We are quickly approaching the 21st year of our annual Spring Market fundraiser! This event marks the precursor to Spring in our community, and the committee has been diligently working to bring our largest fundraiser to fruition. This year you can look forward to a fresh look and new color palette, all while having a twist on “Louisiana in the Springtime” flair! I encourage actives, sustainers, family and friends to come support the League. Without funds from Spring Market, our League would simply not be able to continue fulfilling our Mission at the current level of financial engagement. As my husband said, “This year’s Spring Market is going to have jazz hands!” Kevin of course is the self-proclaimed First Gentleman of the Junior League of Monroe…and one fantastic sounding board for my ideas!
Since my last Presidential message, the Junior League of Monroe has been busy to say the least! Our Care Closet at Riser Middle School has been such a success that we plan to rollout a new committee next year that will manage inventory and restock as we continue to grow within the school system. Calls were made to every Middle School and High School in both Ouachita Parish and the Monroe City School System, and each has expressed interest in having their own hygiene closet. As being deemed a distressed parish by governmental standards, I assure you the need is there for the children in our area…at all schools. In October, the League also hosted and facilitated its very first health fair for students at Riser Middle School, while in November our JLM Teacher Mini Grants were a huge success. We had 40 recipients and impacted 24 unique schools. The League awarded a total of $18,000 in grants! What an honor to help the amazing educators we have in our community!
In January, I was honored to accept the Lillie “Granny” Goins Community Service Award on behalf of the League at the City of Monroe’s 40th Annual Birthday Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This award is given to individuals and organizations that go above and beyond the call of duty providing assistance and guidance for those in our area.
Most recently the Junior League of Monroe hosted a Grant Writing 101 educational seminar. Meghan Risinger, the Grants/Project Developer for the University of Louisiana at Monroe, graciously donated her time one Saturday morning to educate League members and local teachers on the principles of grant writing so they may obtain funding to further their educational vision for their classrooms. We had over 50 educators at the League House! It was a huge success in turnout and based on the feedback received from our event survey, this seems like something we will continue and expound upon in coming years.
Rounding out the year with volunteer work is the Cinderella Project. The Junior League of Monroe recently acquired this non-profit organization in our area. If you aren’t familiar with the program, it is a one-day event that helps local high school ladies pick out a dress and accessories for prom. Don’t we all remember our dreamy prom dress?! Whether in style or not by today’s fashion standards…I am willing to bet most of us had a memorable evening feeling like a Prom Queen. The Junior League of Monroe is taking on this initiative in effort to continue giving those young ladies an opportunity that they otherwise may never have dreamed possible, while positively promoting self-esteem and confidence. If you have dresses to donate, please do so! There are 9 donation sites available, the League House being one.
Hopefully I haven’t lost my readers with such a lengthy message from the President…but like I said, we have been BUSY! Our League is transformational – relevant – and doing BIG THINGS for our community as well as on a personal development level for membership. Holding true to my goals mentioned at Spring Dinner, we are not only making traction but also progress setting ourselves up for success in the coming years. The Junior League of Monroe is UNSTOPPABLE and we are right on track to finish the League year strong!
JLM President 2018-2019