Make the Holidays Special with a Handwritten Letter from Santa

ALTON, ILLINOIS – Many holiday traditions may look a little different this year, but back again by popular demand is Junior League of Greater Alton’s Letters from Santa fundraiser. 

Send your loved ones, old and young, a personalized, handwritten letter from the big guy in red himself – Santa Claus. Each letter costs $8.50 and will be postmarked from the North Pole. 

“This is the fifth year we’ve done this fundraiser and it has become a favorite among our members and members of the community alike,” said Committee Chairperson Angela McDowell. “We love being able to add a little touch of magic to the Christmas season.”

All proceeds will benefit JLGA’s philanthropy throughout the Riverbend community, including the Junior League Locker, which provides new clothes for students in need within the Alton School District.

“JLGA wanted to give area children the opportunity to cut the tags off of their own clothes and help them find the confidence and pride they deserve,” said 2020-2021 President Maggie Partilpilo. “We launched the program in 2018-2019 in Alton’s K-1 centers, and have been able to expand through grade five in the last two years. We are thrilled to see the program grow, and it has been amazing to be able to spread joy in our community through the Locker.”  

JLGA works with counselors and administrators at the schools to fulfill clothing requests for students in need on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, each school is 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.

The Junior League Locker is currently operating at Eunice Smith Elementary, Lovejoy Elementary, Gilson Brown Elementary,  Lewis and Clark Elementary, North Elementary, East Elementary and West Elementary. While many local schools were remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this academic year, JLGA added a locker at the Alton YWCA and helped provide clothing for children at St. Francis Daycare and Alton Middle School, and reached out to other groups to offer assistance as well. 

“The need is there, especially this year,” Partipilo said. “By providing kids with brand new clothes as they are starting school again, we are not only able to take a small financial burden from their family, we can give them a sense of normalcy during these difficult times.  Sometimes, something as small as a new outfit that was selected just for them can help them remember how special they are.”

To purchase a letter or learn more about this fundraiser, visit juniorleaguealton.org/fundraising/letters-from-santa. Orders must be placed by Dec. 4 in order to be postmarked from the North Pole.

To learn more about the Junior League Locker, visit juniorleaguealton.org/community-impact/jl-locker

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. 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. To learn more, visit juniorleaguealton.org.  

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.

Read the full story

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.

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 Contributes to Foodstock 2017

The Junior League of Greater Alton collected food from members and added an additional 12 cases of canned food items to this year’s donation to Foodstock in August.

According to The Telegraph, “The mission of Foodstock is to make large annual contributions to local charities, such as food pantries and battered womens’ shelters.”

Read more at https://thetelegraph.com/news/106954/annual-foodstock-event-set-for-saturday.

JLGA Supports Madison County Child Advocacy Center Supplies Help Start the School Year Strong

Claire Cooper, Development Specialist at MadCo CAC (left) and Maggie Kline of JLGA (right). Photo by Rhonda Brinkman

ALTON, ILLINOIS – Junior League of Greater Alton provided ten brightly-colored backpacks filled with school supplies to the Madison County Child Advocacy Center for their upcoming annual Kids Fair.

The packs will be distributed on Saturday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Alton Moose Lodge. With an emphasis on safety and interactive fun, the event includes vision and dental screenings, fire, home, and internet education, and the Bubble Bus.

“We find it so rewarding to be able to do this small act that has such a large impact,” said Rhonda Brinkman, Community Outreach Chair of the Junior League of Greater Alton. “By providing basic school supplies, the CAC is inspiring kids get excited about education.”

“Something as simple as new pencils, crayons and notebooks can inspire creativity and a love for learning. We’re happy to help youngsters start the semester with all of the tools they need to succeed,” said Maggie Kline of JLGA.

For more information on the Madison County Child Advocacy Center, visit www.facebook.com/madcocac.

Thanks for Your Support! Another Great Event!

The Junior League of Greater Alton would like to thank everyone for their support and contribution to the fourth annual Bowling Tournament.  The tournament was held Saturday, June 10, at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton.

“Turnout was great this year, and everyone had a lot of fun,” said Jill Tueth, JLGA Bowling Tournament Committee Chair. “I just want to thank everyone who helped make this fundraiser a success – especially Bowl Haven, for letting us use their fantastic venue again this year.”

Junior League of Greater Alton would also like to thank our sponsors for the event:

Bowling winners 2017
The winners of the 2017 JLGA Bowling Tournament were (left to right) Jerry and Jaime Dwiggins, Stacey Vambaketes, Stephanie Preston, Jeff Link and Steve Brinkman. Photo by Shelli Oliver

Funds raised at this event will be used to fund JLGA’s Family Literacy project, as well as the organization’s various Community Outreach volunteering efforts.

JLGA hosts several fundraisers each year to support the organization’s efforts, which include training and empowering women leaders through volunteerism in the community. In addition to an issue based community impact project, JLGA members also take part in various volunteer efforts throughout the community each year, including, most recently, Bucket Brigade and the First Presbyterian Church’s Saturday Cafe.

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. To learn more, visit www.juniorleaguealton.org.