September 24, 2012

DIAD with Relay for Life Menlo Park

By Angela Rodriguez, Done In A Day Committee Member

I am not a morning person. The early bird may get the worm, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese, right? So when my alarm went off bright and early on a Saturday, I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through the day, let alone a Relay for Life Done-in-A-Day event!

We, the fabulous Junior League of Palo Alto Mid-Pennisula of course, partnered with Relay for Life Menlo Park and provided some extra hands to work the Survivors Tent at the relay. 

DIAD: Relay for Life Menlo Park, Junior Leaguers
working the Survivors Tent

If you haven't heard of Relay for Life here is a quick run down.

• Overnight relay-style event 
• Teams of people camp out around a track 
• Members of each team take turns walking around the track for the duration of the event 
• Food, games, and activities provide entertainment and fundraising opportunities 
• Family-friendly environment for the entire community 
• Supports the American Cancer Society
• More info here: 

Once I made it to Burgess Park, along with my other Junior Leaguers, it was clear that the day was going to be a memorable one and well worth the early rise! The event began at 9am and we began checking in the cancer survivors at our tent. The survivors‚ friendliness, warmth, and general zeal for life was really inspiring. 

DIAD: Relay for Life Menlo Park, Opening Ceremony Speaker,
Dr. Linda Huntimer, telling her story

The Opening Ceremony was next, and we had the honor of hearing the stories of survivors: when they received their diagnosis, the struggles they encountered, their family and friends experiences, and how they fought and joined the cause to find a cure.

When the Survivors Lap began, led by the Stuart Highlanders Pipe Band, it was quite the tearjerker; especially when their families and caregivers joined them on their walk. It reminded me of my family walking alongside my grandmother and her fight, a two-time cancer survivor. 

I remember in high school going to Relay for Life every year. A group of us would grab a tent, bags of string cheese and beef jerky (don't judge our teenage eating habits), and camp out all night around the high school track where the event was held every year. I remember making my grandmother a single Luminaria bag, which became a part of the hundreds of candle lit bags that lined the track. I made another one for her this time as well. 

All in all, I am glad that we were able to support this great organization and cause that is so close to my heart. Done-in-a-Day Junior League projects are always fun to attend, and this one is no exception. Here is to more early mornings for Relay for Life!

DIAD: Relay for Life Menlo Park,
Junior Leaguers with event speaker, Dr. Huntimer

September 21, 2012

DIAD: My New Red Shoes

By Emily Cunningham, Done In A Day Co-Chair

My New Red Shoes provides brand new clothing and shoes to underprivileged children in the Bay Area, just before the first day of school. By providing kids with appropriate school clothing that they can feel great wearing, My New Red Shoes aims to help kids succeed in school by increasing their preparedness and confidence while minimizing barriers to learning. 

Done in a Day volunteers visited My New Red Shoes‚ Redwood Shores office on July 25 to help them package up gift bags for distribution to the children, marking our sixth year of working with My New Red Shoes. Working together with the My New Red Shoes volunteer team, we assembled 2,000 hand-sewn bags with a handwritten note and a pair of shoes, uniquely selected for each child with their favorite color in mind. 

Don't the colorful bags look fun?

DIAD: My New Red Shoes Packing for Pride event on July 25

Sept 12 GMM Recap

By Lianne Avila, Communications Committee

The meeting started out with a great welcome from our President, Rahela Abbas. We also welcomed the 2012-2013 Provisional Class. 

Our next Done in a Day (DIAD) will be our 12th Annual Pancake Breakfast on October 6th from 7-11 A.M. at the Menlo Park Fire District Headquarters (300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, 94025). This is one of our biggest DIAD. If you haven't already, make sure to sign up for a volunteer shift. 

Our special guest speaker was Marina Park. She is the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northern California. The Girl Scouts started 100 years ago and has provided support for girls going into leadership. Marina is an excellent leader herself she started as an Attorney and after 25 years in the field of law she moved over to the non-profit world. She has received The Most Influential in Business Award from the San Francisco Times since 2006.

JLPA-MP Supports the CASE Act. Vote YES on 35 on November 13, 2012. Neighborhood Meetings were a hit last year and the schedule for October Neighborhood Meetings is on the web page -- make sure you sign up. This does count towards the requirement for General Membership Meetings. 

It's that time of year again -- turn in your Leadership Nominations to Jan Woosley for Joy Peacock's Board.

Save the Date: The Blues Jean Bar is coming to The Shop for a fundraising event. Saturday, September 29, 2012 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Enjoy 10% off of your Blues Jean Bar purchases. The Blues Jean Bar will donate 15% of the total sales for the day to the JLPA-MP. 

The fifth annual Finishing Touches: A Holiday Tour of Fine Homes & Boutique Friday and Saturday, November 30 - December 1, 2012 at Rosewood Sandhill. A fundraiser benefiting the JLPA-MP and its community based projects. Sign up on the website for a volunteer shift or buy tickets. 

Next General Membership Meeting: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 6:15 to 9:00 P.M. Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, Cultural Arts Hall, Building F 3921 Fabian Way Palo Alto, 94303

Our DIAD co-chairs and John Johnson from the MPFD

Some of the wonderful members of the Membership Enrichment committee

September 19, 2012

Provisional Retreat Serves Up a Taste of What's to Come

By Robin Hindery Enan, 2012-13 Provisional Member

How to sum up last weekend's Provisional Class Retreat? We laughed, we bonded, we met cute firefighters...

The September 8, 2012 event at the Menlo Circus Club was a great way to kick off our League membership and start getting to know some of our fabulous fellow Provisionals. What's more, it offered a tantalizing tasting menu of all the activities and opportunities that will be coming our way over the next year.

Our day started bright and early (well, early for those of us without young children at home) at 9 a.m. After allowing us time to properly caffeinate and meet our tablemates and mentors, our fearless leader, Jacquetta Lannan, shared her recollections of her own retreat, when she--a 30-year-old lawyer--found herself seated next to an older woman who declared that she was joining in order to meet women who weren't all 30-year-old lawyers. Talk about awkward! Luckily, we soon realized that the member in question, Valarie Dennis, was sitting in the room, cracking up. Not only are she and Jacquetta now great friends, but they're working together on the Provisional Committee.

League President Rahela Abbas was up next to welcome us and shed some light on who this year's 78 Provisionals are as a group: a diverse, highly educated collection of women with a strong affinity for mac n' cheese (at least judging by our responses to the "Favorite Comfort Food" icebreaker). We're also a courageous bunch, whether it comes to jumping out of airplanes, studying or working in a foreign country, or channeling our inner Mariah Carey in the shower.

More importantly, like the many League members who came before us, we're looking to broaden our circle of friends and give back to our community. A post-lunch scavenger hunt through Menlo Park took us to some of the spots where that will happen, including the Menlo Park Fire District Headquarters (home of both the annual Pancake Breakfast and the aforementioned cute firefighters), the Gatehouse and The Shop (site of many future volunteering shifts and shopping sprees).

Not on the itinerary, but conveniently located just steps away from The Shop, was the Sugar Shack, whose bubbly owner (and JLPA-MP Sustainer) Suzi Tinsley, had us in stitches during a morning talk at the retreat. Suzi credits the moral support and networking skills of her League friends for helping her realize her long-held dream of starting a candy store.

I think it's safe to say that all of us ended the day energized, inspired and ready to dive in to our Provisional year. We look forward to meeting the rest of you and continuing the proud JLPA-MP tradition! 

Sustainer Suzi Tinsley shares what the League has meant to her