!” Holiday Ball: Let It Snow was certainly a wonderful way to end 2016. The Junior League of South Bend, Inc., would like to thank Suzanne Dunne and the entire Holiday Ball Committee. Suzanne also wanted to thank those who volunteered to make sure this year’s event was a success.


Mary Lou Schwartz Award Recipient: Mrs. Pat Cressy P

at Cressy has been an active volunteer, community leader and proud Junior League of South Bend member since 1980. She was chair of the local chapter of Project LEAD, which she sheparded into today’s Youth Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka, which is now in its twenty-fourth year and has graduated over 1,000 students and enthusiastic leaders. Pat was also instrumental in raising the $2 million needed for the Child Abuse Services Investigation and Education (CASIE) Center’s new building in 2014. Her commitment to service also extended to volunteering at her children’s schools and her local parish. Both Pat and her husband, Don, have been integral in furthering the Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes for the last 42 years. They are also proud underwriters of the Montessori classroom at the South Bend Center for the Homeless. Together Don and Pat have been honored to receive The Distinguished Leadership Award from Leadership SB/M, the Helping Hands Award from The Center For Hospice Care, and were inducted into the South Bend Hall of Fame. They share in supporting The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, Women’s Care Center, Citizens for Community Values, Logan Center, St. Joseph High School, United Way of SJC, YMCA, YWCA, and their alma mater, the University of Dayton’s School of Leadership and School of Entrepreneurship. Their lives are fulfilled and enriched by their three children and their spouses: Kiernan and Bill Anzelc, Kim and Chris Crowe and Corey and Becky Garvey Cressy. The delight of their lives are their 10 grandchildren ranging in ages from 17 years to 1 year old: William, Bridget, and Sydney Anzelc, Abby, Boden and Josie Crowe, and James, Sean, Jeanne and Clara Cressy.

Special thanks to the Holiday Ball Committee: Suzanne Dunne, Chair Lane DeMeulenaere - Assistant Chair Jennifer Alvarado Lyndsee Alvarado Courtney Bennett Jennifer Drews Liz Elliot Lisa Hammond Moe Hosinski Sophie New Autumn Niemczak


