News

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’s Letters from Santa to Address Student Clothing Needs in Alton School District Grades K-5

ALTON, ILLINOIS – Junior League of Greater Alton has a direct line to the big guy in red this Christmas – those participating in the organization’s holiday fundraiser can get personalized, handwritten letters from Santa himself, postmarked from the North Pole.

“Each letter is a perfect gift for children of all ages, naughty or nice, and will arrive from the North Pole just in time for Christmas,” said Committee Chairperson Jama Fabry.

The letters can be purchased for $8 each at a number of local craft fairs, including the Alton Band and Orchestra Builders’ Olde Alton Arts and Crafts Fair, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.,  Sunday, Dec. 8 at Alton High School, or from any JLGA member. They can also be purchased online ($8.50, includes PayPal fees) at juniorleaguealton.org/fundraising/letters-from-santa/

All proceeds benefit JLGA’s community impact project, the Junior League Locker, which helps children in the Alton School District, grades K-5, who are in need of clothing.

“JLGA wanted to give area children the opportunity to cut the tags off of their own new clothes and help them find the confidence and pride they deserve,” said 2019-2020 President Nicole Fiedler. “We launched the program in 2018-2019 in Alton’s K-1 centers, and we were so excited to be able to expand to three more schools (grades 2-5) this year, thanks to the community’s overwhelming support of our efforts.”

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. 

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.

For more information on this fundraiser, visit juniorleaguealton.org/fundraising/letters-from-santa. 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 Wins Judges Choice at Color for a Cause

The Junior League of Greater Alton was awarded $250 toward the Junior League Locker for winning Judges’ Choice in the Color for a Cause mural coloring contest Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at Alton Square Mall. Photo courtesy of Alton Square Mall‘s Facebook page.

A big thank you to everyone who came out to color and/or support us and the other non-profits that participated!

Alton Square Mall to Support JLGA, Others Color For A Cause Event

ALTON – Junior League of Greater Alton will participate in this year’s Color for a Cause, a live mural coloring contest and shopping event that raises funds and awareness for local causes, from 5-7 p.m., March 12, at Alton Square Mall.

During the event, JLGA and other participating organizations will be provided a 6-foot mural and coloring supplies. Everyone has two hours to color their mural and shop on behalf of a cause. Patrons can shop anywhere in the mall and show their receipt in center court to earn a point for a participating cause.

The mall will donate $1 for each point earned and a $250 prize donation will be awarded to the organization with the most points and winning mural design, as determined by local guest judges.

Alton Square Mall has announced the organizations participating in Color for a Cause. In addition to Junior League of Greater Alton, they are: Community Hope Center, Inc., Good Samaritan House – Shelter of Granite City, IMPACT CIL, Make-A-Wish Southern Illinois, Olga’s Kitchen in support of Boys and Girls Club – Alton Chapter, Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis, Senior Services Plus, Inc. to benefit Feed the Need and TreeHouse Wildlife Center.

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.

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.

Read the full story

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