JLGO History

For more than 70 years The Junior League of Greater Orlando, Florida, Inc. has worked to help enact change in the Central Florida community. Here are some of the highlights of our dedication to service:

The First Follies (1930s) – In 1935, the League hosted the first Follies, which raised $1200 for Fair Oaks, a facility for children removed from unstable homes.


January 29, 1947 – The Junior Welfare Association of Orlando becomes the Junior League of Orlando

1948-1949 – Brought Children’s Theater production of Sleeping Beauty to all Orange County Schools

1949-1950 – Established a three-year scholarship at the Orange Memorial School of Nursing

The Fifties Focus on Service (1950s)

The League launches the Volunteer Service Bureau (eventually evolving into the Heart of Florida United Way) and ventures into radio with Let’s Listen – a weekly radio series of educational programming.1950JLGOHistory2

1950-1951 – Earned over $4000 from thrift store sales

1951-1952 – Established Baby Clothes Drawer at Orange Memorial Hospital

1952-1953 – Worked with Orange County Guidance Clinic

1953-1954 – Hosted ball to benefit Florida Symphony Orchestra youth concerts

1954-1955 – Adopted the Orlando Youth Center as a community service project

1955-1956 – Sponsored first local performance of FSU Circus

1956-1957 – Earned $1500 with Bundles coffee

1957-1958 – Cooperated with Sentinel Star Book Fair; Junior Service League of Winter Park formed by Mrs. J. R. Rozier and 72 charter members

1958-1959 – League members sat on over 25 community Boards

1959-1960 – Received recognition from Board of Public Instruction for Children’s Theater

1960-1961 – Opened The Bargain Box Resale Shop to serve the community’s need for a place for less fortunate families to buy new and gently used clothes and household goods

1961-1962 – Sponsored music programs on WDBO/National Public Radio

1962-1963 – Sponsored Saturday children’s movie series

1963-1964 – Created Artmobile – a traveling gallery in a school bus that reached 20,000 children

1964-1965 – Began docent course at Loch Haven Art Museum

1965-1966 – Hosted The Bargain Box and Spring Fling Fashion Show with Lily Pulitzer of Palm Beach

1966-1967 – Brought puppeteer program “Barnyard Visitors” to exceptional schools and kindergartens

1967-1968 – Prepared a guidebook for the handicapped for the Orlando-Winter Park area as a part of a national program to eliminate architectural barriers

1968-1969 – Assisted with the rehabilitation of brain-damaged children

1969-1970 – Formed Community Advisory Committee seeking advice on how to best serve the community – today it is called the Community Advisory Board

1970-1971 – Established the Department of School Volunteer Services (ADDitions)

1971-1972 – Received $1000 Walt Disney Community Service Award

1972-1973 – Voted to merge Junior League of Orlando and Junior Service League of Winter Park, forming the Junior League of Orlando-Winter Park

League members participate in opening day at the “Twice as Nice” thrift shop, now known as the Bargain Box, in September 1973.70sthrift_5

1973-1974 – The Bargain Box Resale Shop moved to its new location in Winter Park

1974-1975 – Funded $10,000 scholarship endowment to Rollins College; Junior League of Orlando-Winter Park was officially accepted as a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), making our chapter the largest in Florida at the time

1974-1976 – Sponsored bicentennial TV public service announcements on volunteerism

1976-1977 – Enlightened 50,000 children with the Discovery Room project at John Young Museum and Planetarium

1977-1978 – Organized media campaign and Community Task Force to advocate for abused and neglected children

1978-1979 – Lobbied for increased funding for children’s mental health services

1979-1980 – Year-end Active membership topped 400 – 46% were professionals

1980-1981 – Members served on 42 community boards

1981-1982 – Collaborated with Valencia Community College on terrorism conference

1982-1983 – Dedicated historical Walker-Hendry House as Headquarters

1983-1984 – Initiated Parent Drug Education and Arty-Facts

1984-1985 – Began Partners in Education coalition with Orange County Public Schools and Orlando Chamber of Commerce

1985-1986 – Became 20th largest Junior League chapter in the United States

1986-1987 – Initiated Woman to Woman, an alcohol awareness and educational program

1987-1988 – Sustaining members established Endowment Fund

1988-1989 – Implemented Teen Outreach Program to teach life decision-making skills to middle school students

1989-1990 – Hosted Impact 90, a community leadership breakfast

50 Years of History (1990s)

JLGO celebrates 50 years of Community Commitment!  We become Junior League of Greater Orlando, Inc. with a focus on Child Health & Development.50thanncollage_001_sm2

1990-1991 – Opened Crisis Nursery

1991-1992 – Changed our name to The Junior League of Greater Orlando, Florida, Inc.