JLSB is Proud to Honor Our Senior Sons and Daughters


even outstanding young adults were presented to the attendees of this year’s Holiday Ball. Suzanne Dunne, Holiday Ball Chair, was very complimentary of the seniors and said, “We had outstanding participation this year. They are a very accomplished group.” The members of the Junior League of South Bend, Inc., thank these seniors and their families for participating in this year’s Holiday Ball and wish each of them well as they embark on new adventures after graduation. Clare Harding is the daughter of Mary (S) and Al Harding. She is a senior at St. Joseph High School. She has three siblings: Al (25), Eleanor (23) and John (16). Clare played volleyball for three years at St. Joseph and also plays on the tennis team. Last season the tennis team took second place in the Indiana State Championship! Clare volunteers at Saint Vincent DePaul, where she works with young children. She is the President of the Spirit Club at St. Joseph and is a member of the National Honor Society where she volunteers as a tutor for freshmen. She is also a member of H.O.P.E. Club and is a Peer Mentor for freshmen. Clare is a Cubs fan and joined in the World Series celebration in Chicago with her friends. She loves the beach on Lake Michigan, running, biking and spending time with her family and cousins. Madeleine McTigue is the daughter of Tim and Deirdre (S) McTigue. At Marian High School, Madeleine is the Secretary of the National Honor Society and co-captain of the girls cross country and track and field teams. Recently, she received recognition for her leadership skills as a member of Marian’s Homecoming Court. During her sophomore year she graduated from Youth Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka, and during her junior year she received the Most Valuable Player and Coach’s awards. Faith and community service are important parts of her life, as she volunteers for the Marian Service Club and at Saint Pius X Catholic Church. Madeleine plans to study journalism/business in college. Natalie Jean Page is the daughter of Wendy (S) and Kevin Page. Natalie will graduate from St. Joseph High School this spring. During her four years at St. Joseph High School, Natalie savored her four years playing goalie for the Varsity soccer team. Natalie also enjoyed participating in school musicals and many other school clubs. Next fall, Natalie will likely begin her course of study at Purdue University, where she is expected to engage in a curriculum that will lend credibility to her natural talent of being in charge. Sean Russell is the son of Raquel (A) and James Russell, Jr. Sean attends the LaLumiere School in LaPorte, Indiana. Sean is a six year Science Olympiad team member. He is an integral part of the teams at both the Stanley Clark School and LaLumiere. He is the Senior Engineer at LaLumiere, in charge of all building projects. Every year, he has helped to lead the Science Olympiad teams at both LaLumiere and Stanley Clark to the State competition at IU-Bloomington. As an eighth grader, Sean participated in the National Science Olympiad competition, held at Wright State University in Ohio. Sean competed on the Academic Super Bowl team as a junior, winning the State English title that year. He is also a member of the LaLu soccer team, as a playing manager. Sean plans to double major in math and meteorology and is considering several college choices. Brian Tyler is the son of Matt and Amy (S) Tyler. He is a dedicated student athlete at St. Joseph High School. Brian is a National Student Leadership Alumni and a captain of the St. Joseph Varsity hockey team. He has played Varsity hockey and Varsity lacrosse at St. Joseph for the past four years. Brian also plays travel lacrosse at the state level during the summer months. He enjoys spending time in the summer volunteering at Saint Vincent DePaul and the Food Bank of Northern Indiana in South Bend. In his free time, Brian enjoys spending time with friends, playing sports and traveling. Brian loves to vacation with his family over breaks. Presently, Brian is participating in the St. Joseph CEO program, and he plans to continue to study business and entrepreneurship, as well as play lacrosse, at the collegiate level. Brian will be attending High Point University in North Carolina next year.


Zion Williams is the daughter of Carmen (A) and Jonathan Williams. Zion attends John Adams High School where she is a student in the International Baccalaureate Magnet Program and a member of the National Honors Society and Student Government. She has given back to her community by volunteering with A is for Apple Pie, a program that teaches kids through cooking, and working with school aged children at Ping Tom Memorial Park, a summer camp in Chicago. As an 8-year member of the Robinson Shakespeare Company, she has acted in several plays such as Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. Her talent and interest in the arts led her to co-create an Art Club at Adams in her freshman year. Her artist talent also led her to participate in the South Bend Festival of Banners, where her banner was chosen to be displayed in downtown South Bend. Zion wishes to pursue a career in the arts and plans to major in graphic design at Ball State University. Noel Zak is the youngest daughter of Mark Zak and Carla (S) Robinson. Noel attends Goshen High School, where she is involved in Student Council, National Honor Society, and school musicals. She is also a captain of the cross country team and was selected as a Kiwanis Scholar Athlete. She is a participant in both the Symphonic Orchestra and Advanced Mixed choir, as well as a member of the Crimson Quartet. She is a section leader of the Camarata Chamber Orchestra, Red Wire Jazz Strings and Full Symphonic Orchestra. She is a member of the Fusion Dance Team, which has competed in Orlando, New York, and Myrtle Beach. Noel plans to study political science and minor or double major in music performance at a yet undecided college.


Center for the Homeless Garden Continues to Thrive by Jennifer Swisher-Carroll (A)


he garden at the Center for the Homeless is both beautiful and functional. It was established in 2007 and continues to flourish.

