Wednesday, May 4, 2011

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:

  • Collected over 2,000 diapers and began the research and development phase of starting a local diaper bank.
  • In the first half of the year we worked with Boca Helping Hands in distributing 400 SHARE bags.  
  • The Community Garden made tremendous strides in planning the design of the garden, creating a garden handbook, and beginning the implementation stage with a groundbreaking ceremony on Earth Day.
  • Kids in the Kitchen reached over 100 children through their healthy eating and exercise programs and have additional events planned before the end of the year.  
  • Both Florence Fuller and In the Pines have continued their work in improving literacy and fighting childhood obesity.
  • Community Support Fund has provided grants to more than 20 organizations.
  • Done in a Day has coordinated thousands of hours of volunteer time in the community, and has continuously found ways to add new and interesting volunteer shifts.
  • Our Public Affairs Committee has focused on three very important issues:  booster seats, cyber crimes and foster care.
We have continued our non- profit programming and incorporated Leadership University into our Governance trainings.  We are a unique organization:  one that is important to both our community and our members.  There is no other organization that can build member’s training and skills while making a significant community impact.  

To be successful, these programs really do require our collective efforts.  We all know that we certainly can make a greater impact when we act together as a unified, cohesive group as we forge ahead and implement our plans.

We have also made a better tomorrow for ourselves along the way.  There are many benefits to volunteering – we actually learn a little too – about others as well as ourselves.

We have greatly improved our communication through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and our newly launched blog.  We are continuing to make technological advances by beginning timely communication through the use of text messaging, and had our first ever virtual cottage meeting.  
We ensured our future success through the nominating process, and the selection of next year’s leadership.

We recruited and welcomed new active members to carry on in our place.

We continue to provide much needed financial resources.  JLBR members planned successful fundraisers, despite our challenging economy. Our WVOY, Cookbook, Small Fundraisers, Chocolate Decadence, Golf and Community Partner’s committees worked harder than ever to exceed their goals.  This funding provides critical resources to our projects, training and community support fund grants.

I am saddened as my term comes to an end, but excited about our future. Although we have accomplished so much, I am so excited to think of the achievements that I know are still to come.  The current Provisional Class will move on to active placements and before we know it, we will be able to begin planting in the Community Garden. As we look ahead to the remainder of the League year, I just want to say thank you so much to each and every member for your contributions to the League and the Community.   It is you involvement and dedication that makes the JLBR the great organization that it is today.  I look forward to the next 40 years!

Yours truly,

Read "Looking ahead with 2011-2012 JLBR President Nancy Dockerty"

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