May 31, 2012

2011-12 Communications Wrap Up

By Summer Brill, 2011-12 Communications VP

Summer Brill
I want to take a moment to thank the Communications Committee of 2011-12 for their awesome teamwork this year! Together, we accomplished so much and I so appreciate the effort our committee members put into improving the efficiency of our communications and increasing the exposure of our League work to our members and community. I hope to have the opportunity to work with each of these ladies again as they really energized and inspired me this year.

We have two great staff members who also contribute to the Communications Committee, in addition to their other League workload. Kris Spencer Jones handles all of our graphic design work for all of our communications needs including Piper. She also worked hard this year to create our online pre-branded templates and the League banners you will begin to see at our League events. There is not enough room on this page to highlight all she does to help us out, but we thank you very much Kris! Kathy Moran has also joined in on the communications fun and is now helping with some of the website administration. She works on the calendar and registration and this has really freed up our volunteer website manager to focus on website content. Thank you Kris and Kathy!

I also want to thank our 2011-12 League President, Meaux Costello, and our Board. They were very enthusiastic supporters of our Committee’s work and without their support I do not think we would have been able to move many of our ideas forward.

And to all our members, thank you for rolling with all the changes to our Communications processes throughout the year. It is not easy to continue to carry on your League duties when the rules are changing simultaneously (and seemingly constantly!), but we appreciate your understanding and adoption of our Web Forms, Branding Policy and Templates so quickly.

It was a very rewarding experience to serve on Communications this year. I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the work of our Committee this year and remind you of the tools and resources you have for your communications needs for your committees going forward:

  • League branded t-shirts: wear them with pride when you represent the League, thank you to our sponsor Courtney Charney for your generous donation and support!
  • Online League Merchandise: Now you can purchase your own JLPA-MP branded merchandise and apparel! Check out our store (This is not a fundraiser for the League)
  • Web Forms: Find them in the Communications section of the website and submit all of your marketing requests for eNews and social media and your Calendar and Registration requests. Don’t forget to get your content approved first!
  • Branding Policy: Our Board approved a League Branding policy to ensure consistent use of our League Brand to increase our visibility in the community. You will continue to receive training on this throughout the year.
  • Branded Templates: Find them in the Communications section of the website. Templates were created to help streamline the marketing approval process and maintain the Branding Policy. These templates are your flyers, postcards and invitations for both public and League only events.
  • Online Member Spotlight Forms: Love reading about your fellow members on our Blog? The process is now streamlined online, keep an eye on eNews, Facebook and the Member Landing Page for the latest survey and participate!
  • League Video on Website: We now have a short video highlighting what we do and how we do it. It is housed on the front page of our website and is a great resource to point potential donors and prospective members to for more information on our League.
  • Policies and Guidelines online: We are moving toward laying out our guidelines and policies directly on our website so they are easier to find and understand. Checkout the Guidelines Tab in the Communications section of the website. We will continue to update this section, so check back often.
  • Piper Update: Our Piper team updated our magazine layout with photos of our contributing members and references to more information on our website and social media. It has a fresh look and feel…up next…iPiper???
  • Reporters: We introduced League Reporters this year who went out to attend League events and write Facebook, Blog and Piper articles on our League activities. This resulted in an increase in Blog participants and more coverage on our League events. To request a Reporter to attend your event, submit a Reporter Request Form in Web Forms.

Have a great 2012-13 League year!

May 21, 2012

JLPA-MP Announces 2012 Recipients of Community Grants

The Project Development Committee of the Junior League of Palo Alto Mid•Peninsula is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of Community Grants. The League funded a total of $42,500 in Community Grants, serving the needs of 11 organizations in our community. Awards are granted annually to non-profit organizations in communities supported by the League: Atherton, Belmont, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, Stanford, Sunnyvale, and Woodside.

Community Grant Recipients: Jon Lemke (Reading Partners); Betsy Noonen (Spark); Ann-Christel Graham (Community VP), Mike Berman (EPAPA); Joanna Bradshaw (EPAPA); Beth Greenberg (Project Development Co-Chair); Ashley Riley (Fit Kids Foundation); Julie Cates (ALearn)

“Our goal this year was to fund projects that support the mission of the League and have the widest impact in the community,” said Beth Greenberg and Nicole Neal Co-Chairs of the Project Development Committee. “We are especially excited about supporting childhood literacy, fitness programs, family counseling, and domestic violence resources.”

