Events Calendar
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See “Community” Section for our most recent projects.


Agency: Children First Inc.
Project Name: Payne Campus Beautification
Requested Funds: $5,000
Dates of Project: August 1, 2005 – August 15, 2005
Description: Interior refurbishment of Helen R. Payne Campus. Children First will soon be overseeing the daily operations of the Helen Payne Day Nursery. They would like for JLS members to help plan the refurbishment and provide hands-on assistance. Volunteer opportunities will include planning of the project and two work weekends in August of painting and designing classrooms.

Agency: Junior League of Sarasota
Project Name: Done in a Day
Requested Funds: $2,000
Dates of Project: August 2005 – May 2006
Description: Developing four to six hands-on community projects that need to be “done in a day”. Projects are researched, developed and implemented by the committee.

Agency: Junior League of Sarasota and the Education Foundation
Project Name: “School Literacy Program”
Requested Funds: $10,000
Dates of Project: June 2005 – April 2006
Description: This would be a continuation of the current School Literacy project currently underway and would be the fourth year of the project. The purpose of the program is to improve student achievement for low-performing students. It is recommended that the committee select Emma E Booker Elementary because that is seen to be the school most in need.

Agency: Sarasota County Health Department – Healthy Start
Project Name: SCHD Inter-Concept ional Information Brochure
Requested Funds: $6,600
Dates of Project: September 2005 – March 2006
Description: JLS will work with Healthy Start to create and distribute to local drugstores a brochure providing education and resource information to women purchasing pregnancy tests. Healthy Start provides the universal risk screening for all Florida’s pregnant women.


School Literacy: The Junior League of Sarasota, in partnership with the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, selects a school in the Sarasota County school system each year in which to implement a school literacy program. The purpose of the program is to improve school literacy for low-performing students. The committee works with the school’s resource teacher, principal and other key faculty members to develop and implement their project. This year the committee has selected Fruitville Elementary School. The project will include furnishing the new Reading Resource Room with books, software and other curriculum. We will host a reading festival and work with the school faculty to create reading awareness through mini campaigns and articles in the school newsletter during the year. School Literacy. This year the committee selected Fruitville Elementary School. The project will included furnishing the new Reading Resource Room with books, software and other curriculum. We will host a reading festival and work with the school faculty to create reading awareness through mini campaigns and articles in the school newsletter during the year.

The Florida Center for Child and Family Development – “Relaxation Station”: At the FCCFD Venice campus Early Intervention Center, the committee is responsible for transforming an ordinary pre-school classroom into a unique “Relaxation Station” designed for children with special needs i.e. significant sensory processing and regulatory difficulties as well as other physical or learning challenges. In addition to the Relaxation Station, the committee will be working with the Florida Center to plan a community-training program for parents, childcare providers and teachers.

Done in a Day: The Done-in-a-Day committee lends a “helping hand” to the community in response to its immediate needs by researching, developing, implementing, and participating in approximately six mini-projects/events per year that can essentially be “done in a day”. The committee has served the community’s diverse needs by participating in a wide variety of projects, which include the following: organizing member blood drives, volunteering at the Sarasota Reading Festival, hosting a baby shower at Cyesis, organizing school supply drives and gathering toiletry items for donation to various charities.

2003 – 2004

The Junior League of Sarasota contributed over $195,000 to the Sarasota Community. This does not include in-kind donations from area businesses, League members, League family and friends.

Audobon House. In partnership with Coastal Behavioral Healthcare, the remaining 16 apartments in the Audobon House were renovated and furnished. This was possible due to a grant of $152,000 form the Selby Foundation of Sarasota.

School Literacy. We assisted Gocio Elementary School with a “Read to Write and Write to Read” program. A reading corner in the Library was created and dedicated to Mrs. Mary Watts, former school principal and county education administrator. Gocio was able to raise their reading and writing FCAT scores and thus helped raise the school’s overall score from a “C” to a ” B”.

Provisionals. The provisional class worked with the administrators of the Sarasota YMCA and residients of the teen transitional housing facility to create cheerful living quarters.

Career Readiness. After another successful year of helping women sharpen their skill to re-enter or advance in the workforce, the program was turned over to Children First.

