Junior League of Worcester Hotline 2019-2020

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May 2020

President’s Letter It has been my great honor and privilege to serve The Junior League of Worcester as President in the 2019 – 2020 League year. The JLW is transforming in our 95th year of service to ensure the long-term health and viability of the League for generations of civic leaders to come. We have revised our League’s Bylaws, Governance Structure as well as participated in AJLI’s Small League Big Impact. Our goal this year was to identify ways to serve our community that would offer a deeper community impact, which also creates a more engaged League. The JLW strives to provide more opportunities to membership to develop skills and competencies through more valuable volunteer work. This year our committee leaders provided members with multiple opportunities to make meaningful connections with other member and engage in several community events and initiative. Though we are currently living in uncertain times and technology has become a big theme over the past few months, the League made pivots so that we continued to serve the community and provide several virtual opportunities for development and membership engagement. I believe we are women of action! We have said over and over that we might be small but we sure are MIGHTY!! We must continue to step outside of our comfort zones by saying YES to opportunities and overcoming challenges that we face. The women of our League are leaders and have continued to step up to chair projects and be part of cohorts for new initiatives. We continue to work directly in the community that we serve through DIAD, our scholarship program and new this year; ‘Learning Journey’ and RWAR Dinners. I’m proud of The Junior League of Worcester and am excited that Lauren Evens will be President leading our League for the next two years. I know that our active and sustaining membership will step up and continue to drive change and serve our community. With Gratitude, Catherine Leary 2019-2020 Junior League of Worcester, President

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JLW Welcome Fall Friendraiser We started the league year with our Welcome Fall Friendraiser at Volturno’s in Worcester. . We welcomed many active and sustainer members and a handful of prospective members, including one gentleman named Paul. He did not go on to join the league. Packets were made for each interested person and all received delicious JLW logo cookies. After the summer, it was great to reconnect with everybody and kick-off the new league year.

Cheers to JLW for starting Learning Journeys such as this one with Girls Inc. Also, cheers to all in JLW who didn’t let sheltering in place stop the fun or the connections during our first virtual General Membership Meeting.

Wine Tasting and Cooking Demo at Percy’s During Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the JLW held an event at Percy’s in Worcester. More than 50 attended to hear from Bags of Hope founder, Jasmine, about her story, the signs someone might be being trafficked and how JLW and others can get involved to help vulnerable people in Worcester county. In addition to lots of learning, we also made sure to enjoy a wine tasting with O’Hara’s and a cooking demo on the amazing appliances found at Percy’s. Thanks to all who helped organize this one-of-a-kind night for the JLW and greater Worcester community.

JLW Favorite Things Holiday Party

During this year’s holiday party, ladies gifted one of their favorite things to each other. There also was a legendary hot chocolate bar.

3rd Annual Wreath Fundraiser Takes Over the Gym JLW's Wreath Fundraiser took over the gym at Notre Dame Academy allowing more space for attendees and becoming JLW's top fundraiser this year. Sustainer Brenda Duprey’s mother didn’t just make an awesome wreath, she also helped with the clean-up!!

JLW’s Second Little Black Dress Initiative Raised Critical Funds for League Work This year, The Junior League of Worcester kicked off its second Little Black Dress Initiative from February 24 to February 28, 2020. This effort is a social media-driven fundraising campaign started by the Junior League of London to raise awareness about poverty and its effects on women’s lives. Since its launch in London in 2014, over 80 Junior Leagues have participated in the Little Black Dress Initiative, raising thousands of dollars to support the mission of The Junior League. During the campaign, Junior League actives and sustainers in the Worcester league wore the same black dress or black outfit for five consecutive days to raise awareness and funds for issues surrounding generational poverty and the effects of poverty on women and children across Central Mass. Each woman also wore a pin that read “Ask Me About My Dress,” which invited dialogue among colleagues, friends and others about this initiative’s message. The JLW women who participated in the campaign also engaged on social media, sharing statistics, information and their experiences throughout the week. An event at Mezcal brought more than a dozen ladies to celebrate and to learn about the I AM bill from Mass NOW. It total, we raised just about $2,000 from the campaign for our critical work.

Thank You to all who made our 2019-2020 Little Black Dress Initiative another success.

Scholarship Awarded JLW received approximately two dozen applications for our $3,000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior from across Worcester county. JLW members selected from the list of finalists the scholarship award winner at the April General Membership Meeting. And the young winner, Carolyn, joined us at our virtual May Annual Dinner to celebrate with the ladies of the JLW. Even though we were sheltering in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carolyn still got to see her big check. Congratulations to Carolyn who plans to pursue a nursing degree at Fairfield University this fall. She also shared like the ladies of JLW, she will keep volunteering in college too. Congrats to Carolyn!

Ladies Night Out During the fall, to aid our outreach and membership efforts, we had fun tabling at Worcester’s Ladies Night Out.

All Packed Up! The ladies of the JLW helped pack up 279 college care packages for foster kids currently enrolled in college with our partner Rise Above. Also, the ladies had yummy homemade tacos and packed up hundreds of first aid kits to help additional community partners last fall.

Thanks to all in The Junior League of Worcester for a great 2019-2020 League Year. Don’t forget to pay your dues for the 2020-2021 League Year.

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