Every year, the Junior
League of Seattle’s first-year members (Provisionals) embark on a project
designed to provide an introduction to the organization and provide valuable
training for their future as Junior League leaders. This year, we’re excited to
partner with Rebuilding Together Seattle (RTS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization that ensures housing stability for low-income homeowners by
providing home safety and accessibility improvements free of charge.
Together with local
businesses, community organizations like JLS, and individual volunteers, RTS
helps families stay in their homes, allows seniors to age in place, and
preserves the character and culture of the local community.
RTS was founded in
1973 and came to Seattle with the support of the JLS in 1989. This
long-standing relationship has allowed the League to stay true to its mission
of promoting voluntarism in the community while supporting RTS in restoring
1,700 homes and nonprofit facilities in the greater Seattle area, impacting
many lives in the community.
project culminated on April 27th as our Provisional volunteers
worked to repair a local home. As with most volunteer projects, it was a concerted effort across the
entire Provisional class as well as mentors and active members that have
provided guidance and support along the way.
Whether you’re a Provisional or have been a long-time member
of the Junior League of Seattle (JLS), a little refresher course in the history
of JLS is always a good idea. As a wrap-up to Women’s History Month, let us celebrate
the progressive, motivated and dedicated collection of trained female
volunteers that founded, and today comprise, the JLS.
How it all began:
In 1901, Mary Harriman, a socially conscious 19-year old New York City
debutante, founded the first Junior League. Impassioned about the plight of
immigrants in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Mary formed the Junior League of the
City of New York with 80 other young women – hence the name, “Junior”
League. Harriman’s vision for improving
communities by using the energy and commitment of trained volunteers inspired
others around the country to start their own Leagues. In 1921, the Association
of Junior Leagues was formed to provide professional support to the Leagues.
The Junior League of Seattle (JLS) was established in 1923 and has been a
member of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) since 1924.
Now more about JLS: Throughout
its nearly 100-year history, JLS has successfully met the emerging needs of the
community by initiating cutting edge programs and providing trained volunteers
to manage and direct service projects, community education, fundraising and
advocacy efforts. As a result of League training, JLS has also provided a
legacy of leaders who bring knowledge and experience to the community in which
they serve. Two of JLS’s most notable members (and past presidents) include Mary Maxwell Gates
JLS has a strong history of launching projects that help the
greater Seattle community. The following organizations are just a sampling of
those that the Junior League of Seattle has supported over the years:
Northwest Art Project
was created by JLS in the early 1960s to bring arts education to
schoolchildren. This collection of original works by Northwest artists
continues to reach more than 20,000 students annually.
In the 1980s and 1990s JLS helped create the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
program, which works to ensure that needy children have a caring adult to
advocate and intervene on their behalf with the court system. This program has
since been expanded nationwide.
The JLS implemented the Christmas in April program, which
provides home repair for the elderly and disadvantaged. After three years of
JLS support, this project established its own community board and is now known
as Rebuilding Together.
Today as an organization of nearly 1,300
members, Junior League of Seattle is one of the largest Leagues on the West
Coast. Annually our members donate over
45,000 volunteer hours and participate in over 5,000 hours of personal and
professional development. As we honor our League’s history, let’s think forward
to the history each of us is empowered to make. Whatever your passion, don’t
let self-doubt or the demands of your life discourage you from thinking big,
making an impact, and doing the most good
in the Junior League of Seattle and beyond.
The Junior League of Seattle will present Maureen Benoliel with the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Award at its Catalyst Luncheonon Thursday, May 9, 2019, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Washington Athletic Club. Media who are interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Community Service Award was created by the JLS in 1989 to recognize outstanding achievement in community service. Bullitt was a charter member of the JLS, civic leader, women’s advocate and the founder of the King Broadcasting Company. The JLS award is the only award she allowed to carry her name.
Maureen Benoliel has channeled her time and resources generously towards her love of education: fostering students needing mentoring and financial assistance; investing in schools and universities; and instilling the value of voluntarism in others.
With a passion for education at all levels, Benoliel has demonstrated outstanding leadership over the past four decades. From teaching in the classrooms of the Lake Washington School District, to serving on the PTA of Lakeridge Elementary, and on the boards of the Jewish Day School, Jewish Family Services, and The Overlake School; educational volunteerism was always a paramount priority.
