“Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.”-Warren G. Bennis
This year we have celebrated 90 years of serving the Augusta community and the legacy of the Junior League of Augusta and its members. We began our ninth decade by focusing on our members and mission alike. This year we incorporated a new membership model where members could craft their membership experience and define their commitment to the League in ways that were flexible and meaningful to them. We offered more training opportunities, including an “Emerging Leaders” training for placements in chair positions, as well as social events for members to network and meet like-minded women. The Sustainer Brunch held in March was a hit, and we look forward to more events next year. The 2018-19 New Member Class developed the project Purses with a Purpose. Here, the New Members collected gently used purses and filled them with toiletry essentials for teens and women in need. JLA was also well represented at various AJLI based conferences with 17 members in attendance, and we already have members registered for upcoming conferences in the new year.
In addition to improving membership experience, the League had a tremendous impact on our community. Through streamlining our DIAD effort to focus on building key relationships within our community, we achieved 378 volunteer hours in seven months.
- These hours included building beds for families without furniture to sleep on with ReStart Augusta
- Collected food and helped construct the new Master’s Table Garden with Golden Harvest Food Bank
- Tearing down an abandoned structure and completing landscaping for a newly constructed home with Turn Back the Block
Our goal next year continues deepening our relationships with these three strategic partners (Golden Harvest, Turn Back the Block and ReStart Augusta), and also to add in one to two additional strategic partners that align with our overall mission.
We also provided over 100 volunteer hours through the activity nights for families housed at the Ronald McDonald House-a League favorite.
The Kids In the Kitchen Committee hosted four events this year. These events included local dietitians and partnerships with area organizations, including Augusta Partnership for Children. The Foundations Committee had an incredible planning year and has recently partnered with the Richmond County School System and Textron Specialized Vehicles (E-Z-GO) to provide students in the RPM (Reaching Potential Through Manufacturing) program with life skills workshops beginning in August 2019.
In addition to volunteering, the League aided the community monetarily with $37,813.59. This included our 90thAnniversary Grant to Communities in Schools to assist the many services and programs they provide to over 1,500 students locally, including establishing and maintaining “Essentials Closets” for RPM (Reaching Potential Thru Manufacturing), Hornsby Elementary School, and Glenn Hills Elementary School.
We would not be able to have such wonderful community projects or community funding without our fundraisers and volunteers. In August, the Ed Turner Concert Committee raised $20,718 and split the proceeds with Child Enrichment, Inc. The 8thAnnual Holiday Market Committee had $5,150 in sponsorship donations and net revenue of $29,205. With a history of over 40 years, Tea-Time Publications continues to be prosperous for the League. The Tea-Time Committee added new distributors, began selling the cookbooks on Amazon and have sold over 975 cookbooks this year! We look forward to hosting these fundraisers again next year, as well as adding in the new Shop.Save.Support Augusta fundraiser.
Let me not forget the Communications Council and all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure our marketing, branding, and communication efforts are executed. I would like to give special recognition to Andrea Bird, our Communications VP, for basically running all of the communications efforts on her own. Communications is a big undertaking and she has done it with such grace and passion.
While all of our councils have been busy, the Board of Directors made strides for future growth and direction. We invested $150,000 with the Community Foundation with hope the interest will fund our community programming in the coming years and make us less dependent on membership dues. During the Fall, the Board held a sock campaign raising $850 for the League and from our efforts were able to donate 100 pairs of socks to SafeHomes of Augusta. We also transferred to online QuickBooks, and reviewed and updated League policies to current practices.
This is quite a list of accomplishments and would not have been possible without our volunteers. I want to thank our members for their talent and time given to JLA. The League is made up of truly exceptional women. This year and my past four years in leadership have given me a unique perspective on our mission and a special opportunity to watch other like-minded women develop their skills to become highly effective leaders and volunteers. Thank you to the 2018-19 Board of Directors for joining me on this journey. I look forward to your future accomplishments and the opportunity to see JLA grow in the coming years.
With that said, it’s now time for me to leave my legacy and say goodbye to you as this year’s President. It has been a year I won’t forget. But more importantly, it has been a true honor serving the Junior League of Augusta-an organization that will forever leave a lasting impression upon my heart. As William Bridges once said, “A leadership transition is not simply the replacement of one able body with another, but more importantly the transfer of the organizational mission and vision from leader to leader.” Thank you for your continued support.
Dagni B. Frederick