May Celebration recognizes year of accomplishments

This year, the JLC Board decided to use an innovative approach to the League’s end of the year activities. The Community Celebration, which recognizes our Fall and Spring Grant recipients and Community Partners, was paired in a single evening with the May Dinner- which celebrates a year of League achievements and ceremonially instates members to Active and Sustainer status. This effort was intended to enhance attendance at both events and required collaboration from the Community Council, Membership Council, and Marketing Council.

Check out our Spring Grant recipients below:

  • IRC — $2000 to help pay for the Resettlement store restoration project
  • Barrett Early Learning Center — $1250 to fund the Barrett’s Big Beautiful Garden.  Our grant money will be used to purchase materials for the garden and a book documenting the project and entrance to the Albemarle County Fair.13165984_868981763229532_7701416192786802928_n
  • Fluvanna Middle School — $700 to fund the Poemas LIVE! program which will bring a professional, Latin dance group to the school
  • TJACE — $750 to purchase graduation gowns and caps for GED graduates
  • Muscles with Russell — $250 to purchase books given out at wellness and nutrition presentationsDSC_0632
  • Meals on Wheels — $1000 to help purchase meals for their Feed a Friend program
  • Fluvanna County Schools — $1000 for their Families Learning Together program.  This grant will used to cover transportation and meal costs for the program which provides education and support for undereducated parents.

The JLC blog returns

The JLC just wrapped up another successful year of service with lots to celebrate.  Stay tuned for highlights from our May Dinner and Community Celebration honoring our Community Partners and spring grant recipients. Don’t worry, we will remain active during the summer months with plenty of PIADs and our second annual Girls of Summer literacy based event on June 11.

Fall recruitment for the JLC is underway, keep an eye on the public JLC Facebook page and website for information on the application process and recruitment events.

Want to know more about what JLC membership is all about? Check out this video and get to know our members and projects a little better: I am the JLC

Ashley Bruce discusses Mistletoe Market placement


Ashley and her dog, Oakley.

Keeping up with our Placement theme, we interviewed Active Member Ashley Bruce on her experiences on the Mistletoe Market committee. See what she has to say about this high-energy, festive placement.

What is your favorite part of being on the Mistletoe Market committee?

My favorite part of Mistletoe Market is the day of the event and meeting all the vendors that we had been talking to all year long, and seeing all their hand crafted merchandise. Giving the kids cookies and milk for Santa’s story time is a lot of fun too!
You work long hours at the hospital as a respiratory therapist. How do you fit in the requirements of this committee placement with your busy schedule?
Planning meetings start in the summer and go through until the event in November, so you need to be flexible. If I couldn’t attend a meeting, I made sure to communicate with the group to get updates, and stay involved. [Committee Chair] Tamsyn was great with posting meeting documents online that we could read to stay informed of our responsibilities. It helped to have a fun and supportive group!
What qualities make someone a good fit for this committee?
This committee needs women that are fun, outgoing, work well under stress, and also work well with others.  Day of the event, the vendors come in rushed and frazzled trying to get set up before the deadline – we need to stay organized and be able to ease their concerns. Be ready for the unpredictable!
Why did you choose this placement two years in a row? Would you recommend it to others?
I have had the best time at this event! It’s completely worth the amount of work required. It’s so much fun getting to know the vendors, especially those that are local. I enjoy working with kids too, so the Cookies With Santa part is great. With this event being around the holidays, it puts you in the spirit! Everyone’s creative energy starts flowing, and we come up with some great ideas!  I recommend it to anyone who likes that sort of thing.

The JLC Mistletoe Market Committee at the November 22 event.

Provisional Advising according to Clay Eure

To help provide some insight into a rewarding and challenging JLC placement, Provisional Adviser Clay Eure answered some questions and illustrated why she chose this placement two years in a row.

 Why did you decide to become a Provisional Adviser?

I decided to become a Provisional Adviser, because I didn’t want to grow up…I wanted to stay a provisional forever! But seriously, I saw being an adviser as a great way to help ensure that the newest class of JLC members gets off to a great start. I like the idea of getting to help shape women’s first year with the league and making sure that they have a great experience!


 What skills and personality traits do you bring to this placement that help you to be successful?

I think one of the best skills I bring to this placement is my enthusiasm! I’m always excited for a Junior League activity, no matter what it is! I think its essential to be so enthusiastic in order to help get others excited about events too.


What advice do you give to your brand new Provisionals as they start becoming involved in the League?

I always tell my provisionals two things. 1. Get involved! Try stuff out, you never know what trainings or PIADs you’ll enjoy until you give them a try, plus they’re a great way to meet other members. 2. Don’t get overwhelmed. At the beginning of the year all the obligations can seem a little daunting, I just try to let them know that it is in fact doable and not to stress out too much. There’s a whole year to get it done after all!