Benoliel served for 12 years as a Regent at Seattle University, two years as a chair of the Board of Regents and now serves on the Board of Trustees and College of Education. She provided leadership in the Search for Meaning Book Festival at Seattle University. Additionally, Benoliel served as an advisor to the Puget Sound Educational Service District participating in a review of curricula for different school districts throughout the region and served on the Executive Leadership Committee for the University of Washington Law School Capital Campaign.
The College Success Foundation administers a scholarship bearing her name, encouraging private philanthropy for education. Benoliel’s passion for education continues with her current involvement in the Fostering Scholars Program at Seattle University.
“Maureen continuously demonstrates her ability to be a role model, mentor, catalyst and risk-taker over and over again by supporting the efforts of diverse organizations in need of leadership by assisting them in achieving their goals,” states Elizabeth Rampson, president of the Junior League of Seattle. “She is a source of inspiration for our members and the greater community and we are honored to present her with this award.”
Benoliel has been active in other community causes including the MS Society, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Foundation, Art Council Board, Jewish Federation, Cystic Fibrosis, March of Dimes, Cancer Guild and served as a chair of the annual Gala for the Seattle Guild of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and for the Seattle University Scholarship Gala and the Annual Soirée for Amara Parenting.
About Junior League of Seattle
The Junior League of Seattle (JLS), a nonprofit corporation, 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. Since 1923, JLS works to meet the emerging needs of the Seattle community by initiating critically important programs and providing trained volunteers to manage them. www.jrleagueseattle.org
We were honored to represent the Junior League of Seattle (JLS) at the annual AJLI Winter Leadership Conference, held this year in New Orleans, Louisiana.
One of many conferences and training opportunities presented by AJLI throughout the year, the Winter Leadership Conference takes place every January. It is held in a different city each year and is hosted by the local Junior League. The focus is on training and preparing future Presidents and Executive Vice Presidents for their upcoming roles. President-Elect, President-Elect Nominees, Executive Vice President Nominees are invited to come together to network, brainstorm, share ideas, and work together in preparation for their roles as League leaders.
This year’s conference was jam-packed with two-and-a-half days of training and leadership development sessions where we explored best practices in leadership, governance, management, membership, and diversity and inclusion. You can expect to see many of the tools we were given in action at both the Board of Directors and Management Council levels.
In the evenings and during breaks we deepened our long-time close friendships with Leagues in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Boston, Minneapolis, Richmond, and more, engaging in deeper conversations about specific strategic or operational needs, challenges, and opportunities. We shared tools, insights, and ideas to help us plan for the 2019-20 League year and beyond.
Our fund development efforts enable JLS to send delegates to conferences such as this, enhancing our mission of training civic and community leaders.
On behalf of all of us who attended we thank you, our fellow members of JLS, for this exciting and energizing opportunity.
On Tuesday, October 30th, eight JLS members went to Food Lifeline for a service shift to sort and separate produce for local food banks. Members went through fifteen 600-lb crates of squash and grapefruit to compost bad pieces and separate into smaller, 30-lb boxes for shipment out to various food banks in the community. Our members helped package 12,090-lbs of food totaling 10,075 meals!
Who is Food Lifeline? Food Lifeline is a non-profit organization found in 1979 that supplies food to food banks across Western Washington. Their mission is to end hunger in Western Washington by mobilizing resources and engaging local communities. They are responsible for packing and delivering food from various farmers across the state to 275 different food banks. They provide 97,000 meals daily, have 13,000 volunteers each year, and sourced 42,000,000 pounds of food in 2017. For more information visit their website at https://foodlifeline.org.
Not sure what to bring to your next potluck? Look no further! Today’s featured recipe from the JLS “Simply Classic” cookbook is just what you need to get ready for fall.
Harvest Bisque (serves six)
1 pound butternut squash
5 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
¾ cup half and half
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 lime, sliced paper-thin
Peel, seed, and cut squash into 1-inch cubes. Place in a heavy, 4-quart pot with chicken stock. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer squash to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir stock into squash purée. Set aside
In same pot, melt butter; stir in flour and curry. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until smooth. Add pureed squash mixture to pot. Increase heat to medium-high and stir until soup thickens slightly. Reduce heat and add half and half. Do not allow soup to boil after this point. Add lime juice, salt and white pepper. Ladle soup into serving bowls, garnish with lime and serve immediately.
