Junior League of Seattle (JLS) is an organization of nearly 1,200 women who are committed to promoting voluntarism and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. As one of 294 leagues world-wide, the JLS has been a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) since 1924.
It all began in 1901 in Manhattan. Mary Harriman, Barnard College student, became impassioned about the plight of immigrants in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and formed Junior League of the City of New York. Ms. Harriman's efforts at organizing women volunteers to alleviate societal ills spread quickly and, by 1921, 40 leagues had joined together to form the national association (AJLI). A time-honored legacy had begun whereby volunteers identify and address community needs and then turn projects over to the community.
Junior League of Seattle was formed in 1923 and joined AJLI in 1924. Members opened the Eastlake branch of the Seattle Day Nursery and took responsibility for the welfare of 50 children, paying all maintenance and operating expenses, managing the medical and dental clinic at the nursery, and supplying members to assist the matron and kindergarten teacher. Today this childcare organization still thrives and is known as Childhaven.
Also during the 1920s, the JLS initiated the Braille Library for the Blind. The JLS owned and operated the only Braille Stereotyping Machine in the West, allowing books for the blind to be printed and distributed throughout the United States.
In 1929, the League started publishing Puget Soundings, an award-winning monthly magazine. Originally designed for in-house communication s, the magazine evolved over the years into a respected community magazine featuring articles on a wide variety of issues, often controversial. For several years, the magazine held a creative writing contest for Seattle high school students, awarding prizes in prose and poetry.
The League entered the Depression Years of the 1930s supporting the Convalescent Home for Crippled Children. The War Years of the 1940s saw the creation of the Blood Bank Services and the award-winning Educational Radio Series project.
During the 1950s, JLS started the Children’s Theater Project to facilitate communication in traumatized children. The United Nations adopted this project to help children impacted by war. In 1954, the League opened its first office at the Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle.
The Northwest Art education project was created by the League in the early 1960s to bring arts education to school children. This collection of original works by Northwest artists continues to reach more than 20,000 students annually. In 1966, the League published and distributed, free-of-charge, the Guidebook for the Handicapped. League members surveyed all public buildings in the downtown Seattle area for accessibility for the disabled.
During the 1970s, the League donated significant funds to the Parkview Home for Exceptional Children, which provided the extra care necessary for children ages 10-16 who could no longer live in a normal home environment.
In the 1980s, the Court Appointed Special Advocate program (CASA) was developed by JLS and has since gone nationwide. The goal is to ensure that needy children have a caring adult to advocate and intervene on their behalf with the court system. The Christmas in April project was implemented to provide 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.
During the 1990s, the Healthy Child Information Fairs linked over 300 families with food, education and contact resources. And the JLS collaborated with associated agencies to improve the rates of children being immunized. As a result, the immunization rate in King County rose from 45% to 80% in just three years. The Yesler Terrace project assisted hard-to-reach families living in poverty, and JLS members provided meals for teens at the Denny Place Youth Shelter.
Our Mentoring Moms project provided emotional and educational support to teen mothers, many of whom are on the verge of homelessness. Volunteers served as mentors by providing child development and parenting guidance, life skills, career and job planning, and recreational outings.
The Healthy Futures Art Project gives troubled adolescents a chance to express themselves and build their self-esteem while working one-on-one with a JLS volunteer. Our Done in a Day (DIAD) efforts create several hands-on short-term projects each year benefiting greater Seattle area organizations in need of assistance. Arts Alive provided after-school programs for children. And volunteers involved in the LifeBooks project help foster care children create personalized memory books.
During the past decade, the League has not only provided 1,000,000 volunteer hours for community projects but provided over $1.5 million in funding. Since its inception, JLS has raised funds for its projects in a variety of ways. From the 1920s through the 1960s, The Follies was a popular fund-raiser. League members staged and acted in a musical revue presented to a fee-paying public. The Christmas Shop was a unique fundraiser for many years. The Wise Penny Thrift Shop opened in 1960 and brought in revenue for forty years. The Simply Classic cookbook, an award-winning bestseller, was created and published in 1993, and continues to be a major fundraiser. Our newest cookbook shows Celebrate the Rain shows similar promise. The Annual Campaign provides direct funds to the League from our members. Revenue has also been raised through successful silent and live auctions of donated merchandise and services since 1994.
