Junior League of Champaign-Urbana Welcomes New Year


A packed house welcomed the new Junior League year at our first General Membership Meeting on 9/20/16. The meeting got started with a welcome from our current President, Jennifer Romine. Jennifer gave a brief update on summer happenings within JLCU, most notably, the move to our new administrative office location in Champaign!


Two Champaign-Urbana area businesses were instrumental in assisting us with the move – The Ryan Dallas Team and This is It Furniture – by donating usage of their trucks this past weekend. Any unneeded furniture and fixtures that we owned but did not need at our new location was donated to Salt & Light Ministries. A big thanks, as well, to all members, family, and friends of JLCU who helped in this process.

New Member Announcement!

Welcome to our newest members! 42 local women have joined our organization this year, and got started earlier this month with their first new member meeting. We are looking forward to getting to know all of you!

Project Development Update

Historically, the PD Committee presents at the September meeting and voting occurred at the October meeting. There is a proposed change to this policy that will be voted on at the October meeting. A new project will be proposed at the October GMM, too.

  • Currently, the Policies Approved by Members (PAM) 5.1.A reads: “All projects shall be approved by the membership at the October GMM. Prior notice shall be given and absentee ballots allowed.”
  • Proposed change to PAM 5.1.A: “All projects shall be approved by the membership at the November GMM. Prior notice shall be given and absentee ballots allowed.”



JLCU Gives Back/Done in a Meeting

Areas of Louisiana were devastated by flooding in August, such as Baton Rouge and Lafayette. The Junior League of New Orleans has been collecting and distributing items to help local women and children. We collected diapers, feminine hygiene products, and gift cards to be donated to help. Many members brought items to help out this worthy cause. Also, extra school supplies from League Locker are being donated directly to schools in the area.

Jennifer Romine’s in-laws have been impacted by the flooding, and she shared the following about some of the schools and how impactful our assistance will be, “they [the schools] flooded and have lost many school supplies right at the beginning of the year. In addition, the students’ homes flooded, and as they come back to school they are unable to bring in new supplies with them.”

JLCU Structure & Council Updates

Loni Trimble, JLCU Executive Vice President, shared information about JLCU’s structure and introduced Council VPs to give exciting updates for the new League year.

Membership Council VP, Kristen Sackley, introduced the new 1st-year member mentor program to the group. The mentors will also plan league-wide social events during the year. Stay tuned for fun events coming soon!

Finance Council VP, Allie Teagarden, announced the exciting 2016-2017 schedule of fundraising events. There is something for everyone! Keep reading Tuesday Tidbits and the JLCU website for details.

  • That’s What She Said Ladies’ Night Out Pre-Party: 10/13
  • Festival of Trees Weekend: 11/18-11/20
    • Daddy Daughter Dance: 11/18
    • Public Hours: 11/19-11/20
    • Brunch with Santa & Mrs. Claus: 11/19
  • JLCU Trivia Night (NEW!): 1/26
  • Red Carpet Affair (NEW!): 2/26

Communications Council VP, Ashley Morgan, presented that we are relaunching the I Am Junior League campaign with updated photos and more. More information coming soon to Tuesday Tidbits on how to be involved.

Community Council Updates: Caitlin Drake, Chair of Bright Starts, shared that there are several change to the “preschool at night” program this year. Any children in the pre-K age range (3-5) are welcome to attend, and there is now a financial scholarship available through Busey Bank for children that attend 7 classes. The next event is 10/11 and maximum enrollment is at 40 children. For more information, visit our Bright Starts webpage.

JLCU Training – The History of Junior League

This video is worth the watch! Members were inspired to learn about JL’s amazing impact on our country and the world.


Congrats to our very first Shining Star Award for 2016-2017,  Laura Gerhold!

She is pictured here with President Jen Romine (L) and Membership Council VP Kristen Sackley (R). Laura was nominated for her diligent work in assisting with the office move this summer. She also volunteered for every shift on Sunday of move which allowed us to finish 1.5 hours early!

Junior League Accepting Applications for Community Assistance Fund Grants

junior-league-of-champaign-urbanacommunity-assistance-fund-grants-due-by-9%2f30Each fall and spring, the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana awards Community Assistance Fund (CAF) grants to non-profits in our area to help with financial needs related to our position statements. Our position statements focus on school readiness, child protection and welfare, families, health, hunger, literacy, shelter, voluntarism, and women.

Fall applications are due by September 30, 2016, and can be completed online or downloaded and mailed to our office. Recipients will be notified by October 31, 2016.