McIntosh Middle School in Memory of Carlie Bruchia. Funds were donated to purchase materials for the counselors to train students about self protection and being aware of their environment.

Done in A Day (DIAD). This year DIAD completed a project each month. 500 teddy bears were given to seriously ill children in the Sarasota – Tampa area. A bicycle drive was held for the Wheels to Work program at the Resurrection House. Booths for children’s acitivites were supplied in the Sarasota Arts Festival and Sarasota Reading Festival. We participated in the first Girls Summit to help 6th – 9th grade girls learn about choice for their future as well as how to deal with some of the pressures they currently face. We recruited runners and walkers including a team of JLS members for the Susan B. Komen Foundation race in Tampa. Other DIAD projects included a baby shower for First Step Mother and Baby unit, gathering school supplies for the new school year and coordinating a successful blood drive.

Other agencies served this year included the Salvation Army and Sarasota Adopt-a-Family.

Grants were awarded to Easter Seals, Sarasota Crew, Every Child, Inc., the Smith Center for Therapeutic Riding, and the Wellness Center.

Finance: Three successful fundraisers raised a total of $83,443 which was $1100 over budget.

Sponsors included: Acorn, Bank of America, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Coast Cadillac, House Home & Living, Prime Outlets Ellenton, and Stein Mart.

Membership: The Membership committee held four successful open houses, created a new membership training course and 48 new members graduated from the course. The Training and Development committee began a leadership training program and held a “How to Run an Effective Meeting” class. The topic for the leadership retreat was Public Relations and Marketing. The Board members attended a retreat focusing on a healthy board. Members of the 2004-2005 Board of Directors attended the ODI Training.

Communications: The new logo was finalized. Sand Script and Sand Scribble was published four times a year. The Computer committe focused on updating the web site which resulted in a much more user-friendly site.  The Handbook committee’s goal is to make the League information, handouts, notes much easier to keep.

Administrative Council. Arrangements handled 9 League meetings. The new August meeting was well received. The Ways and Means committe worked with architects and contractors to find the best way to make the League office space more efficient. The Endowment Fund committee promoted a new option to contribute via a 3 year pledge.

Sustainers. The sustainers held 3 luncheons and the Legacy Luncheon in March with Ivana Trump as the guest speaker raising over $10,000. The money was donated to the Endowment Fund.  Many of this year projects received support from the Sustainers. They acted as commitee advisors, Tour of Home committe members and docents, collected teddy bears for the drive, donated merchandise and volunteered time to Barely Blemished Sale, coordinated a style exchange with Stein Mart and raised over $4000 for the Audobon House. The President held a Past Presidents Tea at the Ritz Carlton in March. This year a sustain accompanied the President and President-Elect to the Annual Conference in Chicago.

Treasurers: An audit of the previous year’s financial records were completed. New procedures were implemented to handle the Selby Foundation grant for the Audobon House project. They worked with the Nominating committee to update the travel reimbursement guidelines.


Community. Through the Transitional Housing Project, the League once again partnered with Coastal Behavioral Healthcare to renovate and furnish apartments at Audubon House. Three apartments were completed, bringing the total to four apartments done to-date. In addition, an adult recreation room was redecorated and supplied with activity items and computer. Generous sustainer contributions provided “angel gifts” of household items for all of the facility residents.

The new member class implemented a community service project which redecorated — and provided baby items and furnishings for — a YMCA teen transitional living apartment designated for young mothers and their children. $1,800 in donations was collected in addition to many valuable in-kind contributions.

Thirteen women graduated from the Career Readiness Program at Children First, which culminated in a celebration of accomplishments with family and friends

Through a League partnership with the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, the Classroom Libraries Project provided thousands of accelerated reader books for Alta Vista Elementary School. Each child received his/her own book to take home, and a very successful reading incentive program was implemented which is credited for helping to increase reading levels by one-half grade level throughout the school. The success of the program was celebrated when the school principal rode a motorcycle around campus, to the delight of the cheering students.

