Guest speaker Gwin Londrigin, the Area III director of the Associated Junior League International, helped the Junior League of Albany celebrate 80 years of service Thursday at the Merry Acres Event Center. The local group of volunteer women began as the Albany Hospital League in 1931.
ALBANY, Ga. — The Junior League of Albany celebrated 80 years of service to the community Thursday at the Merry Acres Event Center.
The group of women volunteers traces its formal beginning to 1931 when Mrs. J.C. Keaton and 15 of her friends met and elected a staff of officers to organize volunteer aid for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, according to Junior League board member Kathryn Fletcher. Keaton’s organization, the Albany Hospital League, was accepted into the national Junior League organization in 1964.
Thursday’s meeting was specifically for League “sustainers,” Fletcher said, or previously active members who have served eight years or attained the age of 40 and have elected to change their designation. Sustainers pay slightly lower dues, according to Fletcher, and have fewer membership requirements.
Also attending Thursday’s meeting were Junior League of Albany community partners representing The Veranda, Mint Julep and U Save-It Pharmacy. Fletcher said League partners contribute $250 or more each year to the organization.
During Thursday’s meeting, oversized checks representing League donations of $8,000 to Albany Autism, $8,000 to the Lily Pad and $4,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network were presented.
Speaking at the event was Gwin Londrigin, Area III director of the Associated Junior Leagues International, who delivered a graphic presentation on the ongoing benefits of AJLI. According to Fletcher, organization membership is required for each of the 293 local Junior Leagues in the United States, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. There are 12 Junior League organizations in Georgia.
According to Fletcher, the Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism that reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to volunteerism. The upcoming president of the AJL is Stephanie Fountain, who will take office May 31, 2013, with the departure of current president Krista Mock.
The first Junior League was founded in 1901 in New York City, Fletcher said.