Lily Pad Interim Executive Director Amy Boney conducts the Junior League Closet dedication ceremony Tuesday at the Lily Pad on W. 2nd Avenue. The Junior League of Albany Lily Pad Closet is a signature project and provides an assortment of clothing and other items for children and adults who have suffered abuse.
ALBANY, Ga. -- About 20 women missed out on a scheduled tour of the Lily Pad crisis center Wednesday evening when they dedicated a closet full of toys, personal hygiene items, clothes and more for those in need.
Lily Pad officials canceled the tour because the work at the center for abused women and children comes first.
Two children and their mother, escorted by an Albany Police Department officer, showed up just as members of the Junior League of Albany walked into the center at 320 W. Second Ave.
"They are our priority," said Amy Boney, interim Lily Pad director. "We are here to serve them. They come first."
The brightly-clad women chatted in a playroom where the newly named Junior League Closet holds resources needed by children and adults who have suffered from sexual assault and other forms of abuse.
Many times when children and adults flee from abusive relationships, they leave the essentials behind. The items are provided free of charge to clients.
"We vote on a project to work on. This is our two-year signature project," said Stephanie Fountain, Junior League president. "We'll have two fundraisers to raise money for whatever the Lily pad tells us they need -- pajamas, underwear, clothes, toys, whatever the abused need to carry on."
The club has a membership list that is growing, Fountain said. There are 90 active members and about 250 members who have gone through active membership for seven years and are now known as "sustainers."
The Junior Leaguers have an interest in helping the community become healthy in its relationships. The women also have a chance to connect in their community through the organization.
Andrea Krimmel, a Lee High School Spanish teacher, moved to the area a couple of years ago from Knoxville, Tenn. Krimmel said she found a way to become connected through the Junior League.
"I joined two weeks ago. I found a way to become a part of a bigger organization that does good within the community," Krimmel said. "And this is just a good place for me to meet other people."
Another new member, Amanda Gates, agreed.
"The Junior League helps all kinds of non-profit organizations," Gates said. "It is a good outlet to help people and to get together for a good cause."