For any questions, please contact Donna Cockburn, CAF Grants & Community Outreach Chair, via email at drcburn@gmail.com

Helpful Links:

Summer Wrap Up of JLCU Happenings!


As the summer comes to a close, the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana had a busy summer. The most important decision made over the summer was the relocation of the JLCU office. As our lease is set to expire on September 30 at the North Prospect location, the HQ Relocation Committee viewed several office spaces around the Champaign-Urbana area in Ma y and June before recommending to the Board that a lease be signed on office space at 2105 Dunlap Court, Suite 2A. The Board approved the measure at the July Board meeting and a lease was signed at the end of July. Now comes the hard part – moving!!! We need as many volunteers to help purge and physically move as possible – we even invite significant others who are not JLCU members to help out! Hours are posted on the website so sign up today: JLCU Website. You can also sign up for other volunteer hours at the same link!



Other news from the summer includes the new location for the majority of our General Meetings. All our General Meetings for 2016-17 will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn except for the October meeting which will be held at our community partner, Urbana Early Childhood Center. Our first meeting of the year is September 20 at 7pm. And, our February meeting will be a special training meeting with Vicki Clark, AJLI Trainer and owner of Building the Capacity of Organizations.

We want to emphasize “Developing the Potential of Women” this year so we are making a concerted effort to ensure our members are properly trained. You will hear more about the training as the year progresses!

Of course, with the move from the North Prospect location comes the close of the Junior League Locker. While the project will not officially sunset until May, our last open hours for teachers to pick up supplies occurred the first two weekends in August. You will hear more about our efforts to provide supplies to teachers over the remainder of this year later. And, at the October General Meeting, the Project Development Committee will present the proposal for our new project.

Finally, the New Member socials were well attended and we had a great group of women attend the first New Member meeting on September 6. It is so much fun to meet a diverse group of women who will only make our League that much stronger.

I hope you will make every effort to meet and greet each new member throughout the year! – Jennifer Romine, JLCU President 2016-2017

Highlights of the AJLI 94th Annual Conference by Jen Romine

AJLI (Association of Junior Leagues International) hosted its 94th Annual Conference May 12 through May 14 in Atlanta. President Jennifer Romine and President-Elect Cherie Kesler attended the 3-day event. Beyond the spectacle of Roll Call when each league’s voting delegate parades into the large conference hall preceded by a local high school marching band, some serious issues were discussed and voted on.


The most important work of the Annual Conference occurred during the Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 14. At that meeting, two advisory resolutions – resolutions that the AJLI Board must consider but are not bound to – were discussed and voted on. The issue of the advisory resolutions concerned the ODI (Organization Development Institute) meeting in Raleigh, NC, October 21-23 in light of the recent legislation enacted by the North Carolina government to restrict LGBT rights.

AJLI Opening Session

The first advisory resolution discussed read:

Whereas, AJLI has a Diversity and Inclusion Statement; and

Whereas, Junior Leagues have a strong history of advocating for civil liberties; and

Whereas, The US Justice Department has stated that the State of North Carolina is in violation of federal law; therefore, be it

Resolved that AJLI resite the AJLI Fall ODI outside the state of North Carolina; and be it further Resolved that the Fall ODI be held in a state whose laws do not contradict AJLI’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

After much debate supporting and opposing this resolution, the delegates voted down the advisory resolution. The Raleigh Junior League incoming president was persuasive in asking the delegates to not punish her League, which is involved in organizing the ODI with AJLI, and many of the other Leagues in North Carolina who did not support the legislation. In addition, if the AJLI Board were to resite the ODI, the cost to AJLI was estimated to be between $75,000 and $120,000 just to cancel the hotel, not to mention contracting with another hotel – this at a time when AJLI is consistently losing money on its conferences.

The second advisory resolution discussed read:

Whereas, Junior Leagues have a Diversity and Inclusion Statement; and

Whereas, AJLI event sites should align with our values; therefore be it

Resolved that AJLI’s future event and meeting contracts have language ensuring that the sites do not contradict the Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

This advisory resolution passed.

Other important notes from the Annual Conference include:

  • A new AJLI President was seated. Carol Scott from the Junior League of Pasadena succeeded Ellen Rose of the Junior League of New York City. Carol will serve for 2 years.
  • The keynote speaker was Carlotta Walls LaNier, one of the nine African-American students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Each delegate at the conference received a signed copy of her book detailing her experience, “A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School”. Any member interested in borrowing the book to read, please contact Jennifer Romine (jenromine@comcast.net) who is willing to lend her copy out to JLCU members.
  • The AJLI treasurer’s report was important for 2 reasons: first, AJLI will be relocating its headquarters from New York City most likely to Charlotte, NC where rent is less expensive; and AJLI conferences are consistently going over budget even though the cost to delegates for each conference is between $400 and $700.
  • AJLI announced a new partnership with Gwynnie Bee, an online women’s clothing subscription service for sizes 10-32, that could help JLCU with free money. When the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana refers 30 free trials that start by June 30, 2016, Gwynnie Bee will give our league $2,000 in funding. New trials can be from members and non-members!


