This year’s theme “Proud of our Past, Focused on our Future, Celebrating 45 Years of Community Service ” was chosen to kick-off JLHR’s 45th year as a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), and AJLI’s 100th year celebration. In observance, JLHR was the first Jr. League to sponsor the AJLI Traveling Exhibit which was on display at Patrick Henry Mall. This photographic exhibit commemorates 100 years of Junior League service and women’s leadership. The JLHR received a Proclamation from the Mayor of Newport News to congratulate us for serving the community for 45 years. Additionally, we received a plaque from the Business and Education Partnership Program for the “outstanding volunteer service benefiting the Newport News Public Schools”. In January, the JLHR again co-sponsored the Martin Luther King Breakfast with Thomas Nelson Community College. The JLHR was awarded the “Gentle Miracle” Award from Sedgefield Elementary’s Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) for all the League’s contributions over the past 3 years. The Book and Author Event was held in March at Hampton Roads Academy.
We celebrated our 45th year as the Junior League of Hampton Roads. In January, the JLHR co-sponsored the Martin Luther King Breakfast with Thomas Nelson Community College. We developed a new project called Read Baby Read which is designed to provide children’s books to new and expected parents along with the information that will help and encourage parents to emphasize the development of pre-reading skills through interaction with their child. The Done-in-a-Day (DIAD) committee returned this year with 8 new projects. The Michelob Championship was held in October. The first annual 5K race/fun walk, Run for the Community, was held in Oyster Point Business Park in March. The fourth annual Rummage on the River, Big Yard Sail profited over $25,000.
The JLHR hosted the area Women’s Organizations meeting. We collaborated with the Medical Auxiliary on Tar Wars, a tobacco-free education program for area 4th and 5th grade students. The Nonprofit Certification Program began at TNCC. Co-sponsored the Martin Luther King breakfast at Thomas Nelson Community College. The Provisional class refurbished the Newport News Family Focus Center. PAC hosted a Legislative Breakfast with SPAC for the general assembly in Richmond. The Golf Committee sold programs, tickets and ads at the PGA Michelob Golf Classic as well as the LPGA Michelob-Light Open. Second annual 5k-race/fun walk was held at Oyster Point Park in partnership with the Peninsula Track Club. The membership fundraiser, Where the Wild Things Are was held at the Virginia Living Museum. The Read Baby Read project was launched. Books were collected and donated to the Williamsburg Community Hospital and Newport News Healthy Families. The membership approved the adoption of a $100,000 gift to the Virginia Living Museum. The five-year pledge will sponsor the Touch Tank at the new facility.
This year’s theme, “Empowering Women to Make a Difference: Women Building Better Communities” was selected by the Board of Directors.
The Board donated $1500 from the Community Involvement fund. Donations were made on behalf of JLHR to the Daily Press Hurricane Relief Fund, The Newport News Shop with a Cop campaign and the Kids Café, a Food Bank sponsored service. The Board also donated 25 Virginia Living Museum passes to the Peninsula Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
The membership gave the Virginia Living Museum the first $20,000 pledge installment at the October General Membership meeting. This is the first payment towards our gift of $100,000 to the museum.
The Provisional class raised funds to support their class project, “Ladies of Excellence”, a program at South Morrison Elementary School in Newport News. The Provisionals hosted the workshop for fifth grade girls to promote positive female role models. The day included breakfast and workshops focusing on first aid, crafts and personal hygiene. The goal was to celebrate their academic and social success. Each girl received a gift bag of toiletries and a t-shirt. Several leaders in the community sent letters of appreciation and acknowledgement of the successful project.
The Board hosted A Thank You reception for the League sponsors and League Community Advisors before the Where the Wild Things Are event, on the observation deck at the Virginia Living Museum.
The Rummage on the River sale was held in October at the George Washington Square shopping center in York County. This year, the League felt it made an even larger impact on the community. The sale was held just a few weeks after Hurricane Isabel. The sale allowed the purchase of household items and clothing at bargain prices to those many in need. The Red Cross also held a blood drive at the site on the day of the sale.
The third annual Oyster Point Run for the Community was held in March in Oyster Point Park. The 5k/fun run was held again in partnership with the Peninsula Track Club and was a “grand prix” event where runners received points for participating.
Working closely with the staff at Kingsmill, the Golf Committee hosted the first annual fashion show, Fairways and Runways: Fit to a Tee, during tournament week at the Kingsmill resort
The second annual Where the Wild Things Are event was held in May at the new Virginia Living Museum. The event was the second public event held in the new facility and was a successful evening.
Two Community Impact projects were held during the League year. The Virginia Living Museum Holiday Dress-Up event was held before the holiday season at the former museum site. The League was responsible for hanging holiday greenery and decorating trees inside and outside the facility. League members and local school children made many of the decorations. Donations were made from area sponsors.
The second Community Impact project was support of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event held at Todd Stadium in Newport News. League members sorted t-shirts, cut and prepared sashes worn at the event as well as secured donations for and staffed a concessions stand during the event.
The Read Baby Read Committee in its second year was able to provide new and gently used board books to new mothers with its partnership with Riverside Regional Medical Center, Williamsburg Community Hospital and Newport News Healthy Families.
The Community Council recommended thee JLHR partnership with the Habitat for Humanity: Women Build Project in 2004-2005. This all women community project allowed League members the opportunity to work hands on to build a house for a local family in the Williamsburg community.