4/26/10 – Junior League Celebrates 100 Years Of Service To Portland

Centennial Gala to be Held May 15, 2010 at Waverley Country Club

PORTLAND, OR — More than 300 members, friends and guests of the Junior League of Portland (“JLP”) will gather at the Waverley Country Club on May 15, 2010, to celebrate the Junior League’s 100th Anniversary. This night will reflect upon the Junior League’s significant contributions to the Portland community at large and also raise funds to support JLP community programs that focus on the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development needs of children ages 0-6.

“We are moved and awed by the amazing accomplishments that women in the Junior League have made for over a century and also the achievements they continue to make,” said Keeley Hawkins, President. “Our League has seen Portland grow from a humble logging town to a large urban community with global connections. Since its inception, the Junior League has focused on serving the needs of our community — through volunteers and funding — often spearheading new projects to better meet its needs. The energy, vision and determination of our volunteers continue to serve as an inspiration to us all.”

Centennial Celebration Event Details

Saturday’s event will take place from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Waverley Country Club located at 1100 SE Waverly Drive, Portland, Oregon. Tickets are $100 each. Guests will enjoy entertainment by Bill Beach, a popular Portland jazz pianist and vocalist, who will play music through the decades in celebration of the League’s 100 years. Guest also may partake in a raffle and silent auction, and sample a sumptuous array of wine, cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Raffle packages include:

  • A trip to the U.S. Golf Open in Pebble Beach: The package features two tickets for seven days of admission to the U.S. Open Golf Championship Tournament in Pebble Beach, California, June 14-20, 2010; five nights of lodging at the Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea, a boutique hotel just two blocks from the beach; a private cocktail party on June 17 and a $250 American Express gift card.
  • A trip to the U.S. Tennis Open in New York: The package includes two tickets for the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York, September 5-9, 2010; two tickets to watch the action from the President’s Box on September with a private tour of the tournament facility and dinner with the President of the U.S. Open; four nights of accommodations at the luxurious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan; two tickets to “Billy Elliot” on Broadway; a tour of the historic Junior League of New York building and a $500 American Express gift card.

Silent auction highlights include:

  • A vacation getaway to Pinehurst, NC including one week’s stay at a luxury condominium and a $250 American Express card
  • A Central Oregon vacation with two nights’ stay at a luxury property near Sun River
  • A golf package, including a Nike Golf bag and clubs, and a round of golf for four players at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club
  • A “restock your bar” package including premium liquor, mixers, barware and other items
  • Art by Northwest artists – one landscape painting and one abstract painting
  • An “instant wine cellar” with 25 bottles from the Northwest finest wineries and an Ankeny Vineyard tasting tour for eight people

Contributions to the Portland Community

Since its founding in 1910 by Mrs. Henry L. Corbett (Gretchen Hoyt), the Junior League of Portland — an organization of women dedicated to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers — has raised and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and volunteer hours to the community. Noteworthy achievements include:

  • Social Services and Family Services: Throughout our history, we have worked with local agencies dedicated to promoting health, cultural, social and educational needs of children from disadvantaged circumstances. This is represented by our commitment to Waverly Children’s Home from 1973-1985, Emanuel Hospital’s Pre-Surgery Puppets and Child Life Projects, between 1980-1987, the Resource Center for Child Abuse Prevention from 1985-1988 and the Court-Appointed Special Advocates (“CASA”) project from 1986-1989 and again in 1993-1994.
  • Community Arts and Enrichment: The JLP’s involvement with community arts began in 1930 with the establishment of the Children’s Theater project. Early arts projects included the Saturday Morning Series, which was totally produced and performed by League members, and the “Reading is Fun” radio program broadcast weekly from 1939 – 1952. Our members volunteered at the Community Music Center, the Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (“OMSI”) and the Portland Art Museum. Other projects included: the Puppet Troupe and the Opera In-School Project, Musically Speaking, Bridge to the Arts. We also have supported community education projects ranging from zoo programs for the deaf to educational television. Our Kids on the Block disability awareness puppet show performed for thousands of elementary school children between 1986 and 1993. League volunteers organized a 5K all-women’s Breast Health/Race for the Cure project to generate funds for breast cancer research and education, and established a no- or low-cost mammography program at various centers in the Portland area.
  • Historic Preservation: We began our involvement with historic preservation in 1954 by financially assisting the Oregon Historical Society in purchasing the “Narcissa Whitman Letters.” From 1964-1975, volunteers worked at the Oregon Historical Society researching and cataloguing museum collections, researching and restoring manuscripts, and assisting with map preservation. Continued interest in the preservation of our history included researching, interviewing and cataloguing for the restoration of Timberline Lodge, and organizing and promoting the first preservation week celebration. We designed and conducted urban and historical walking tours for children, adults and visitors to see and feel the historic areas of Portland. From 1977-1983, League volunteers researched, designed and promoted exhibits at the Architectural Preservation Gallery that were viewed by more than 40,000 visitors. From 1982-1986, we funded the Oregon Preservation Resource Center in coalition with the Historic Preservation League of Oregon. From 1984-1987, in cooperation with the City of Portland, the JLP opened and operated the Pittock Mansion Gate Lodge as a tearoom and historic companion building to the Pittock Mansion. The League was presented with the 1987 American Institute of Architects Presidential Award for years of effective efforts on behalf of historic preservation.
  • Fundraising: Established in the fall of 1953 and operating until November 2003, the Bargain Tree Thrift Shop was the JLP’s longest-running fundraiser with profits of more than $1,800,000 that were returned to the community. Our annual Holiday Showcase was a Portland tradition from 1983 to 1997 and helped return more than $800,000 to the community. Our cookbooks, Portland’s Palate and From Raindrops to Roses, have been bestsellers with multiple printings. Recent Masquerade gala events also successfully raised thousands of dollars to support JLP programs.

Current Focus Area

The Junior League of Portland’s current focus area is Early Childhood Development, specifically promoting the growth of physical, emotional, and social skills of children ages 0-6. Our 2009-2010 community programs include:

  • Between the Lines, a program that allows incarcerated parents and families facing military deployment to connect with their children through reading.
  • Bring Me a Book coordinates with Morrison Family Services to train parents and caregivers on the importance of read-aloud strategies to pre-K children.
  • Volunteer in Portland provides single-day volunteer assistance to seven non-profit, charitable organizations in the Portland metropolitan area: Children’s Relief Nursery, White Shield, Ronald McDonald House, Peninsula Children’s Center, Oregon Scottish Rite, Impact Northwest, and Neighborhood House

About the Junior League of Portland (“JLP”)

The JLP is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Each year the JLP, headquartered on SW Second Street, deploys hundreds of volunteers in the Portland metropolitan area communities it serves. To learn more about the JLP, the community programs we support, and our members, please visit our website at www.jlpdx.org.