A Message From Mary Ellen Shaffer, JLCD President
When I walked into my first Junior League meeting I was filled with so much nervous anticipation. Would I make new friends? Would I find a place where I could learn and grow? Would I be able to make a difference in the community? Now, seven years later, I can resoundingly say “Yes!”. Our local League and International Association have given me so much, and it is with great excitement that I look forward to beginning my two-year term as President. I want all League members to find the same fulfillment in their League experience. There are many things that go into a meaningful League experience, but two things that
I think make the most difference are risk taking and building relationships.
Being willing to take the risk:
Our League just finished celebrating a large milestone with our 70th anniversary. During that time we looked back at all we have accomplished. When we truly examine our accomplishments, we see the women that risked so much to make meaningful changes for people in our community. Members of the Board of Directors have been busy looking forward to forge a path into the future so that the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin can continue to carry its mission forward successfully. However, we have to be willing to think outside the box, partner with new people, and try things we’ve never done before. It may also mean letting go of things that have served their useful and wonderful purpose. Individually we have to take risk, and as a League we have to take risk if we are going to continue to make meaningful change.
During my presidency, I look forward to watching our League thrive. This goes beyond just our fantastic events like Art Harvest, Done in a Day with our community schools, and Little Black Dress Initiative. I am excited to watch women push their limits, learn new skills, work outside their comfort zones, and accept new leadership positions within the League and in the community.
After all, the League strives to train women to be effective change makers.
I also look forward to discovering new ways to meet and reach women. JLCD will be working on a new Diversity and Inclusion program to examine how we reach out to women in our community, and how we could be doing more to reach ALL women and offer all of the fantastic
benefits to being a member of the Junior League. It is exciting to continue to build relationships with our community partners – our relationships with our schools continue to solidify. But I also look forward to our League building new community partner relationships, like with the Juvenile Welfare Board who plans to support and enhance some of our community events.
I hope to continue to build the relationships with our sister Leagues in St. Petersburg and across the bay in Tampa. We know that there is power in voice when we work together. We can combine our voices to help bring more awareness to our common issue of poverty and wellness.
Finally, I hope that we can continue to build strong relationships with all of our members, because whether you wear the title of New, Active, or Sustainer, we all share the position of member. It is the powerful bond of friendship that brings us together. Finding connection with one another helps create meaningful experiences as we work in the community, learn more about our impact issue, or participate in one of our many JLCD events.