Would you recommend this placement to others?

I would definitely recommend this placement to others! This is my second year being an adviser and I still absolutely love it. It’s definitely a little more time consuming than other placements, but getting to be a part of helping new members get to know the league and find their JLC path is totally worth it.

JLC members- the placement process will take place in March, so be on the lookout for more information from your Active and Provisional Advisers and the Nominating and Placement Committee. Various committees will hold placement interest events over the coming months to help with the process.

Q&A with Learning Circles Member Hillary Sloane

The Boys and Girls Club of Charlottesville recently recognized the JLC as its 2015 Outstanding Partner in honor of multiple years of partnership through Learning Circles. Members placed in Learning Circles commit to one of the most involved placements in the League and volunteer regularly to provide mentorship and activities to young girls, helping them to develop life skills and self-esteem. Below, Hillary Sloane provides an inside look at her experience serving as a member of Learning Circles.

Sloane engages a group of Learning Circles girls in an activity. (Photo by Ashley Matthews)

Why did you decide to pursue a placement with Learning Circles?
For me, personal connection has always been an important part of community service, which is why I was excited to get involved with Learning Circles.  I love that Leaning Circles offers the opportunity to engage with young girls in the community and really get to know them – not just as a one-time volunteer project, but on a regular basis.
Beyond the aspect of personal connection, I decided to pursue a placement with Learning Circles because I am passionate about the mission of the program.  No matter what else these girls have going on in their lives, for at least one time a week, they get to eat a hot meal and do a fun activity, while engaging with some pretty great female mentors and role models.  That’s what Learning Circles provides, and to be a part of that seemed pretty dang rewarding (and it is).
What is involved with this placement?
From September to June, committee members participate at Learning Circles meetings (at the Boys and Girls Club) every other Monday evening from 6-8pm.  Each meeting involves dinner with the girls (8-12 years old) and some sort of fun activity (anything from team-building exercises to decorating gingerbread houses and beyond!).  Learning Circles committee members take turns providing dinner for the group and planning a session (of her choice).  It comes out to be about once a semester that each JLC member is required to provide a dinner and organize an activity.  With this placement, JLC members are excused from PIAD and training obligations.
What has been the most rewarding part of Learning Circles?
The most rewarding part of Learning Circles has definitely been building relationships with these girls.  Every week that I go, I get to know the girls a little better (and vice versa), and that makes the experience more fulfilling each time.  They warm my heart and always make me laugh (and sometimes I make them laugh, like when they try to teach me the “Whip/Nae Nae” dance…).
What skills has this placement helped you develop? 
With Learning Circles, I’ve practiced leadership skills through organizing and leading sessions for the group.  I’ve also learned what it takes to prepare, transport, and serve a meal for 20 hungry girls… that is definitely a skill!

JLC members sound off on favorite books

While the women of the JLC promote literacy in the Charlottesville community, they also enjoy reading in their spare time. The League often hosts book clubs for members to discuss their favorite reads. Here are some of the books we can’t put down right now…

“I’m reading The Leftovers.” – Elise Weber

“I just finished reading Career of Evil which is third in the Comoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith.” – Carla Hallman

“I’m reading Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. The last great book I read was The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs.” – Anna Millsaps

 “Currently reading At the Water’s Edge. Recently finished The Tsar of Love and Techno and Me Before You. My interests really vary!” – Beth McNew

“Currently, Marathoning for Mortals. Next, All the Light We Cannot See. My interests also vary greatly.” – Chan Moore

 “I just read The Girl on the Train” – Tess Ortega
“I just started Small Blessings by Martha Woodruff. I read Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid the other day and cried like a baby through the whole thing. I’m also in the middle of Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari.” – Wendy Sue Sewack

Provisional Cookie Exchange

Over the past few years, the Provisional Members and their advisers have gathered in December for a Holiday Cookie Exchange. This year’s event was held on December 10 at CitySpace before the December PMM and featured many delicious cookies and other treats.

In case you are looking for a new cookie recipe to try this holiday season, Provisional Chair Sarah Wyland shares her recipe for Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups.

  • 1 package Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • 12 mini pretzels
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits
  • *optional – granulated sugar
  1. Preheat oven according to directions on package.
  2. Put 1 tablespoon of the sugar cookie dough into 24 greased mini muffin tins. Option to roll them in granulated sugar first to help prevent sticking.
  3. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan before gently removing them.
  4. Make the chocolate ganache by bringing the whipping cream to a boil.
  5. Stir in the hot cocoa mix.
  6. Pour the hot cream over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the ganache is smooth.
  7. Break off the loops on some mini pretzels to use as handles.
  8. Melt the white chocolate and use it to attach the pretzel handles to the cookie cups.
  9. Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups and top with mini marshmallows.
  10. For best results, store the hot chocolate cookie cups in the refrigerator.