Happy Fall, JLS Members! We have a several exciting, seasonal events and meetings happening this October!
The week of the October 15th we have our community partner meetings. This is a great opportunity to hear from experts and learn about the inspiring ways our partners positively impact our community, and how we can help.
Want to vote during the upcoming election but still a little confused about how it all works? Luckily, the Advocacy committee has put together a training on October 18th featuring our very own Secretary of State Kim Wyman. She will go over the Washington state election process as well as give us a recap of the 2018 elections thus far. There are still some spots left so be sure to sign up!
For those of you interested in leadership, there are leadership information sessions (LIS) on the calendar for October 23 and 25. Spots are filling quickly so make sure to register.
Done in A Day (DIAD) has planned some great service shifts for us throughout the month, including Westside Baby and Youthcare. Check out the calendar for more shifts and to sign up!
Want to get ahead knock out some fundraising requirements early? Here’s your chance! Join the Junior League of Seattle for “A Night in Monte Carlo” on Saturday, November 17 from 6-10pm at Westland Distillery in SODO. This casino fundraiser provides an opportunity to support JLS’s many important community programs and initiatives, celebrate the legacy of our organization, and our impact on the community. The cocktail style event will include an opportunity to test your blackjack prowess, as well as a raffle for Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets, a Kendra Scott Jewelry Pull, a boutique silent auction and much more!
The Annual Fundraisers Committee is asking for help from our members to procure items for the Fall Annual Fundraiser. Not sure what to donate? This year there are 4 ways!
$50 gift cards to any place you can think of. Many companies will match any gift card purchased for a non-profit. You just have to ask.
Pre-assembled gift baskets, valued at $50 or more. Fill a basket with your favorite coffees, items for the perfect picnic or day at the beach, or even just your favorite wines!
$250+ gift baskets. Get together with your committee, provisional group, or League friends to create a unique basket. A few ideas are: Date Night basket; Spa Day basket; Workout passes to boutique fitness studios in Seattle & Eastside (SoulCycle, Pure Barre, Barre3, etc); Staycation baskets with a Glassybaby, Fran’s Chocolate, wine, tickets to a play, and hotel stay; Weekend getaway baskets with gift certificates for activities and an overnight stay at hotel; Exclusive experiences, such as a tour of Canlis kitchen with drinks at the bar, behind the scenes of Flameworking Studio at Chihuly Garden & Glass, cooking class and behind the scenes Pike Place Market tour.
Unique travel, sports, and dining experiences.
All items are due to the JLS Office before Thursday, October 11. There will have a table set up at the September GM collecting your donations, or you can drop them off at the League office. Please be sure to fill out the In-Kind Donation form and see the Procurement letter to assist you in all of your asks! Questions? Please contact Maria Ball (Annual Fundraisers Vice Chair) email@example.com or Chrystie Schmelter (Annual Fundraisers Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to purchase your tickets? You can do so HERE!
This year is off to a great start already with some incredible Professional Development Workshops on the following 6 Saturdays this fall: 9/22, 10/6, 10/20, 11/3, 11/17, 12/1. Training credits offered!
The Junior League of Seattle is excited to participate in the ninth annual Madison Park Art Walk on Friday, September 14 from 6:00 – 8:30 PM. Businesses in the neighborhood will showcase work from local artists, and it’s a great opportunity to see the new exhibits on display at JLS and learn more about them with beverage in hand!
Below are a few examples of the works on display from three of the new exhibits:
Exploring Abstract Art
Animals in Art
Emotions & Memories in Art
Come out for a fun evening with friends, or have an art-infused date night, and mingle with fellow JLS ladies and the NW Art committee. The wine will be flowing, and it is sure to be a fun and informative night! You can find the event sign-up on the calendar here as an Open House reception. But don’t worry, if you forget to register – just head over to Madison Park and raise your glass to our community of local artists! Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for service shifts, as well as food and beverage shifts to help prep for the evening.
