October General Meeting

Were you unable to make it to the General Meeting on Tuesday, October 20th? This is what you missed:

The evening started off with League members voting to extend League Locker for one year, through fiscal year 2016-2017.

Afterwards, Katie Bourbeau shared some startling statistics with us in regards to child care in the state of Illinois. For example, Illinois is the 9th most expensive and 10th most expensive state for infant and toddler care, respectively. There are programs that can help, but there is still a great need as Head Start has a waiting list of approximately 250 families and, due to new requirements, 90% of new Child Care Assistance Program applicants who were eligible prior to July 1st will now be denied. Katie encouraged us all to continue writing our legislators to support funding for Child Care Assistance Program and early childhood education, as pre-school enrollment betters the community by reducing unemployment and jail time. To write or email your legislator, you can find them here: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

Next, Jennifer Schmidt shared her experience on her trip to God’s Littlest Angels, which is a baby ministry located in the mountains overlooking Port-Au-Price, Haiti. God’s Littlest Angels serves as a temporary shelter for children whose families can’t afford to take care of them. To learn more about what you can do to help go to http://www.glahaiti.org/. Additionally, you can support employment in Haiti by purchasing from www.papillon-enterprise.com, which offers chic jewelry made of recycled materials, all while providing employment to over 200 people.Docilia_-_January_2014-10_Fotor_Collage[1]

Then Jennifer Romine Shared her 10 take-aways from the 2015 AJLI Fall Leadership Conference in New Orleans, LA. Take-aways included: changing a League’s governance model requires an adjustment period, one year Board and Management Team terms are very limiting, fundraising is about process and repetition, JLCU needs to diversify our fundraising so that it is not all tied to our members, and JLCU needs to diversify its revenue stream.

Allie Teagarden and Tara Harris updated us on Festival of Trees and Gala progress. Various sponsors have provided 22 trees and 9 wreaths. There have been 57 tickets to Daddy-Daughter Dance sold, 21 tickets to Santa brunch sold, and 7 tickets to Gala sold. These should be great events, so don’t forget to invite friends, family, and co-workers! For Festival of Trees information: https://www.juniorleaguecu.org/?nd=fot&gallery_id=266&view=full& For Gala information: https://www.juniorleaguecu.org/?nd=gala

Lastly, the Shining Star award was presented to Katie Adams-Moore and the Membership Development Committee for their outstanding program development in welcoming new members to JLCU.October GMM


A new program to help girls achieve their goals is coming to central Illinois. Girls Go For It kicked off at Carrie Busey Elementary School this fall.

The free, after-school program is designed to help students develop confidence, recognize their leadership abilities, and explore career opportunities by making a road map to success. The program is hoping it’ll inspire more women to reach higher in their professional lives as they grow up.


Pew Research finds that women only make up 5% of CEOs in the nation’s Fortune 500 companies, 20% of senators are women, and 19% of representatives in the House are women. Although women are making gains in these fields, it’s been slow. Girls Go For It founders say one reason is because many girls lose confidence early in their academic careers and that impacts their decisions later on. A recent survey from Girl Scouts of America shows nearly 40% of girls reported feeling discouraged or put down, especially by their friends or classmates, when trying to lead. Girls Go For It is trying to address that by helping girls gain the confidence to reach their professional goals.

To learn more about the program, watch the interview here: Girls Go For it Interview 

Junior League Partners with The She Said Project for Ladyfest 2015

Everyone has a story to tell.  That is the premise behind the creation of The She Said Project, a force of women who got together to share stories.   Going into its 3rd year, That’s What She Said is a collection of stories told by local women, to engage, empower and inspire each other.   This year, the show is being held for the first time at The Virginia Theater downtown and is now surrounded by a weekend full of fun events called Ladyfest.

Ladyfest weekend is the culmination of the efforts of The She Said Project to promote women, women’s causes, businesses and organization.  And this year, Junior League of Champaign-Urbana gets to “take the stage” so to speak.  Our organization is kicking off Ladyfest Weekend with a Ladies Night Out Party on Thursday, October 15, 7-10 pm at Big Grove Tavern in downtown Champaign.


“When we learned about the creation of Ladyfest, it was immediately clear that Junior League should be involved,” says Heather Vazquez, this year’s JLCU President.   “Our organization boasts countless members who could tell so many moving stories; stories about the lives that have been affected by the projects that JLCU has launched over the years; stories about how the organization has made a difference in their lives.   Working with That’s What She Said to launch the weekend of events is the perfect partnership.”

The Main Event, the That’s What She Said show, will be performed at The Virginia Theater on Saturday, October 17th at 7 pm.  JLCU will be well represented on the stage that night, as well.  One of the featured speakers is Becca Guyette, a sustaining member, and she will be delighting the audience with a personal story.  The show is being co-directed this year by Jenette Jurczyk, VP of Membership, who is excited to be “dusting off her theater degree” and getting down and dirty with the production.


Ladyfest weekend will also be featuring other amazing events, such as a Speakeasy, a Painting Exhibit and Party by Lola’s Brush, Movie Screenings by Mowgli Studios, The Purpose Project, an interactive session, a Roller Derby, and a Makerbot workshop.  You can learn about all the events on Facebook here:   https://www.facebook.com/events/413267312188293/

A year and a half ago, Soul Journey was born out of The She Said Project.   These organized mission trips to Haiti take volunteers to help out at God Littlest Angels orphanage, which was founded by a couple from Monticello.  Now these women have some stories to tell – about the lives of the children and the women who work there that they interacted with.  JLCU’s very own Jen Schmidt just returned from the most recent mission.  Crystal Odoms and former president Lori Larson have also participated on this unique and powerful journey.

We cannot wait to see what other great accomplishments will come out of these two fantastic organizations!

Promise Healthcare

Promise Healthcare is dedicated to improving the health of the community through treatment, prevention, and education. They
deliver primary medical, behavioral health, and dental services to the underserved through Frances Nelson, SmileHealthy dental programs, and satellite clinics. These services are offered to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Promise Healthcare is a growing family practice clinic serving patients of all ages from prenatal care to chronic disease. Forty to Fifty new patients
establish care with Promise every week. Some of Promise Healthcare patients have shared their stories about other services that Promise provides:
-Josefina had lost five babies to uncontrolled diabetes in the first trimester before she received help from Promise Healthcare. “I really believe that my baby would not be here if it wasn’t for Promise Healthcare,” said Josefina in an interview. She was able to get her diabetes under control and now has a 4 month old baby girl.
– Anne was struggling with her mental and physical health. She felt like there was no help in a doctor’s office, that she was nothing more than a patient in a waiting room. Anne began visiting Promise often and now believes “The care you get at Promise Healthcare is top quality. It is better than anywhere else I have visited.”
– Pam’s son had an abscess tooth that he had gone t o the emergency room 3 times and was still not relieved of the pain. “My son lost 20 pounds because nothing was being done for his tooth. When I told Dr. Derum she helped me get him in for an
emergency appointment at SmileHealthy. He now has gained the weight back and feels much better.”
Changing lives like these are only possible through community awareness and support. This care is only possible through community investment. 13% of Promise’s funding comes from a federal grant. 60% from patient insurance and fees. The balance of Promise’s funding is donated by community members, organizations, and grants. Promise Healthcare can make great use of donations, in-kind support, and ongoing volunteers. Contact Megan Casey, Development and Marketing Coordinator for Promise Healthcare to learn how you can help changes lives at (217) 403-5427 or mcasey@promisehealth.org.
Follow the link for tickets and more information: 2nd Annual Gala and Fundraiser Performance and Reception