Steve Camilleri, Director of the Center for the Homeless, said, “This was truly a community project.” Prior to the Center for the Homeless acquiring the land, the area was an overgrown field where trash and other debris speckled the landscape. Steve admits, “It was an eyesore.” The Center for the Homeless acquired the field and had a vision to create a space that could “provide fresh, locally-grown produce for the Center’s kitchen, educational programs geared around healthy living habits for the families who live at the Center, and a therapeutic space for relaxation and reflection for residents and staff alike.” The Junior League of South Bend, Inc., assisted in the effort by offering financial assistance and volunteers. JLSB members helped to clean the area, plant flowers and other vegetation, and continued to help after the garden was opened to Center residents. This is yet another example of how passionate individuals can join forces to enact positive change in a community. While there were many community members and businesses that supported the endeavor from the beginning, the Center for the Homless did encounter some resistance when the project got underway. Some believed that the garden would “never work” or would be vandalized. Steve assured that this has never happened. “I haven’t found so much as a bottle strewn out here,” he mentioned. “The garden is very respected by the community, guests, and CFH staff.” Guests and staff, including Steve, come to work in the garden, have meetings, or just enjoy its beauty. The Center has also hosted picnics or other small events in the garden. In addition to being beautiful to look at, the garden is very functional. The Center residents and staff have added a composting area in recent years, so the Center can be more “green.” Perhaps most astounding is how much food the garden produces. The bounty from the garden supplements up to 10,000 meals a year. Over time, the garden has produced a little bit of everything. Some of the things grown include: pumpkins, watermelons, strawberries, spices, sunflowers, lettuce, and tomatoes. The summer of 2017 will mark the garden’s tenth year of operation. JLSB members can be proud to have had a hand in this tremendous (and beautiful) effort.


Current Projects Double the Community Impact by Audra Sieradzki (A), Project Chair


he Junior League of South Bend, Inc., is focused on encouraging caregivers’ engagement with their children through the 2016-2017 Project. JLSB members are updating and creating play spaces that will foster safe playing, learning, and exploring in partnership with Hope Ministries and the Center for the Homeless. At the Center for the Homeless, JLSB is creating a safe place for children to learn, play, and explore with their caregivers — primarily mothers — through the transformation of an underutilized room within the family dorm into a multi-functional education playroom/family room. Our theme is “Bringing in the Outdoors” as we paint window scenes, a reading tree, and generally brighten the interior room. An art corner and gross motor play area will also be part of the play room. We will add rugs, furniture and shelving to make it comfortable and organized for all users. Floorspace and opportunities to cuddle are key to this project, as we know childhood development requires space to explore and close encounters with caregivers. To further encourage engagement, we will work with the Center for the Homeless to fill the room with toys, art supplies, books, and materials. Upon the completion of the play room, JLSB members will host Saturday playdates to model playing and child appropriate activities, as well as give our membership and their children the opportunity to form relationships with moms and kids at the Center for the Homeless. These playdates will include free play, story time, music, and art to support healthy relationships. Hope4Kids at Hope Ministries supports the youngest residents of Hope by providing a HighScope certified childcare program for children ages newborn to five years old. A key aspect of this program is the use of the floor for exploration and play. HighScope also requires that children’s artwork, area labels, pictures and interactive items be hung on the walls. The classrooms have been heavily used and are in need of an update. JLSB will partner with Hope to refresh the classrooms by painting and installing new carpet. JLSB is also working with Hope to add therapy swings and a loft area to their gross motor room.

The playroom at the Center for the Homeless, above, is in progress.

All are invited to be a part of these critical play space projects. Find a project shift that works for you and be prepared to get dirty. Invite family members, older children/ teens, and friends looking to impact our community. Contact any member to find out how and when you can help.

Members Spread Holiday Cheer at Hope As well as assisting with the Hope4Kids classroom refresh project, JLSB members got into the spirit of the holidays, as several helped at the Hope Ministries Christmas Store. JLSB members helped Hope Ministries guests to shop and wrap gifts for their children. Helen Finnan (A), project assistant chair, said, “It was great fun helping the families at Hope choose gifts for their kids. I enjoy spoiling my kids at Christmas with things I know they will love, and through this great event these families were able know that their kids were going to wake up Christmas morning and feel loved and happy. The gratitude and joy with which these parents carefully selected their gifts and wrapped them filled me with Christmas cheer. The experience interacting with these families makes me look forward to spending time with other families once the room is completed at the shelter.” 11