For more information about the annual Madison Park Art Walk 2018, visit their website and Facebook page.
Many of you have seen Candice’s President’s Log in the weekly e-blast about what she’s focused on for that week or something interesting that is happening in the League. I have decided on a more modest goal, a quarterly blog post about the role of President-Elect. I hope this regular post will give you some more insight into the role of President-Elect and answer the question, ‘What exactly does the President-Elect do?’
Leadership Retreat – Retreat planning begins in the Winter. The content and messages are owned by the President but the President-Elect also attends the planning meetings, collaborates on messages and content, and assists with the operational aspects of the program. This year, after hearing feedback from committees that they wanted more direction from leadership, Candice and I developed annual plans for every committee and included metrics for committees tied to our new Strategic Plan.
CityClub Luncheon – JLS members had a key role in the formation of the Seattle CityClub (link to their website). Every year, we host a table at their fundraising event including JLS Board Members, Managers, staff and key committee leaders.
Annual Campaign Donor Event – For the past several years, we’ve hosted an event for people who donate over $100 to our Annual Campaign. It’s a nice way to say thank you to those members and non-members that have supported us and a great way to connect with Active and Sustainer members.
Sustainer Cocktail Party – Our Sustainer members host an annual cocktail party. I had a great time connecting with Past Presidents and meeting Sustainers. I always learn something new about the League when I attend a Sustainer event.
I also spent time this month meeting with Managers. We were able to get to know each other better and talk about goals for the year.
Management Council – The JLS Management Council is made up of the wing managers, Treasurer-Elect, Sustainer Manager and Management Council Secretary and is responsible for overseeing day to day operations of the League. We spend time reviewing information submitted by Committee chairs/ vice chairs from the Leadership Reporting Form, addressing issues that affect individual committees or the entire League. Management Council meets year round and meetings are open for members to attend through our Pathway to Boards program. You can register to attend through the JLS website.
In July, Managers had a chance to provide feedback on a draft version of the strategic plan.
Provisional Retreat – I attended my first JLS Provisional Retreat and it was awesome! As a transfer, I completed my Provisional year at another League so I loved having an opportunity to see how the JLS welcomes our newest members. I presented a brief history of JLS, got a chance to meet new members and even caught a few Pokémon.
Bellevue Art Museum (BAM) Kids Fair – Completed my first service shift of the year! We’ve partnered with BAM to do our Northwest Art Program for the last several years. They are a great partner and this is a super fun art-tastic event. I enjoyed working with both Active and Provisional members.
I spent some time visiting wing meetings so that I could meet more members and address any questions or concerns that Managers and Chairs may have.
Transfer Social – Did you know that the Membership Committee assigns two Active Advisors to welcome/support members that transfer to our League? Women that transfer to the JLS bring a wealth of experience and great ideas from other Leagues. (I’m not just saying that because I’m a transfer, I swear!)
Board Meeting – The Board of Directors also meets monthly and is focused on the strategic direction of the League. As the President-Elect, I get to attend both the Management Council and Board Meeting. I got to run the August Board meeting as Candice was out of town. Like Management Council meetings, Board meetings are open for members to attend through our Pathway to Boards program. You can register to attend through the website.
Premier Event Meeting – Candice and I meet monthly with Kate Gonsalves (Premier Event Chair), Ali Gilson (Fundraising Events Manager), and Minda Brusse (Director at Large, Raise the Paddle Board Project). The Premier Event is our largest fundraiser and there are some great things already planned for the February 2017 event.
JLS 100th Anniversary Ad Hoc Committee Meeting – There has been an ad hoc committee made up of Actives and Sustainers that has been meeting during the past two years to begin planning for our 100th anniversary. This ad hoc committee is scheduled to become a regular committee in 2017-2018 (my presidential year).
WHEW!!That was a lot more than I thought I had to talk about. Maybe this should be a monthly post…I’ll think about it.
Before, I close I just want to point out a couple of things that are not in this post. I have not included details about answering JLS emails and phone calls but rest assured that those things are happening.
In fact, Candice and I have a weekly call (and usually lots of text messages) to touch base and keep each other informed.
I hope that you found something interesting in this post. I welcome your questions and comments. My email is email@example.com.