The 2012 grant recipients are:

1. ALearn ($5,000)
Grant goal: Funding will supply teaching and testing materials for the Catalyst Summer Bridge program for students in underserved communities as they work towards entering and succeeding in college.

2. Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy ($5,000)
Grant goal: Funding will “seed” the school's library and support the purchase of leveled reading sets which will be used by four different grades.

3. Building Futures Now ($4,000)
Grant goal: Funding will support academic supplies and enrichment trips for students as part of a mentoring program that empowers students to succeed in middle school, high school and beyond.

4. Collective Roots ($2,500)
Grant goal: Funding will provide in-school and after-school learning programs at several elementary schools in Redwood City and East Palo Alto, focused on gardening, sustainability and nutrition.

5. Family Connections ($4,500)
Grant goal: Funding will purchase materials for kindergarten readiness programs for low-income families.

6. Fit Kids Foundation ($5,000)
Grant goal: Funding will provide materials for after-school fitness education programs designed to instill an early love of sports and physical activity for children who do not have access to physical education programs at school.

7. Jean Weingarten Peninsula Oral School for the Deaf ($2,500)
Grant goal: Funding will provide equipment for speech therapy programs serving children from low-income families.

8. Maitri ($2,500)
Grant goal: Funding will contribute to transitional living expenses for South Asian women and children who are the victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, family conflict and cultural isolation.

9. Nuestra Casa ($1,500)
Grant goal: Funding will purchase five Sed de Saber systems for adult ESL programs dedicated to increasing civic participation and promoting economic self-sustainability in the Latino migrant population.

10. Reading Partners ($5,000)
Grant goal: Funding will help cover the costs of instruction materials, volunteer training and student assessment costs for literacy intervention programs serving children in low-income communities.

11. Spark ($5,000)
Grant goal: Funding will cover the costs for 10 middle school aged girls in underserved communities to become apprentices in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) professions.

About the Junior League of Palo Alto•Mid Peninsula, Inc.

The Junior League of Palo Alto•Mid Peninsula, Inc. (JLPA.MP) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

JLPA•MP provides ongoing support for its grants through its fundraisers: The Shop in Menlo Park, its annual Home Tour and its Endowment Fund. For more information visit our website at, our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter @JLPAMP.

May 18, 2012

JLPA-MP Mother's Day Feature III

By Michelle Hostrup and Amy Truel, Communications Team

Welcome to the JLPA-MP Mother's Day Special Edition Blog Feature. This is the third mother-daughter feature in a series of three. Check out the first published article from this series on May 13, 2012.

Was your mother a Junior League member?

PENNY LAVE: My mother was in the Junior League inLansing, Michigan, from 1935 to the 1970's. She is in the middle of the picture shown to the left. Back row: Penny Reynolds Lave, Eleanor Thoman Reynolds (mother), Elizabeth Thoman Moore. Front row: Julia Lave Johnston (daughter), Wendy Reynolds Barbo (sister who somehow escaped the Jr. League)!

CATHERINE VONNEGUT: My mother, Jean Ann Vonnegut, was in the Indianapolis League, from the 1950’s to 2009 (when she died).

Do you have a daughter who is a Junior League Member?

PENNY LAVE: Julia joined the Eugene Oregon League in the early 90s and transferred to the Sacramento League a few years later.

Describe your experience as a mother-daughter Junior League pair.

PENNY LAVE: I joined the Lansing league in 1960 and transferred right away to San Francisco as a Professional member (that is what we called members who worked and met at night) where I repeated the Provisional course, commuting from Palo Alto. We met at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. It wasn't until the 1970s after Palo Alto had become a League on its own that we had a Professional group. When I was President I chaired two membership meetings each month - one in the morning and one at night on the same day.

I never considered NOT joining the League - it was a way of life. My daughter joined while in graduate school and was quite a bit younger than the rest of the members in Eugene, a student and single. In Sacramento she was working and had babies and not enough time to enjoy it. Times change.

CATHERINE VONNEGUT: I helped my mother as a child in The Shop, when she was an art docent and at other League events. Since my grandmother was also a member, I was pre-destined to be a Junior League member I suppose!!