Meet the JLSB 2017-2018 Board of Directors by Cassidy Troeger (A), Nominating Chair Amy Stewart-Brown – President Amy joined JLSB eight years ago when she was new to the community and looking for a way to connect with likeminded women. She has enjoyed every placement but her favorites have been Membership VP and President. She loves that both of these roles allow her to spend the majority of her “League-time” working directly with our members. Amy is so excited to see what the 2017-2018 League year will bring as we focus on Issue-Based Community Impact, the membership experience, and potentially introduce a new fundraiser — all while continuing the recent emphasis on timely and streamlined communication. Amy graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington. She has been married to her college sweetheart, Jim, for thirteen years, and they have two boys. She recently accepted a position as the Executive Director of the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County, where she will utilize her experiences from League to help better the community. Karey Circosta – President-Elect Karey grew up in South Bend and has both gone to school and worked here for most of her life. She has worked at Ave Maria Press for almost fourteen years and is the Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing. When asked something funny or unusual about her life, she usually cites that she went to school on US 31 (now 933) all of her life: from Christ the King, to St. Joseph’s High School, to Saint Mary’s College. She also received her MBA from Bethel College. Karey loves being involved in the local community and was a St. Joseph County Chamber 40 under 40 award recipient in 2008. She is also currently a toddler clothes buyer for the Christ Child Society and treasurer of AAF Michiana (American Advertising Federation). She lives in Mishawaka with her husband, Nic, their three-year old son, Dominic, and Nic’s thirteen-year old daughter, Lucy. Karey says they have both a “threenager” and a teenager! She loves doing crafty things including crocheting, painting with chalk paint, home decorating, reading, going to barre, drinking good red wine, golfing, going to Notre Dame and other sporting events, and watching Dominic play sports. Karey looks forward to continuing to find more ways to enhance the member experience within League. Stephanie Moreland – Communications Vice President Stephanie and her husband Matthew have been blessed with three boys, ages 21 months (Wesley) and 1 month (identical twins Walter and William). Stephanie is originally from mid-Michigan, but currently lives in Mishawaka. She has been in this community for nearly 10 years. She was previously a Marketing Director for Teachers Credit Union (TCU) and was recently promoted to a full-time mother of three boys under the age of two. She joined League to better connect with the community through volunteerism and meet other empowered women who share her passion for family, community and helping others. While on the Board, Stephanie is looking forward to expanding upon our already notable volunteerism efforts by making a bigger impact on our community and ensuring our “story” is heard. She is also excited to develop deeper relationships with the amazing women in our League! Megan New – Community Vice President Megan moved to South Bend from Chicago a little over six years ago. She was a prosecutor in Chicago, as well as South Bend, but is currently staying home with her three kids Kayla (6), Sam (3), and Avery (2 months). She moved to South Bend with her husband Dan, who grew up in the area, so he could work for his family business, Mid-City Supply. She has made Michiana her home and loves the community. Megan’s most memorable moment in League was attending the Leadership Conference in Florida with Amy. The conference reinforced her passion to be an involved League member and volunteer. League has also given her the experience and courage to become involved with various organizations around the community. She served on the Board of Sinai Synagogue and is currently serving on the Board of the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley. She also chairs the Young Adult Committee for the Federation. Megan is in her third year of coaching Adams High School’s Mock Trial team. In her free time Megan enjoys reading, watching murder mysteries and period tv shows and movies, and being active.


