Monday, November 7, 2011

The Boca Raton Community Garden Box Build

By Christina Hanna
Teenagers and power tools? It seems like a chaotic combination to me! In fact, the partnering of Boca Raton High School students, the Police Athletic League, and Junior League volunteers proved to be a cooperative success that led to the construction of over 50 wooden planting boxes for our Community Garden! 

Not being a power tool pro myself, I knew I would need to recruit some help from my handy fiancĂ©. Armed with two drills (his contribution), and an cooler full of Gatorade (my way of participating), we surveyed our surroundings: a seemingly insurmountable pile of plywood planks and a scattering of neon-clad high schoolers sauntering around listening to their iPods. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Issue Based Community Impact: Domestic Violence and Disabilities

As you know, the Junior League of Boca Raton is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Our purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

In order to provide the best level of help to our community, we must be knowledgeable about the issues. As such, we are always educating ourselves on issues that are affecting our community. This month, we took a closer look at domestic violence and disabilities.

Did you know...
  • One in every three women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • People with disabilities constitute the nation's largest minority group, and the only group any of us can become a member of at any time.
  • Of the 69.6 million families in the United States, more than 20 million have at least one family member with a disability.

The Junior League of Boca Raton has a long history of helping organizations that address needs of domestic violence and disabilities in our community, such Horses for the Handicapped, Twin Palms Rehabilitation Center, AVDA, and more. For more information on how to get involved with the Junior League of Boca Raton, visit our website at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tip Your Hat to the Woman Volunteer of the Year Luncheon!

The JLBR Woman Volunteer of the Year of the Year Committee in some hats in Saks!
(Click picture to enlarge.)

I have a confession.

Ever since April 29th, when I got up even earlier than usual on a workday to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, I've been slightly obsessed with funky hats. The problem being, where and when would I wear one?! Somehow my office or even the beach just doesn't seem to be the place.

But wait -- once again, the Junior League of Boca Raton (JLBR) is responding to a community need...the need to wear fun hats! AND pay tribute to some amazing women while doing so.

How, you ask??

During the 24th Annual Woman Volunteer of the Year (WVOY) Luncheon, which will take place on Thursday, October 6th at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. This event celebrates women from various non-profits throughout Palm Beach County who have been nominated for making significant and noteworthy contributions to children, families, individuals and seniors. Last year, the JLBR raised more than $162,000 to support our mission of improving the community. The luncheon is phenomenal every year, but this year there will be a few extra special touches.

"This year, with the the Junior League of Boca Raton celebrating it's 40 year anniversary, it's a little different," explains JLBR member and WVOY committee member Jennifer Barner. "We want everyone to wear hats and tip their hats to the nominees."

"As the Junior League of Boca Raton celebrates 40 years of service to our community this year, it's women such as these nominees who inspire us to continue our mission of women building better communities," adds JLBR president Nancy Dockerty.

Hat or no hat, we'd love to see you there. For more information -- or just to see some more great hats -- visit the Facebook page:

Monday, August 22, 2011

The JLBR Addresses Diaper Need in the Community

Marjorie Hollman, Harlee Samuels, Dee Lewis, Sarah Flynn
The Junior League of Boca Raton Diaper Bank is a new initiative this year that will address the issue of "diaper need" in this community.  Once a month the Diaper Bank Committee will hold a Diaper Distribution Day, as well as various diaper drives in order to restock our inventory so that families in need can continue to receive this important service.

This past week has been very busy for the Junior League of Boca Raton's Diaper Bank Committee.  On Tuesday, August 16th the Committee held its monthly meeting at Cabana El Ray on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.  Led by Chair Gina Griffin, the Committee enjoyed dinner and planned for our first Diaper Distribution Day on Saturday, August 20th.  

When Saturday arrived, several Committee members assisted by Done in a Day (DIAD) volunteers met at the storage facility to transport diapers to Florence Fuller's east campus.  There representatives from the selected organizations who will receive diapers this year -- Caridad Center, Family Promise, Florence Fuller Child Development Center and Milagro Center -- picked up 2,800 diapers that they will then pass on to the families they serve.  

Make sure you Like us on Facebook in order to see what we are up to and to learn how you can be involved!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Looking ahead with 2011-2012 JLBR President Nancy Dockerty

I recently attended the AJLI Conference for President-Elects and President-Elect-Elects with Jackie Reeves in New Orleans.  True to our mission statement of “ ..improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers,” this conference had some amazing sessions on leadership. One in particular that stood out to me was on Servant Leadership, facilitated by Vicki Clark. Robert Greenleaf coined the term servant leadership in his 1970 essay, titled “The Servant as Leader,” where he describes the servant leader as one who leads by serving others. I thought, “YES that’s it, that’s exactly what a Junior League President does and it’s exactly why I’m thrilled to be the incoming President.  I can do that; I can serve our membership by empowering them to use their talents to accomplish the League’s goals.” People often ask why I want to be a League President and it always seems hard to explain. I’m not a coach, or a cheerleader, or a motivator, but when I learned more about servant leadership, I realized, yep that’s my personality, encouraging others to bring out their best, and when we do that together as volunteers in the League it has a tremendous impact on our community.