The Done in a Day Committee: Collected and purchased clothing and toiletry items for Resurrection House; volunteered at the Historic Spanish Point Scarecrow Festival; organized a baby shower for student mothers at Cyesis; planted a reading garden at Booker Elementary School; coordinated a blood drive for the Sarasota Community Blood Bank.

A new ad hoc review process of community grant applications was implemented and $8,335 in grants were awarded to these community agencies: $2,100 to Easter Seals of Southwest Florida; $1,000 to Women’s Legal Fund; $550 to Early Childhood Assoc. of America; $1,000 to Gulf Coast Diabetes Foundation; $550 to Oak Park School; $2,535 to Teen Court of Sarasota; $500 to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County to benefit Cyesis; $100 to All Faiths Food Bank.

At the annual PALS-Partners in Education and Education Foundation county-wide recognition breakfast, Junior League of Sarasota was recognized for being the Outstanding Business Partner for Cyesis and for having the most Innovative Project at Alta Vista Elementary School.

Finance. Despite wonderful volunteer efforts, it was a challenge to generate budgeted income, which was a reflection of the year’s general economic climate. Three fundraisers were planned and implemented – Barely Blemished, Holiday Tour of Homes and Tinsel & Treasures Gift Mart. A new fundraiser, a Magazine Drive, was implemented by Ways & Means. A total of $81,150 was raised from League fundraisers. Major sponsors were Coast Cadillac/Volvo/Infiniti, Wachovia Bank, New Gate School, Acorn and Prime Outlets at Ellenton.

The 42nd Annual Barely Blemished participated in the second annual Stein Mart Style Exchange, which was coordinated and staffed by sustainers. A new preview party was held Thursday night prior to the opening of Barely Blemished, which raised $5,500. Held once again at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds, Barely Blemished donated all leftover items to Goodwill.

The 26th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes featured four private homes, plus Sarasota County’s Florida House.

The 11th Annual Tinsel & Treasures Gift Mart was held once again at Historic Philippi Mansion.

A Legacy Luncheon fundraiser was organized by sustaining members and raised $5,000 for the League Endowment Fund. Held at Michael’s On East, the special guest speaker was Kitty Carlisle Hart.

To honor significant donors of the endowment fund, a “Legacy Society” reception was held at the home of Claudia & Alan Porter.

The Financial Development Committee developed a new Sponsor Benefit package, which details benefits of sponsor levels.

Administrative & Planning. After seven years, a new Strategic Plan was created and approved. And a new vision statement was adopted to broaden opportunities for community impact.

A new budget process was implemented so that funds raised during this fiscal year will be the budgeted amount to be spent next year.

The Parliamentarians completed a “housekeeping” review of the bylaws and policies which was approved by general membership in March.

An audit of the previous year’s financial records was completed.

The Community Research Committee researched and evaluated new and current community projects after “Request for Project” applications were received from area agencies. After an ad hoc review process, small group roundtable discussions, and presentations by agencies, the four current projects were continued for another year as well as a new project with Resurrection House.

The Community Advisory Board provided valuable feedback on strategic planning as well as financial and community project development.

Communications. A new logo and slogan, “Women building better communities”, which was developed by AJLI, was adopted. The cover of Sand Script was redesigned in the new red and black colors. There were four issues of Sand Script and four issues of Sand Scribbles, which were distributed to Junior League members, advertisers and sponsors, media and community leaders.

A new JLS brochure was developed and inserts were created for specific needs: membership recruitment, sponsorship development and endowment fund solicitations.

During the month of February, the Junior League was highlighted on the “Helping Hands” program on the Education Channel 20.

E-mail played a large and growing roll in member communications, including a periodic “President’s Link” electronic newsletter.

Membership. Eight general meetings were held, including smaller “neighborhood” meetings held in January. “Spirit of the League” recipients were honored at each of the general membership meetings. A “Women in Leadership” series of speakers was the focus at numerous general meetings.

Board members and committee chairs attended June and January leadership retreats. Nine League members attended AJLI training conferences, in addition to conferences attended by the President and President-Elect.

Twenty-nine provisional League members completed the nine-month member development training program, which was completed in April.

A new Membership Outreach Committee was formed and hosted a “welcome back” reception for former members, in addition to coordinating League representation at three Chamber of Commerce receptions.