Janet Horvath – Finance Vice President Janet is a partner at the South Bend law firm, Jones Obenchain, where she has built a dynamic and diverse general practice that enables her to provide businesses and their executives and families with the corporate and personal assistance they need. Two nights a week, Janet teaches Business Law as an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Saint Mary’s College. Janet’s life has come full circle since obtaining her law degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. She and her husband, Leon, live in New Carlisle just miles from where she grew up. Her son Alex (6) attends Olive Elementary, where Janet went to elementary school, and son Grant (4) is in preschool at the Early Childhood Development Center at Saint Mary’s. Janet served as JLSB President in 2011-2012 and is excited to return to the Board. Janet has held multiple placements in League over the years, spanning the Membership, Fundraising and Community Councils. Most recently, she’s spent the last two years co-chairing the ad hoc fundraising committee. Courtney Bennett – Fundraising Vice President Courtney is originally from the Chicago area but has been living in South Bend for about 25 years. She moved back to South Bend after her graduation from Purdue University and joined JLSB right away upon moving back to town. She works as a public accountant (CPA) in the tax department at Crowe Horwath, LLP. She is married to her high school crush, Joel, and they have one son, Owen, a chocolate lab, Zeus, and are expecting another baby in May. She is a diehard Michigan State fan, loves doing any kind of water sport, snow skiing and cheering on the Notre Dame men’s rugby team that her husband coaches. Courtney was also a recipient of the prestigious Top 40 Under 40 Award. She attended the Chamber Leadership Program and has spent a lot of her time in League helping on the Fundraising Council. She cannot wait to continue the tradition of Holiday Ball for another year but is also looking forward to our new fundraiser, the Little Black Dress Initiative. Becky Beckman – Membership Vice President Becky has lived in South Bend for ten years and is originally from Toledo, Ohio. She has been married to her husband, Isaiah, for almost 7 years. They have two beautiful girls, Hayden (21 months) and Makena (5 months). Becky loves working with and for nonprofits. She has her undergraduate degree in Public Relations and Communications and a minor in Television Broadcasting. She joined League to volunteer and make lifelong friends, for whom she is very thankful. Her most memorable experience was attending ODI in Seattle. Becky is extremely excited that this will be her second year on the Board as Membership VP. She knows it will allow for consistency and for her to listen to the members and make any necessary changes. Cari Zielinski – Sustainer Advisor to the Board Cari Zielinski, also known as Cari Peugeot, has lived in South Bend for almost 16 years. She grew up outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana, graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington and moved here for a job. She works fulltime as a meteorologist at WSBT, which is the CBS/Fox TV affiliate. She is also married and has 3 children ages 5, 3 and 1. Cari says they qualify as her current hobbies! Cari joined JLSB in 2005 and has been involved in many different ways, but she loves the Community Council and serving on the Board the best. She originally joined Junior League because a friend asked her if she would join with her the same year. She had also been looking to meet other women in our community both socially and professional but wanted to contribute to something important. JLSB was a great match. She has many funny, personal memories because she has made some really great friendships but working with other community organizations to make real changes and impacts in our community are the best. Cari looks forward to working with the Board and all of our members to see just how much we can make a difference next year.

Pictured from L-R: Becky Beckman, Amy Stewart-Brown, Stephanie Moreland, Megan New, Karey Circosta, Janet Horvath, Cari Zielinski. Not pictured: Courtney Bennett 13

Our Children are Born to Learn:

JLSB Partners with the United Way of St. Joseph County by Sandi Pontius (A)