Help JLCU earn $2000 today by signing up through our special link: http://startgb.com/JLChampaignUrbana.

It case you missed it….April General Meeting Recap!

The April General Meeting kicked off with the membership voting to pass two new measures, one of which revised the allocation of required volunteer hours (click on ‘Volunteer Hours Proposal’ for more info: Volunteer Hours Proposal) and one of which revised the date on which annual dues are to be paid to align with the placement process.
Andrea Singh gave us a peek at next year’s budget, Sara Olson shared some exciting news about a possible partner for League Locker, and Jennifer Romine reminded us that 2016 JLCU Award nominations are due 05/01/16. Follow the link to nominate someone: Nominate Here!
Illinois State Trooper Tracy Lillard shared her sometimes entertaining, sometimes frightening stories from her career in law enforcement and reminded us all of the importance of motor vehicle safety.


Cynthia Bruno shared research about the psychology of dressing well and the positive impact a professional image can have on your career.
“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.” – Deion Sanders


Cynthia will be hosting an in-depth two-part class, where she will teach you how to dress to flatter your body, determining what types of clothes look best on you, and looking at your closet like a stylist and building your wardrobe. The classes will be Wednesday April 27th and Wednesday May 4th from 6pm-7pm at 301 W. Green St. in Urbana. $50 will get you entrance into both classes. For more information, or to setup a time that works for you, please contact Cynthia Bruno at cynthialynnbruno@gmail.com.
Lastly, members broke off into their respective councils to talk about their experience in League this year and to provide suggestions about how to make League the best it can be going forward! If you were not in attendance, PLEASE take a moment to click on the applicable link below and fill one out for us.  This information is extremely important for improving the JLCU member experience.  We appreciate your feedback! New Member, 1st and 2nd year actives , Active Members, 3rd – 5th year , Active Members, 6th-7th (or more) years

The spring 2016 CAF Grant Deadline is February 29, 2016!

So, what are CAF Grants?
The goal of the Community Assistance Fund (CAF) is to respond to the financial needs of nonprofit organizations, specifically for programs and projects related to Junior League of Champaign-Urbana position statements, which include child protection and welfare, families, health, hunger, literacy, shelter, school preparedness, voluntarism, and women.

Previous CAF Grant Recipients?
The following are past recipients of CAF Grant funds and are representative of the community needs that Junior League supports:

Spring 2015 CAF Grant Recipients – Total Amount Granted: $1,490:
1) The Reading Group: $400 – requested for children’s’ books for older children who read below their grade level.
2) Dream Girls Academy: $950 – requested for curriculum for girls 6th grade and up to foster life-long learning and the prevention of domestic violence and child abuse.
3) Girls on the Run (Stephens Family YMCA): $140 – requested for curriculum books designed to help girls with life skills (3rd – 5th grade).
Fall 2014 CAF Grant Recipients – Total Amount Granted: $1,500:
1) Carrie Busey Elementary School PTA: $200 – requested for display boards and science medals for Science Educational Assembly.
2) Crisis Nursery: $500 – requested for educational toys to promote school readiness and staff in-service training.
3) The GOALS Project: $500 – requested for children’s books and literacy bag materials.
4) Family Advocacy in Champaign County: $300 – requested for Reading Center school supplies.

Who is Eligible to Apply?
1) The applicant must be a non-profit or not-for-profit organization, located within the Champaign-Urbana area.
2) Grant requests must relate to JLCU position statements. Grants must relate to the current Issue Based Community Impact area: Basic Needs for School Readiness.
3) The request should relate to the development and/or management of volunteer programs, support the concept of voluntarism and training and/or volunteer involvement in the community.

How to Apply?
Follow the link below to the JLCU website to apply online or to print the application:



Dad 2

When it comes to who takes care of the kids, more men are choosing to work inside the home and take on the primary caregiver responsibility. More men are also taking advantage of parental leave benefits at work.

Dad 1

As more millennial men enter the workforce looking for flexibility at their jobs to balance their work and home life, companies who want the best are starting to respond with better benefits.

To hear more about how companies are responding to this shift, you can view the full interview here.



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