The League approved an “age silent” bylaws change, which allows any woman over the age of 21 to join.

Privileged membership options that offer more flexible commitment levels were adopted, and will replace existing Silver and Gold Flex statuses.

Membership approved a $10 annual increase in dues, effective April 1, 2004. The last dues increase was 1995-96, and the League had absorbed an $8 increase in AJLI dues since 2001.

To enhance membership satisfaction, the Placement Committee organized new active “Social Clubs”, which were interest groups to promote more social interaction among members.

The Nominating Committee initiated by-laws changes that require committee members of Nominating, Placement and Membership Development to have two years of active service.

Sustainers. The sustaining members held three luncheon general meetings, plus a new Legacy Luncheon fundraiser for the endowment fund. The Sustainer Council had six meetings, and adopted its own strategic plan, plus new guidelines for interest groups. Activities of various interest groups continued, including socials to welcome new transfers. The JLS President coordinated a Past President’s Luncheon and a Sustainer New Year’s Coffee.

Sustaining members helped with League fundraisers and projects in many ways: staffed a home for the Holiday Tour of Homes; coordinated the Style Exchange; donated to Barely Blemished and manned the food booth; served as advisors to numerous active committees; donated to the Endowment Fund; donated $2,500 to the Transitional Housing Project to purchase household items for residents; donated carloads of clothing to the Career Readiness Program.


Our theme for the Centennial year of the Junior League of Sarasota was Celebrating Our Past/Creating Our Future. We began the year with anticipation of implementation of the three-year plan of project development dedicated to our focus area of women’s issues. Every month at the general membership meetings, we celebrated the history of the legacy of AJLI and the JLS by presenting a “Centennial Spotlight”, highlighting special portions of the AJLI and JLS history, and meeting inspirationals were given by past presidents.
The membership voted to broaden our focus in community project selection to include projects that were in support of our mission.

The Done In A Day Community Projects included the following: decorated and equipped a children’s play therapy room at the Child Protection Center; staffed and supplied the craft tent at the Sarasota Reading Festival; assisted the Lynard Reed Daycare facility with an angel tree drive; completed a blood drive; purchased five cribs and sponsored a diaper drive for Mothers Helping Mothers; and participated with Safe Kids Coalition in a car seat check and bike safety awareness project.

The Career Readiness Project at Children First completed its second successful year of assisting women seeking to maintain their current job status, but having difficulties, wanted to change careers or wished to advance in their current employment. The six-week program resulted in ten graduates.

The Transitional Housing Committee partnered with Coastal Behavioral Healthcare to repair, furnish and decorate an apartment at Audubon House. The Spring 2002 Provisional Class assisted in providing a new apartment for two women residents. The committee also purchased playground equipment to benefit child residents of the Salvation Army.

After careful consideration, the Court Drop In Project was abandoned, due to a lack of commitment from the Sarasota County Court system. However, the committee partnered with the Florida Association of Women Lawyers to equip, furnish and decorate a child witness room at the Sarasota County Judicial Center. In addition, JLS was proud to sponsor a half-day seminar on “Children In Court”, the first of its kind in the state of Florida. Over 150 people were in attendance.

The Barely Blemished Committee accomplished the most successful year in its 42-year history netting $37,966. The Holiday Tour of Homes Committee planned a special celebration of the 25th anniversary Tour of Homes featuring six homes. A net of $37,517 was realized. The Tinsel and Treasures Gift Mart once again exceeded their budget by raising $16,547. The total of our three major fund-raisers was $92,030.

The Financial Development Committee was successful in obtaining ad sales and sponsorships, which was enhanced by the production of a marketing brochure. The Ways and Means Committee did further research on the feasibility of producing a new JLS cookbook. However, the Board decided that it would not be a prudent decision to commit to a cookbook at this time.

The Community Grants Committee awarded $4,000 in grant money to the following not-for-profits:  $2,000 to the American Cancer Society; $1,000 to the United Way of Sarasota; $500 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County; $500 to the Education Foundation for support of the Cyesis program.