Throughout its over 85-year history, the Junior League of Seattle 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, the Junior League of Seattle has also provided a legacy of leaders who bring knowledge and experience to the community in which they serve.
Renee Hartnett 2011-2012
Natalie Bowman 2010-2011
Elizabeth Reilly Curtiss 2009-2010
Joanne Petitto 2008-2009
Heather Giacoletto 2007-2008
Christine Miller 2006-2007
Rhonda Neben 2005-2006
Evelyn Zabo 2004-2005
JoAnne Jones 2003-2004
Marilyn Groce Leck 2002-2003
Maria Mackey Gunn 2001-2002
Jane Harris Nellams 2000-2001
Marcia McCraw 1999-2000
Monica Cyr Parent 1998-1999
Susan Arwine Minahan 1996-1998
Joan Murphy Brigham 1995-1996
Susan Campbell Hubbard 1994-1995
Dorothy Vetter Fuller 1993-1994
Nancy Schmitz Wilson 1992-1993
Cathi Christensen Hatch (Lindstrom) 1991-1992
Shari Whitaker Hardy 1990-1991
Joan McWilliams Gehrke 1989-1990
Susan Weber Mecklenburg 1988-1989
Kathleen Ryan Randall 1987-1988
Judith Drum Holder 1986-1987
Ann Bryant Hart 1985-1986
Anne Shermack Blair 1984-1985
Linda Shoemaker Blyth 1983-1984
Marcia Woodby Zech 1982-1983
Maxine Early Barnard 1981-1982
Gale Barre (Hofeditz) 1980-1981
Susan Thomas 1979-1980
Marli Janssen Iverson 1978-1979
Barbara McGregor Hodgson 1976-1977
Sara Comings Hoppin 1975-1976
Colleen Seidelhuber Willoughby 1974-1975
Susan Cosgriff Kirk (Lile) 1973-1974
Anne Van Ness Farrell 1972-1973
Nancy Skinner Nordhoff 1971-1972
Suzanne Lile Hunter 1970-1971
Greta Titcomb Beatty 1969-1970
Barbee Lease Crutcher 1968-1969
Clair Rogers Jenkins 1967-1968
Mary Maxwell Gates 1966-1967
Marion McKenzie Hickey 1964-1966
Anne Corbet Holt (Clark) 1962-1964
Kate Belcher Webster 1960-1962
Barbara Bowden Pringle 1958-1960
Janet Hartman Skadan 1956-1958
Josephine Lane Collins 1954-1956
Iola Brown Groth 1952-1954
Alice Ostrander Wright 1950-1952
Marian Moser Bailey 1948-1950
Bettie Brinkley Nickum 1946-1948
Rosalie Field Milburn 1944-1946
Elsbeth Young Mauk 1942-1944
Elizabeth Fetter Allen 1940-1942
Anne Nicholson Flohr 1938-1940
Charlotte Heussy McAllister 1936-1938
Virginia Wiley Patty 1934-1936
Katherine Agen Baillargeon 1933-1934
Janet Powell Holmes 1932-1933
Mary Andrews Ryan 1930-1932
Olive Schram Lambuth 1928-1930
Gertrude C. McRee 1927-1928
Elizabeth Wardle Brinkley 1925-1927
Catherine Collins Clark 1923-1925
|Beth Cosker 2010-2011
Elizabeth Arganian 2009-2010
Leslie Decker 2008-2009
Andrea Mann 2007-2008
Bonnie Larson 2006-2007
Peggy Walton 2005-2006
Sheri Salo 2004-2005
Mary Rae Cowles 2002-2003
JoAnne Jones 2001-2002
Janet True 2000-2001
Mary Herche 1999-2000
Beverly Jefferson 1998-1999
Cynthia Freimuth 1996-1997
Gail Richards 1995-1996
Susan Armstrong 1994-1995
Susan Armstrong 1993-1994
|Ann Rogers 1992-1993
Marla Moss 1991-1992
Jane Urner 1990-1991
Marli Iverson 1989-1990
Julie Hooker 1987-1988
Claudia Eland 1985-1986
Jean Rolfe 1980-1981
Susan Mullen 1979-1980
Phyllis Reininger 1976-1977
Dorothy Capeloto 1973-1974
Clair Jenkins 1972-1973
Marion Thomas 1971-1972
Beth Briggs 1970-1971
Anne Simons 1969-1970
Frances Graham 1968-1969
Frances Graham 1967-1968