Looking back with 2010-2011 JLBR President Samantha Vasallo

Wow! It’s so hard to believe that we are almost through the League year!  I continue to be amazed by the passion and dedication of our members, both to our League and our Community.  I have seen such enthusiasm at our General Membership Meetings, commitment and hard work from each of our councils and fundraisers, amazing creativity and eagerness in committee activities, and countless other examples of positive energy among our membership.

Every member has a role to play in the continued success of the JLBR.  The League is sustained by the collective efforts of each member.  Edith Wharton once said there are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.  I love the idea that each person can have a role to play in the great works that we as a League all accomplish together.  There are simply different roles to play, and all are important as we work to achieve our mission and live our legacy.

Based on our League’s achievements over the past several months, you have all clearly demonstrated that you do believe that tomorrow can be better than today.  You actions, and not merely your words, have consistently show optimism that not only can tomorrow be better, but that we can be a part of making it better.

As a result of our efforts and collaborations more than 4,000 children were reached through the Spirit of Giving Network with the annual Back to School Bash and Holiday Gift Drive.  We also:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One JLBR Member's ODI Experience

by Sara Ritzler

In March, the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) held their first Organizational Development Institute (ODI) conference of 2011 in Tampa. Junior League of Boca Raton members Marya Gill, Jackie Schatz, Allison Lane, Shannon Moriarity, and I were honored to represent our League at the 3 day event which brings together representatives from Leagues all over the United States, Canada, Mexico and even London. ODI is a powerful experience designed to help develop our potential as League members through workshops, discussions on thought provoking topics and networking opportunities. The goal is to then bring those skills and ideas back to our own Leagues.

The opportunity to interact with other League members is both inspiring and enlightening. It was a fantastic and humbling experience to witness the power of nearly 160,000 women from 292 Leagues making a crucial difference in their communities. Over the course of the conference I was fascinated to learn about the various projects and issues other Leagues have undertaken.

  • The Junior League of Atlanta is working on a Pilot Project to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
  • The Junior League of Alexandria, La. partnered with Pregnancy Care Closet to help teenage mothers shop in the closet if they completed parenting classes.
  • The Junior League Long Beach teamed up with their local metal health department to raise awareness for perinatal depression.
  • Several leagues including those in Memphis, Baton Rouge and Kalamazoo have a “Cinderella Project” where gently used dressed are donated to junior and senior girls in need of a prom dresses.
  • The Junior League of London is working on a project to foster an interest in reading and a love of books to young children from low-income families. The League is working with Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation’s Imagination Library and Penguin UK to mail one book per month to each enrolled child.

The list goes on and on but I think you get the point. ODI is an incredible League conference that every Leaguer should participate in at some point during their League experience. It reaffirmed my love of the League and a desire to make a important difference in our community.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Golf is in the air! Have you all seen the movie The Wedding Date? If you have, remember the scene where they are at the joint bachelor/bachelorette party all decked out in crazy golf attire? Well, last month two of my friends who were getting married did the same thing! We all put on our randomest combination of golf wear and and had a good time. Check out these crazy socks!

Needless to say, we had a blast! Not two weeks after that, another friend decided to go mini golfing for his birthday. Can you remember the last time you went mini golfing?! Well, for me it was awhile -- but I still managed to win a bet at the 17th hole by sinking my ball in first.

At the rate this year is flying by, it will be April 15th before we know it! Besides being the last work day before taxes are due, April 15th is also the day of the Junior League of Boca Raton's 3rd Annual Golf Classic at Royal Palm Country Club. The event will bring local businesses and community partners together with the goal of raising essential funds for our community projects.

So, I suggest you gather up a group of friends and meet us on the green!

Stay tuned to JLBR in Action for more information as the event gets closer. If you'd like to know more about it sooner than later, visit the Junior League of Boca Raton's website, or call us at 561-620-2553.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Booster Seats and Baby Bottoms

Wanna hear about two quick and easy ways you can help the Junior League of Boca Raton help our community?

""  Yeah, I thought you would.

Booster Seats
Did you know that Florida's law requiring child car restraints only up to age 3 is the most lenient in the country, according to the National Transportation Safety Board?  The Junior League of Boca Raton, together with other Junior Leagues in Florida, have made booster seat legislation a priority issue for which we advocate. Click here to learn more about our take on the issue and what we are doing.

How can I help?
For $25, you can donate a booster seat. All you have to do is visit our website,, to donate, and we'll take care of the rest.  All money collected will go to purchasing booster seats and donating them to local organizations whose clients have a need for them. These organizations will be identified through the Spirit of Giving Network.