The Administrative and Planning Council developed and executed a new plan for community project selection, which included sending a “Request for Projects” (RFP) mailing and review by an adhoc committee.

The Board of Directors began the year with a weekend training retreat, met monthly and also participated in a mid-year retreat with committee chairs.  The President-Elect spearheaded a plan to update our strategic plan. The archiving effort begun last year continued this year with a plan for an ongoing procedure to organize and preserve our history. The Community Advisory Board met in October, January and April. The Past Presidents’ Luncheon was held in March, with 22 Past Presidents in attendance. At Annual Dinner in May, the Board, Committee Chairs and award winners were recognized and honored for their leadership and service.

The Membership Development Committee completed two Provisional Courses, one in the fall and one in the spring. 22 Provisionals from the fall class became active in January and 45 became active in May for a total of 67 for the year. The fall Provisional Class, with the help of the Barely Blemished Committee completed the Stein Mart Style Exchange as their provisional project. The spring Provisional Class helped complete the Audubon House Transitional Housing project. Membership remained stable this year with 692 members at the beginning of the year and 746 as of May 2002.

Providing effective training opportunities was accomplished throughout the year. AJLI trainer, Jean Lubas, presented several leadership topics at the spring leadership retreat, which was attended by the Board and Committee Chairs. Professional trainer Jack Wolf conducted a workshop for the Board and Committee Chairs.  AJLI President Deborah Brittain addressed the membership regarding “The Condition of Leagues Today in a Changing Society”. The Training Team provided several mini training sessions to the Provisional classes on League structure and procedures and to the membership on endowment, shift obligation and placement, and they assisted in structuring the “Children In Court” seminar. 16 JLS members were sent to AJLI leadership and ODI trainings.

The Sand Script Committee published four magazine issues and four Sand Scribbles. Public Affairs attended SPAC Conferences. The Leagattos reached out to the community with song and spirit by performing for area groups. The Arrangements and League Matters Committees did an outstanding job of making our monthly meetings special. Recognition of our members continued with the “Spirit of the League” and “The Team Spirit of the League” awards at the monthly meetings. The Yearbook Committee produced the yearbook and presented it to the membership in October. The Computer/Website Committee updated the membership and League data throughout the year. Advisory Planning continued research on the possibility of a new headquarters.

The Centennial Committee planned and executed a Centennial Celebration Weekend in March. The weekend started with the March General Membership meeting on Thursday evening featuring AJLI President, Deborah Brittain who helped present the Centennial Cake to the membership. On Friday a cocktail party was held in honor of Ms. Brittain. On Saturday evening, the Centennial Gala was held at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. 480 were in attendance and over $32,000 was raised for the JLS Endowment Fund.

The Sustainer Council held four council and general membership meetings throughout the year. Sustainer members continued to serve as advisors on League committees, assisted with training and mentoring Actives and Provisionals and served on community boards. Once again this year, the Sustainers hosted and staffed one of the homes on the Holiday Tour of Homes. As their project, they chose to assist with the Centennial Gala.

The Endowment Fund Committee produced a brochure and funds raised for the year were $40,113.

At the Sarasota Herald-Tribune Golden Gavel Awards, the JLS received two Merit Awards, one for the Child Development Center Done-In-A-Day project and one for the Career Readiness project. In addition, we received a Certificate of Merit from Resurrection House for our continued support and the Bright Spot Merit Award from the Salvation Army for the Playground project. Historic Spanish Point presented the JLS with an award of appreciation for years of support of the preservation of our natural history.


New projects in the “Women’s Issues” focus area were designed, voted on and approved by the membership. A theme and logo were developed in conjunction with Project 2000: “Celebrating Women and Raising Awareness of Women’s Issues”. By special invitation of the City of Sarasota, the League hosted this community millennium celebration on April 1, 2000. The event included 5K and 10K road races, family entertainment, and special displays and demonstrations from local agencies that support women and families. AJLI President Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker visited our League and the community. The League hosted a community leadership roundtable discussion on women’s issues. The Career Readiness Program, designed to provide mentoring and training for women who wish to advance or switch careers, was launched in Spring, 2001. And in May 2001, a new era of communication with our members and our community is adopted: Our new website was unveiled!