The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
By: Marissa Schaffner, 2013-2014 President
This year marks an exciting milestone in our League’s history: our 100th year of developing the potential of women, promoting voluntarism and improving the Kansas City community. This is an exciting time in our history as we celebrate the first 100 years and look toward the next 100. Our history serves as a solid foundation on which we can continue to grow and develop our membership, our message, our training and our community impact.
Our League has a rich history and is a great source of pride for our members, myself included. For much of Kansas City’s history, we have been at the forefront of social and civic issues in our community. We have worked with more than 350 non-profit agencies to provide both our trained volunteers and funding to help address those needs.
A few notable examples:
We have become highly successful at creating and growing these programs and then handing them off to other agencies in our community to continue well beyond our involvement. The scope of the League’s community involvement is as vast and diverse as the city we live in and we are committed to continuing to identify and meet the needs of our community.
Since our League’s inception in 1914, the role of women in society has changed dramatically. During those early years, Junior League served as a place where women could develop the skills necessary to become community leaders and advocates for themselves and others. Today leadership training is a key element to becoming a community leader. Our members are given the opportunity to lead and grow in ways that they may not have outside of the League. For example, some of our leaders manage the 60-woman committee that runs Holiday Mart, the half million dollar fundraiser organized and implemented by volunteers every year. We learn to run efficient meetings, manage large teams of people and build consensus. Our experiences in the League lead us to success within the League as well as outside the League in our personal and professional capacities.
The joy of celebrating a milestone anniversary is the opportunity to recognize the dedication of the women who built this organization to be 100 years strong. It is also about acknowledging the impact our members make in our community. The Junior League’s legacy lives beyond our work as an organization. It is about the passion our members have for making a difference in Kansas City.
Kicking off the new League year in pictures: