JLGA Delivers Thanksgiving with Community Hope Center

COTTAGE HILLS — As volunteers waited in the halls of Community Hope Center in Cottage Hills, another group of volunteers waited in the kitchen and cafeteria to begin what would be, for about 270 people this year, their Thanksgiving dinner.

The center has been delivering meals to shut-ins, the elderly, and local first responders as part of a long-standing tradition, Assistant Executive Director Denise Ukena said Thursday morning. Junior League of Greater Alton members were among the volunteers.

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Support the Junior League Locker This #GivingTuesday

This #GivingTuesday we’re raising money for our Junior League Locker project. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps.

On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 million in donations.

Junior League Locker is JLGA’s newest Issue-Based Community Impact project, designed to address clothing insecurities in our region.

Throughout the Junior League Locker’s pilot year, we are working with counselors and administrators in the Alton School District’s K-1 centers – Eunice Smith Elementary, Lovejoy Elementary, Gilson Brown Elementary and Lewis and Clark Elementary – to fulfill clothing requests for students in need on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, each school will be stocked with a “Locker” filled with basic clothing needs and shoes that teachers, counselors and administrators can give to children as needed throughout the school year.

Donate through PayPal or to our Facebook Fundraiser.


Junior League of Greater Alton Welcomes New Board

The Junior League of Greater Alton has installed its new board for the 2018-2019 year and has begun recruiting members for its 2018 Provisional Class.

Leading the board this year is President Laura Inlow, who replaced 2017-18 President Lauri Sholar.

Inlow joined the league in 2015 and has served as the organization’s secretary and vice president. She works at Lewis and Clark Community College as manager of the Media Services Department, which handles the college’s marketing, advertising and public relations efforts. She and her husband, David, have one daughter, Amelia.

“I’m looking forward to new projects and partnerships with other area nonprofits this year to improve the quality of life for a diverse population of women and children in the Riverbend,” Inlow said. “What makes JLGA so special is that not only do we give our members a variety of amazing opportunities to give back to our communities, but we also reinvest in their growth and development into leaders and game changers to ensure these efforts and impacts are long-lasting. I am also excited to meet the women who will join our efforts as new members this year.”

Other members of the 2018-2019 board include Vice President Nicole Fiedler, Secretary Jama Fabry, Treasurer Sarah Crause, Project Council Coordinator Jolene Sherman, Fund Development Coordinator Lisa Crause, and Sponsorship Coordinator Maggie Partipilo.

There are 32 active and 24 sustaining members of JLGA, a member organization of the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.

JLGA is committed to educating, training and empowering female leaders through volunteerism in the Riverbend community, and has partnered with such organizations as the Boys and Girls Club of Alton, Oasis Women’s Center, Bucket Brigade, Main Street Methodist Church, Riverbender Community Center, Riverbend Head Start, First Presbyterian Church, and Community Hope Center, among others.

Women interested in joining JLGA are invited to attend a social event from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at State Street Market. Visitors will have an opportunity to hear about the organization and mingle with current members.

Potential members must be at least age 21 to join. To learn more, visit the website and click “Get Involved.”

For more information about the JLGA Annual Social, contact Amber Haring.


Bowling Benefit to Welcome Kids for the First Time

The Junior League of Greater Alton will host its fifth annual bowling fundraiser Saturday, June 16, at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton.

New this year, the event also is open to children. Three games and shoe rental are included and bumpers will be available for children. The format will again be team-focused scotch doubles, where players alternate shots. Prizes will be awarded to top teams, and there will be many other opportunities to go home a winner with basket raffles, 50/50, and heads or tails games throughout the evening.

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Bucket Brigade Comes Full Circle for Volunteer

ALTON – Diana Kay loves her little house in the 3600 block of Horn Avenue in Alton – and especially so after Saturday’s annual Bucket Brigade event.

“It’s such an amazing gift,” she said of the annual day of donated paint-slinging. “It’s something that just freshens the house up to where it almost looks new. It was way more than I ever could have expected.”

It’s the 30th year of the original Bucket Brigade effort, founded by then-Pride Inc. President Dale Neudecker. Since then, the teams have gathered each May to paint nearly 1,500 homes.

Kay, herself, had a hand in more than a few of those.

She’d painted in Alton Bucket Brigades herself since high school. Her father led a Boy Scout troop that did the same.

“It was neat to be on that side of it, and do it for people who couldn’t do it themselves,” the career healthcare provider, with expertise in hospice work, said.

But even with her seemingly unbreakably bubbly spirit, her sentences stifle when describing what it means to be a Bucket Brigade recipient.

“I’m getting choked up,” she confides. “It was neat to be a part of it from that standpoint, and just do something for somebody. And then, a couple years ago, I found out I had a brain tumor and had a couple of strokes. Now, I can’t do that, but I need it done. These guys stepped up and are doing it for me. It’s all so incredible.”

Kay’s home, which she cheekily proclaimed the nicest on her street, was polished and painted by a team from the Junior League of Greater Alton, a loyal member of the Bucket Brigade.

Read the full story in The Telegraph


League of Their Own: Q & A with Emily Hejna

Emily Hejna has been an officer with the Alton Police Department since 2007. The path that led her to this vocation was a bit different than most, as is the trail she is leaving now for those who follow. She recently spent a few minutes sharing pieces of her journey so far.

Hejna said she was “a born and raised Alton-Godfrey gal.” Her parents are both from Alton, and she and her brother have chosen to raise their families in Alton. “I left for a little bit for college and immediately following, but there’s no place like home and I couldn’t stay away,” said Hejna.

Since moving back in 2006, she has become deeply rooted in the community, professionally and personally. Hejna serves on the school board at Evangelical Elementary in Godfrey and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Greater Alton.

Read more at advantagenews.com


Past President Honored as a Woman of Distinction

ALTON – Alton native Lisa Nielsen has clocked an illustrious 20-plus-year law career with firm Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., with one of her practice specialties being environment and natural resource issues – but that’s just the very tip of the iceberg regarding Nielsen’s dedication to supporting the Alton area’s future.

According to her biography, Nielsen has served on the Sheldon Foundation Board, the United Way of Greater St. Louis Board, Ss. Peter and Paul’s Finance Council, and is a past president and former member of the Junior League of Greater Alton. She currently serves as the president of Ss. Peter and Paul School Board as well as serves on the Board of the Great Rivers Land Trust.

Read more at thetelegraph.com


JLGA Organizing Annual Wine and Beer Tasting Event

ALTON – The Junior League of Greater Alton will host its 6th Annual Uncorked and Uncapped wine and beer tasting fundraiser, Sunday, April 29, at Old Bakery Beer Company.

All persons over 21 years of age are invited to join JLGA for an afternoon of food, beverages, and comradery for a cause. The Old Bakery Beer Company is providing both the venue and the beer samplings. Wine tastings will be provided by Koerner Distributor.

“Our committee and community partners have really worked together to make this annual event a success,” said Katie Gibson-Boley, Uncorked and Uncapped Chair of the Junior League of Greater Alton. “The day is all about having fun, but also illuminating the issues affecting our area and helping those in need.”

The event will run from 2 to 5 p.m. and tickets are available for $25 from any Junior League member or online at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3366894.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Contact Gibson-Boley for details at (618) 980-3922 or kboley406@gmail.com.

All proceeds support programs throughout the Riverbend area benefitting women and children.

“We’re very excited for the opportunity to partner with The Old Bakery Beer Company for this year’s event,” said JLGA Vice President Laura Inlow. “The money raised will help the Junior League of Greater Alton train and empower our members as civic leaders to make a positive impact for women and children throughout the region. We hope to see you there!”

More details about Uncorked and Uncapped can be found at www.facebook.com/JuniorLeagueGreaterAlton/ and http://juniorleaguealton.org/community-impact/current-projects/uncorkeduncapped/.

The Junior League of Greater Alton, established in 1952, is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to empowering women and making the community in and around the Riverbend a better place for a diverse population of children and their families. Upon researching the area’s needs, JLGA most recently teamed up with Lewis and Clark Community College’s GED program to help improve family literacy in the region. JLGA is a chapter of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and is dedicated to the training and development of local women leaders and volunteers making an impact in the community. 



JLGA Empowering Future Female Leaders

JLGA recently purchased books about important women in history who broke through racial, social and economic barriers for Riverbend Head Start & Family Services in honor of Women’s History Month.

Shown here are members of the teaching staff at Granite City South with our donation.

For more information, contact 2017-2018 Community Outreach Chair Rhonda Brinkman at rbrink70@yahoo.com.