unior League of South Bend’s Community Project in 2017 will be a partnership with the United Way of St. Joseph County to conduct four Born Learning Parent Engagement Academies that give parents and caregivers tools to promote early learning while deepening relationships with school staff and other parents in the community. These programs will serve as a supplement to the UWSJC Kindergarten Readiness Camps, which had a successful first year in 2016. Research consistently shows that the first few years of life are critical to a child’s development, and learning starts long before school. From birth, kids are building the important skills — social, emotional, language, physical and intellectual — they need for life. Research also shows that children learn best through everyday experiences with the people they love and trust, and when the learning is fun. The Academies teach parents and caregivers of children (ages 0-5) how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities. Their purpose is to make parents and caregivers aware of how young children learn, as well as teach easy, fun action steps that parents, grandparents and other caregivers can use every day as they interact with their children. Each Academy consists of six monthly workshops with each Academy hosting 15 parents. The research-based curriculum for these workshops was developed by early childhood faculty at Northern Kentucky University. Academies take place in an elementary school setting. If families are engaged in positive interactions in the school setting before school even begins, they are more likely to feel welcomed and remain engaged after their children start school. Children are also more likely to be ready for kindergarten when parents, schools and communities work together to meet the needs of the child. United Way’s Born Learning Parent Engagement Academies can provide Junior League members with rewarding volunteer opportunities aligned with Junior League’s focus on early childhood development and parental involvement. Members can serve as teacher’s aides, parent mentors, childcare helpers and parent recruiters. In addition to direct onsite service, members can also serve as resource developers, for example: secure donated items for the Academies, help prepare educational materials, and participate in marketing and public relations activities. JLSB will provide $17,000 to the project, which will fully fund four academies. JLSB will aid in planning for the Academies and assist in securing donated items through supply drives. We will also participate in marketing initiatives for the program. The Born Learning Academies will provide many volunteer opportunities for members through serving as teacher’s aides, parent mentors, and childcare providers. The chairperson and project committee will soon be selected, and the program is planned to begin in the fall of 2017.

How has the Junior League of South Bend, Inc., enriched your life? “JLSB has made me more aware of the resources and issues in the community and made me more cognizant of how this organization can help.” ~Karen Putt (A) 14

A Lesson in JLSB History:

Why is Early Childhood Education the “Focus” of JLSB? by Jennifer Swisher-Carroll (A)


he current focus for the Junior League of South Bend, Inc., is early childhood education. Why do we need a “focus,” and how did we did choose early childhood education?

While there are many reasons as to why a Junior League would select an Issue-Based Community Impact (IBCI) focus, all of those reasons tie to one core belief: a League should seek to impact its community in the most meaningful and measurable way it is able. Current President Amy Stewart-Brown explains, “As we do projects and support initiatives, it is essential that we can measure how effective they are, and focusing on one area and becoming subject matter experts helps us to do that.” During the 2009 — 2010 League year, Cari Zielinski (S) was instrumental in researching and proposing the IBCI focus to JLSB membership. She outlined several reasons as to why having an IBCI focus is advantageous for a League. She explained that a focus allows JLSB to “really focus our attention, effort and money on something in our community and make the biggest possible impact on improving that area.” In addition, establishing an IBCI model helps JLSB to explain who we are and what we are raising funds for in the community. Cari adds, “Having a focus streamlined this answer so it could potentially make much more sense to someone on why they should donate and help our organization.” JLSB also received support in this endeavor from our parent organization, the Association of Junior Leagues, International (AJLI), who encouraged all Leagues to adopt an IBCI model. Cari said, “It was a big change for our internal processes and a big challenge for a smaller League. AJLI was pretty excited and impressed that we were willing to take it on to be more successful and to make as big of an impact on our community as we could.” Early childhood development was the IBCI focus eventually adopted by JLSB, but other ideas were considered. There are so many worthy and important issues to be tackled in a community, and the decision of which issue to select was not easy. In order to make an informed decision, JLSB solicited advice from the community. Cari remembers, “ We held a townhall meeting where we invited community groups and members, including mayors, educators, nonprofit representatives, and business owners. They came and talked to us about what they saw as our biggest problems or issues within our community.” The committee charged with researching the first IBCI model for JLSB also looked at community data. Throughout the process, the same issues kept arising, many of them tied directly to early childhood education. A great deal of research, thought, and discussion helped lead JLSB to the issue of early childhood education. The committee learned through their research that one way to really create positive change in the community was to focus on our youngest members. Children who are healthy, nurtured, well educated, and safe, will become adults who will be productive, contributing members of our community. While the current IBCI focus of JLSB is early childhood development, it is not permanent and can be adjusted as the needs of the community change. Cari explains, “As long as members are interested, and it is a community need, our focus can stay the same.” However, the focus can be reevaluated, and the decision can be revisited, as needed. Cari continues, “That’s what’s great about this process. It needs to be good for our community and our members to be successful. And it can be changed or adjusted as we need.” The current JLSB leadership team and incoming board are preparing to start the process of evaluating the focus per the IBCI model, so stay tuned!


