Monday, March 22, 2010

90 Years of Giving Back

This weekend, I went to a 90th birthday party for the "grand dame" of community charities in Cincinnati.

Good morning, Sara Celi here.

The birthday celebration was for the Junior League of Cincinnati, celebrating 90 years of giving back and endowing the community. I've been a member of the League for four years, first joining a chapter in Shreveport, LA when I lived there. In fact, most major cities feature a Junior League.

You might not know, or have heard of the League, but I can promise you that in this city, the Junior League has been behind many of the projects, improvements and fundraisers that help to make this community better. Much of that work has been done without fanfare. Over the years, the Junior League of Cincinnati has been a part of setting up the docent program at the Cincinnati Art Museum, endowing the Cincinnati Children's Museum, Mindpeace, Fernside, Girls on the Run, Bargain Box, Kids in the Kitchen, Babies Milk Fund, and many others. There is hardly a project in the city that hasn't had a league member, or the league itself, involved.

So Saturday's theme naturally had to pull from this history. Held in office space "under construction," the JLC's 90th Anniversary Gala had the theme "From White Gloves to Work Gloves." A cocktail hour opened the event, followed by a full sit down dinner, dessert bar, and dancing. Centerpieces for the tables featured PVC pipes as pots for flowers, and other construction zone items. Silverware appeared wrapped in white gloves, and our table had a 180 view of the Cincinnati skyline.

But of course, the best part for me is that Saturday night's gala gave me a chance to reflect on how much the Junior League has brought to my life. Through the league, I've been able to volunteer my time, give back to my community, and meet some of the most amazing ladies I know. I sat with a few of them Saturday night, and it was more fun than I could ever write down.

I can only hope the next 90 years of the Junior League will be so memorable.

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