Baby Bottoms

Did you know that 1 in 3 moms are struggling to provide diapers for their babies? The Junior League of Boca Raton is partnering with the Huggies® Every Little Bottom program to raise awareness about diaper need and to help address the need in our community and across the U.S.

How can I help?
Donate diapers! You can bring them to the our office at 261 NW 13th Street in Boca. Or you can donate money on our website and we'll buy the diapers for you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Provisional Point of View

The Junior League is a complex and active group of women working in various capacities to support both itself and lend support to the community at large. Because the Junior League is such a dynamic organization, members first engage in a Provisional period of training and volunteer activities to prepare them for effective community involvement and active membership.

Shawn Sherlock, a current Provisional Member of the Junior League of Boca Raton, shares her experience:

The list is endless in the reasons why ANY one woman should or would join the Junior League of Boca Raton. But, topping the list of why “I” specifically joined: to be part of a group of strong and passionate women who want to truly want to make a difference in their community. I soon learned one way I could make a difference was by learning from our fantastic leaders. From the get go, I have taken the time to meet with JL chairs and committee members to learn the ropes so to speak. Thus far, it’s been a fantastic way for me to learn how by being a member can go a long way in working with vendors in your area. It’s especially been fantastic in aiding my role as Co-Chair for this March’s “Sex in the City” themed General Membership Meeting. I look forward in further engaging myself with my leaders as I delve into the new role of Incoming Chair Elect for The Bridge, the Junior League of Boca Raton's magazine. I would also like to say that anyone who joins the League would also agree the bonds within this group are so strong. The relationships that start here last for a lifetime. I am truly honored to be part of such a force. I look forward to a fantastic 2011 and many years to come!

Click here for more information about joining the Junior League of Boca Raton.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chocolate Decadence Online

The Sweetest Party is town is taking place next Thursday, February 3rd at The Shops at Boca Center. It's sure to be -- well -- a pretty sweet time. ;-)  Chocolate Decadence has quite a footprint on the internet. Here are a few sites you can visit for more information:
  • The Chocolate Decadence website has the most information in one place and is also where you can buy your tickets.
  • The Chocolate Decadence Facebook page currently shows more than 175 people attending, and that number is sure to increase as the date gets closer! Check this page out to see if any of your friends are going, or to invite your friends to join you. You can also visit the JLBR's Chocolate Decadence Facebook page here.
  • Do you tweet? The Chocolate Decadence Twitter page created by has been all a-buzz lately! This is a good way to get immediate information about the latest updates to the event.
  • The Sun-Sentinel also recently wrote a piece about The Sweetest Party in Town.
If you still have questions, feel free to call the Junior League office at 561-620-2553. I've attended Chocolate Decadence every year since I've been involved in the JLBR (this is my 4th year). It's delicious and fun! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Whole Food's "5% Day" to Support the Boca Raton Community Garden

The Boca Raton Community Garden is a partnership between The Junior League of Boca Raton (JLBR) and The City of Boca Raton.  Boca Raton city officials have entrusted JLBR to design and construct a Community Garden by Boca's downtown library.  The garden will foster environmental sustainability and stewardship, advance horticultural and nutritional education, provide a beautiful and natural retreat, and produce a healthy supplemental food source for its gardeners and the hungry.

Next Tuesday, January 18th, Whole Foods Market on Glades Road will donate 5% of all sales to the Boca Raton Community Garden. And that's not all: kids can participate in free mini-garden classes from 3 - 4:30 where they will get the opportunity to decorate clay pots. Adults can have their fun later that evening: from 6 - 8:30 p.m. is a Helping Happy Hour. For a $10 donation, you can sample locally-produced beer, wine made from sustainably grown grapes, and garden inspired hors d’ouevres made with fresh and locally grown ingredients. Proceeds will also benefit the Community Garden.  More information on 5% Day can be found on the Whole Foods blog.

We hope to see you there! 

Click here to learn more about the Boca Raton Community Garden.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Blog Resolutions

Happy New Year! It's official -- we're done with 2010, on with 2011, and you know what that means....New Years Resolutions!

As you know, JLBR in Action was born just this last year. In her first full year of life, I have these resolutions for the blog:

1. More guest contributors - I know you enjoy hearing from me, but the beauty of the League is that it is an organization of hundreds of amazing women. I'd like to hear their voices more.

2. Penetration outside of Junior League members - JLBR in Action is, of course, a great way for us in the League to see what's going on Leaguewide. But I'd also like other members of the community to come here to see what we're doing.

3. Internation with other blogs and readers in general - One of the great things about blogging is that it provides a forum for conversation. I'd like to see these posts because conversation starters in addition to being nice reads.

That's all for now. I feel if you put forth too many resolutions, you can run the risk of them being unattainable because of feasibility of number. But let me ask you -- what would YOU like to see on JLBR in Action in 2011?