New Members Officially Become “Actives” At the January General Membership Meeting, the New (Provisional) Members of the Junior League of South Bend, Inc., officially became Active Members. New Member Committee Chair, Megan Martin, presented each woman with a rose as her name was called at the meeting. Megan complimented the women by saying, “Thank you for the best placement I’ve had in League so far.” She stressed that the women who comprised the New Member group were a pleasure to work with and an incredible group of individuals. She continued, “I am looking forward to working with them now that they are Actives.” Congratulations to the New Member Committee, as they did a wonderful job recruiting, training, and connecting with this dynamic group of women. Serving on the committee in addition to Megan Martin (Chair), were Helen Finnan (Assistant Chair), Lyndsay Krieger, and Jessica Reasons.

JLSB welcomes the following women into Active Membership: Jamie Ail Katelyn Andrysiak-Begert Abeni El-Amin Erin Espy Ekomobong Essien Renee Fleming Jennifer Kedik Jennifer Keller Jessica Knapick Kim Komdeur Amanda Limberty Cheron Merten Janice Nichols Claire Powell Elizabeth Slavinskas Christi Steif


Social Highlights: Work Hard, Play Hard November Social: Design a Sign by Jennifer Liddell (A) and Jackie Mullin (A) On November 4, 24 League members gathered at Hilton Garden Inn for our November Social where we created personalized wooden signs. As we gathered, most of us were nervous and questioned our artistic skills. However, those were soon calmed as our instruction began. First, we chose the finish for our sign. Once that was dry, the fun began. We were given stencils based on the sign we had chosen when we signed up. Easy enough. How could we mess up a stencil? Once we chose our colors, which was almost like trying to name your child, it was very easy and fun. At the end, we were able to share, and compare, our finished products with each other. It was a wonderful night of sharing with some old and new friends.

December Social: Cookie Exchange by Jennifer Liddell (A) and Sandy Van Vooren (A) This year’s annual cookie swap was extra sweet! Members who attended each baked four dozen cookies or treats to share. We began our evening with laughs and conversation before judging for the ugliest sweater. Karey Circosta (A) won with a unanimous vote and took home a nice bottle of wine and a container for her cookies! We were all excited to take home delicious new cookies to try, as well as a recipe book so we can make them again. It was a fun night and a great way to kick off the holiday season with our Junior League friends.

Interested in becoming a member? We would love for you to join us! Membership in JLSB is open to all women who are at least twenty-one years of age by June 1 of the year of New Member membership. JLSB reaches out to women of all races, religions, and national origins who share in our commitment to voluntarism and improving our community. Prospective members are invited to attend a casual informational session, typically held during the spring and summer months. The session provides information about the JLSB Mission, work in the community, and the responsibilities of membership. New Member programs begin in August every year. Visit us at for more information.


Meet the Members Active Highlight: Jennifer Liddell by Sarah Dvorak (A)

Jennifer Liddell, originally from the South Bend area, was looking for ways to give back to this community she so loves when she joined JLSB. She quickly learned to value the opportunity she had to interact with like-minded women and took on a variety of opportunities with League. During her six years in League, she’s been a placement advisor, a member of many project committees, and has helped with the DIAD committee. She’s currently in her second year as a placement advisor. Jennifer says that League has really helped her grow. “Being a part of JLSB has made me a stronger, more confident woman. One of the biggest skills I’ve gained is learning how to effectively run a meeting. I’ve also benefited from the many trainings I’ve been able to participate in over the years.” The community of women, though, is what keeps her coming back every year. She says, “A lot of things have changed in my life since I joined League. I truly appreciate that regardless of those changes, League has been a constant. I have made friends with some really amazing women, and it’s such a great feeling to know that I’m part of this group of phenomenal women who work so hard to improve our community.” In her spare time, Jennifer loves to watch her three children participate in their various activities and sports and enjoys date nights with her husband and getting together once a month with her Bunco group. She also loves participating in wine tours and adds that she also loves “drinking the wine from the wine tours!”