May 15, 2012

JLPA-MP Mother's Day Feature II

By Michelle Hostrup and Amy Truel, Communications Team

Welcome to the JLPA-MP Mother's Day Special Edition Blog Feature. This is the second mother-daughter feature in a series of three. Check out the first published article from this series on May 13, 2012.

Marcie and Beth Ann Brown
Is your mother in the Junior League?

BETH ANN: My mom was a transfer member to the JLPA-MP (in 1988, I think?) and continues to be involved this day.

Do you have a daughter who is a Junior League Member?

MARCIE: My daughter, Beth Ann Brown, is an Active in the JLPA-MP.

Describe your experience as a mother-daughter Junior League pair.
Beth Ann and Marcie

BETH ANN: It's been awesome! My mom went back to Active status after ten years Sustaining, so we could be active members together. We've done a lot of social events together and had a really good time. We enjoy each other's company and it's been fun for her to show me something she really enjoys.

MARCIE: Beth Ann encouraged me to change status from Sustainer to Active when she became an Active. Its been great to serve together!

May 13, 2012

JLPA-MP Mother's Day Feature I

By Michelle Hostrup and Amy Truel, Communications Team

In celebration of Mother's Day, the JLPA-MP is featuring mother-daughter Junior League pairs. This is the first blog article in a series of three articles. We hope you enjoying reading about these fabulous women - the special relationships they share and their commitment to the Junior League.  And a very Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!

Is/was your mother in the Junior League?

Samantha Quist and her mother, Helen Crow
SAMANTHA QUIST:  My mother was in the Junior League in Topeka, Kansas. I'm not sure exactly when, but roughly 1985-2000, and she's still a Sustainer (and won their most prestigious award for sustainers a couple years ago, go mom)!

BETH MARTIN: My mother was a member of the Des Moines, Iowa Junior League.

VANESSA ROACH: My mom (Pam Brandin) joined the JLPA-MP when I was 9 years old. I grew up hanging out at the Gatehouse. Things haven't changed much!

Do you have a daughter who is a Junior League Member?

Beth Martin (Sustainer) and her daughter, Megan Martin
BETH MARTIN: My daughter is in her first active year in the San Francisco Junior League.

Describe your experience as a mother-daughter Junior League pair.

BETH MARTIN: My mother's community service and the friends she made greatly influenced me. And my daughter grew up attending meetings with me from the time she was a newborn and always knew how important the League was to me. When she moved to San Francisco she thought it would be a great way to meet new women and get involved in the community. My niece also joined the Chicago Junior League and has loved meeting interesting women and getting involved in interesting projects/events in the Chicago area.

Vanessa Roach and her mother, Pam Brandin

VANESSA ROACH: As I mentioned, I grew up at the Gatehouse. My mom served as our President when I was in high school, which was pretty cool. When I served as our President in 2008-2009 I asked her to serve as our Sustainer Advisor, which was extremely special! Like my mom, I developed almost all of my leadership skills through the League. Also like my mom, most of my job training has come from the League. We both appreciate the amazing women and especially making a positive impact in our community. Now we enjoy attending the Past Presidents' Lunch together!

SAMANTHA QUIST: Although we didn't serve together, my mom told me it's the most impactful experience she's had (which is saying a lot, since her life is very full and packed with accomplishments). So, I was inspired to follow in her footsteps.

May 08, 2012

Shopping Success at Tory Burch

By Catherine Wilson, Communications Team

(L-R) Tory Burch employee, Sherri Douville, Sara Hollister and Meaux Costello
Rahela Abbas & Catherine Wilson
On April 26, Junior League members and their friends enjoyed an evening of shopping and socializing at Tory Burch in the Stanford Shopping Center. Among those in attendance were current League President Meaux Costello and incoming League President Rahela Abbas. Tory Burch donated 10% of all sales to the endowment fund, along with a 10% discount to shoppers.

Beth Ann & Marcie Brown
Throughout the evening guests nibbled hors d’oeuvres and sipped champagne in the intimate comfort of the Tory Burch store. Much of the conversation centered on the stunning and unique apparel that fills the store’s hangers. Yet most attendees ultimately gravitated toward the accessories that feature the trademark Tory Burch T medallion. This savvy shopper was delighted to find a simple black leather wallet with a bright cobalt interior. Look for me at the next general meeting – I’ll gladly be buying drinks so that I can pull out my new wallet to pay.