New York, May 21, 2014 – Illustrating the power of trained volunteers to create lasting community impact, The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. has recognized the work of 10 Junior Leagues. The 2014 awards were made at AJLI’s 92nd Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO.
“Through our annual awards program, AJLI celebrates the outstanding accomplishments and significant contributions that Junior Leagues make in their communities, day in and day out,” said AJLI President Toni Freeman, a member of the Junior League of Charlotte. “But this is more than just an awards program for our Leagues; it also celebrates the commitment of their volunteer members to enthusiastically live The Junior League’s Vision as women around the world who are catalysts for lasting community change.”
The 2014 awards were made to:
- Winner for Leadership Development – The Junior League of Greensboro’s Women to Watch (W2W) training series and the Women’s Leadership Summit, both open to members and non-members alike, make women’s leadership development a priority for JLG and its potential to create lasting community impact by equipping women to lead it. As a bonus, the organization of the programs gives JLG members an opportunity to hone their own leadership skills through public speaking, marketing, fundraising, event planning, budgeting and time management.
- Winner for Community Impact – The Junior League of Phoenix’s ROCKETS (Raising Our Children’s Knowledge by Educating Through Science) initiative, adapted from a program originated by the Junior League of Greater Princeton, looks to provide some 2,000 at-risk students this year with hands-on science activities, supplemented with math lessons, to help foster problem solving, critical thinking, and exploration skills that are critical to future academic success.
- Honorable Mention for Fund Development – The Junior League of Evansville’s Rockin River City Ride is a highly effective fundraiser. Begun as an obesity awareness initiative, it now includes everything from a 5K walk and a 100K bike ride to a Kids’ Bike Park, including safety instruction and helmet fittings and exhibits by more than 20 local vendors.
- Winner for Fund Development – The Junior League of Washington’s Tossed & Found sale, which began humbly in 1993 at a rented civic center following the shuttering of JLW’s thrift shop, is now among JLW’s most lucrative fundraisers, and its proceeds are used to underwrite programming, grants and scholarships.
- Honorable Mention for Marketing and Communication – In tackling the academic achievement gap in Minneapolis, one of the worst in the country, the Junior League of Minneapolis recognized a hunger for information among its ranks as well as among community partners and donors. The result was the Advocacy Blog, a robust and regularly updated selection of reading materials, videos, and infographics that educate readers on the struggles of at-risk students to achieve.
- Winner for Marketing and Communication – With only a small budget, Junior League of Atlanta members developed and deployed a campaign to revitalize the marketing of JLA’s Nearly New Shop, which opened in 1949. Directed at local media, with promotional initiatives on social media, in-store events with bloggers and an advertising campaign, the initiative was successful in building awareness for the store, expanding its customer base and increasing its revenue.
- Honorable Mention for Membership Development – The Junior League of Memphis’ multi-faceted Provisional Recruitment Campaign produced a 29% increase in the size of the Provisional class and a retention rate of 96% through a full-court media blitz, both traditional and social, as well as word-of-mouth marketing. Local corporations and nonprofit organizations were identified as likely environments for new recruits, and “Invest and Invite” meetings, volunteer gatherings, and open houses quickly followed.
- Winner for Membership Development – The Junior League of Arlington’s “Appreciate! Collaborate! Educate!” initiative produced a 400% increase in new members. In addition, retention of existing members was enhanced by the introduction of new initiatives to engage them at all phases of their League careers. Membership is now up to 500, or a 15% bump over the previous year, which spells lasting benefits for members and the North Texas community they serve.
- Honorable Mention for Vision – The Junior League of Huntsville turned its 42-year-old Apple Annie fundraiser into an ambitious anti-obesity initiative. In an overhaul that began in 2008, members continued to sell apples to local businesses and residents to raise funds but broadened their strategy to include an interactive, hands-on free event in partnership with three local school districts that teaches children learn about healthy foods and responsible eating habits and how to make sound lifestyle choices.
- Winner for Vision – Participants in the Junior League of Lancaster’s Girls in Business (GIB) program learn the importance of community involvement, network with local business leaders through mentorship, and gain support for the implementation of their ideas. Math proficiency, economic understanding, technological competence and business aptitude are among the goals of the program. Additionally, GIB provides an exciting and rewarding volunteer and mentoring opportunity for members and cultivates partnerships with local business leaders who ultimately judge the presentations.
About The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.
Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer, Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact.
Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) is comprised of more than 155,000 women in 293 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they constitute one of the largest, most effective volunteer organizations in the world.
Tracy Van Buskirk
Main: (212) 537-5177 Ext. 8
Mobile: (203) 246-6165