“Newly” Active Member Highlight: Katelyn Andrysiak-Begert by Sarah Dvorak (A)

Katelyn Andrysiak, originally from South Bend, knew when she returned home from college that she wanted to become more involved in her community. She did some research and discovered Junior League. So far, she’s really enjoying her experience. “I have already learned so much about what is out there in our community. From the tours of non-profits to the occupations of other members, I’ve had the privilege of being exposed to businesses and people I would never have met if it weren’t for League,” said Katelyn. A former fundraising chair in her sorority, Katelyn hopes to one day help out with Holiday Ball or the new fundraiser. Outside of her responsibilities in League, Katelyn works as a job development specialist for Logan Community Resources. Specifically, she helps individuals with disabilities get jobs in the community and provides them support as they make decisions about their future plans. Katelyn is a film guru and prides herself on her extensive film knowledge. She loves to hang out with her friends, family and husband. She also loves music and sings opera! Katelyn says she stays active with yoga and dancing, which allows her to feel less guilty about being a natural “foodie.” Why did you choose to join JLSB? “I wanted to meet amazing women in the community and have an opportunity to be more involved in volunteer opportunites in the area.” ~ Cheron Merton (A) 18

The Sustainer Tradition Sustainer Highlight: Mo Miller by Sarah Dvorak (A)

Mo Miller quotes Kevin O’Leary (aka, Mr. Wonderful from the TV show, Shark Tank), who recently spoke at Notre Dame, by saying “If you want something done, give it to a busy mom!” Mo believes strongly in this sentiment, and it’s one of the reasons she’s enjoyed being part of Junior League for approximately 18 years. Mo joined JLSB when her family returned to the area after 20-years away. She joined League in order to learn more about what was happening in the community. According to Mo, “JLSB opened up many wonderful friendships with like-minded women of all ages, who were interested in sharing their energy and resources for the greater good.” She says JLSB also taught her children about the value of service and giving back to one’s community. Over the years, Mo has been quite busy, but has the fondest memories from her time working on Thrift Shop and Holiday Ball. More recently, she’s enjoyed her time as Sustainer Advisor to the JLSB Board. Mo credits a relationship that began in League for helping her find success professionally. “One of the greatest benefits of being a member of JLSB is that I met a dear and wonderful Sustainer, Vicki McIntire, and we hit it off while we chaired Holiday Ball together. That initial relationship grew into my current job — 11 years as CFO for Charlie Hayes. Outside of League and her professional responsibilities, Mo enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. She’s also a miniaturist and enjoys distance bicycle riding. Overall, Mo has thoroughly enjoyed her time in JLSB and loves maintaining her involvement as a Sustainer. She says, “I hope every member enjoys the same benefits I have enjoyed throughout my years in JLSB, even continuing now as a Sustainer. These ladies have it down! A few parties a year, and I love that we always have name tags!”

“Thank you” to Ann Dean (S) for hosting the Sustainer Holiday Luncheon at her home on December 7, 2016. A wonderful time was had by all.


130 Park Lane South Bend, Indiana 46601

Junior League of South Bend, Inc. Board of Directors 2016-2017 President: Amy Stewart-Brown Communications VP: Karey Circosta Community VP: Carrie Bossung Finance VP: Angie Dvorak Fundraising VP: Cherese Krueper Membership VP: Becky Beckman Executive Sustainer Advisor: Mo Miller League Lore Committee 2016-2017 Chair: Jennifer Swisher-Carroll Assistant Chair: Sandi Pontius Sarah Dvorak

JLSB League Lore February 2017