1992-1993 – Reached over 2000 young people with a rape awareness program

1993-1994 – Collaborated with Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood and 21 other women’s organizations to initiate Diverse Discussions

1994-1995 – Earned National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award

1995-1996 – Received Walt Disney Community Award for Fast Friends

1996-1997 – Received awards from Great Oaks Village for Footsteps to Success and from the Youth Advisory Board for Rock Haven

1997-1998 – Opened the Family Support and Visitation Center (FSVC)

1998-1999 – Introduced A Sunsational Encore cookbook

1999-2000 – Year end membership of 1,200, with 80% professionals

2000-2001 – Celebrated 40th anniversary of The Bargain Box Resale Shop

2001-2002 – Celebrated 100th anniversary of the founding of the first Junior League in New York City; Nordstrom Department Stores became a community partner

2002-2003 – Unveiled new logo and League branding campaign to increase community awareness of our efforts; hosted first GALA event

2003-2004 – Received $2500 grant from the Orlando/Orange County Expressway Authority to be given to a young woman from Great Oaks Village entering college; approved recommendation for two Provisional (new member) classes each League year, opening the door for more women to join JLGO.

2004-2005 – Began partnership with Harbor House for the Teens Ending Abusive Relationships (TEAR) Program; Orlando Regional Healthcare became official General Membership Meeting sponsor.

2005-2006 – Began making domestic abuse presentations to Orange County Public School students through Teens Ending Abusive Relationships (TEAR)

Information provided by A Historical Perspective of the Junior League of Greater Orlando, Inc.

2006-2007 – The Learning Lab in the Women’s Residental Counseling Center (WRCC) opened to provide tutoring to school-aged residents and life-skills presentations to women

2007-2008 – Kids in the Kitchen Inaugural event drew corporate sponsors and over 400 community members

2008 – 60th Anniversary

In 2008, spearheaded by the League’s 60th Anniversary Committee, JLGO embraced the spirit of celebration. At our General Membership Meeting on January 22, 2008, the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) President, Sandi Kemmish, helped kick off the celebration.


Each member and committee within the League enjoyed the year-long celebration, which included the debut of a new logo, a new advertising campaign, a 60th Anniversary Luncheon, decade-themed general membership meetings and even prizes for the committee or member who showed the most 60th Anniversary Spirit.

60th Anniversary Advertising Campaign


Thanks to an anonymous donation earmarked for advertising purposes in conjunction with the League’s 60th Anniversary, the Junior League of Greater Orlando kicked the celebration up a notch with a small advertising campaign. Approximately one-dozen billboards, such as the one pictured above, were posted throughout our community!


Furthermore, through a donation of creative services by Fry Hammond Barr, a full-service advertising agency based in Orlando, two ads appeared throughout Central Florida. A print ad was produced and appeared in Orlando Magazine, Orlando Leisure, and Lifestyle Publications January issues.

60th Anniversary Luncheon


On January 23, 2008, the JLGO hosted a 60th Anniversary Luncheon to recognize the successful partnerships between the League and community partners past and present. The event included many community partners, past JLGO presidents, the League’s Community Advisory Board members, current JLGO Board members and active members.

The Association of Junior Leagues International President, Sandi Kemmish, served as the keynote speaker for the luncheon. Sandi Kemmish is an Active member of the Junior League of Fort Wayne and began her Association service as an Area Director on the AJLI Board, 1997-1999. Sandi and her husband, Kirk, have one son, Chad, daughter-in-law, Samantha, and two granddaughters Ainsley and Haley-Kate, who reside in Memphis, TN


Mary Harriman 2008 award luncheon

Florida Secretary of State and former Orlando Mayor, Glenda E. Hood, was awarded the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.’s highest honor: the Mary Harriman award for her efforts to bring people together to improve communities at the 86th AJLI conference.

2008-2009 – The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) honored past president Glenda Hood with the Mary Harriman Leadership Award

2009-2010 – The Junior League of Greater Orlando was awarded the “Vision Award” honorable mention and cash from the Association of Junior Leagues International for fully engaging members and developing a strategic plan that had community impact at its core

2010-2011 – HIP (Healthy, Informed, Playful) Kids program is launched

2011-2012 – The Junior League of Greater Orlando received a national award from Kashi in support of their Kids in the Kitchen Program

2012-2013 – Grand opening is held for the new JLGO Headquarters and The Bargain Box Resale shop