By Anastasia Millicker
The Junior League of Monmouth County (JLMC) held its annual dinner Tuesday at the Rumson Country Club Boat House celebrating the club’s past initiatives and welcoming the new president Lauren Porter.
The JLMC also honored members for their service to the league during the dinner.
Bennett Coleman, Fair Haven, was honored for 20 years of service and Linda Bricker, Rumson, was honored for 30 years of service. The league also recognized Delly Beekman for her work as Association of Junior League International president from 2010 through 2012.
The Outstanding Leaguer Award was given to Megan Pelino, Fair Haven. The award is given to a member who exhibits qualities of leadership and teamwork, has sustained quality service, has made an impact in the organization and made a difference in the community, Porter said.
The JLMC is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving our community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. All of which, Porter said, she wants to continue and extend to the community using her team “we.”
“My goal for next year is to guide our league as we find a cause that we are passionate about, create a project that will make an indelible impact on the community, and champion change of which we can be proud,” Porter said.
Porter joined the New York Junior League in 2004 and transferred to the Junior League of Monmouth County in 2008. She has been on the community program committees, publishing committee, and served as fundraising chair and fund development director in her past years as part of the JLMC.
“I joined the Junior League because of the power of the organization and the empowerment I felt as a child participating in Junior League community efforts with my mother,” Porter said. “The Junior League is an organization women can join and not only have an incredible impact on their community but on themselves. Our members can use their many existing talents across the board and have not only a safe haven in which to discover new areas of interest, but a priceless wealth of knowledge to draw from in any instance.”
This year, the JLMC brought expert Bev Bos to Monmouth County for three different events about the field of early childhood education featuring seminars “How Do Our Children Grow?,” a community forum on early childhood brain development, and “Expanding Our Horizons,” and a community concert to celebrate the Month of the Young Child.
JLMC also hosted more than 250 local Daisy, Brownie, Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts for an afternoon of activities designed to educate the girls on the preparation of healthy snacks and meals and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Porter said the goal of the Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen initiative, which is supported by The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and its member leagues, is to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.
Another event the JLMC hosted this year was a forum for mothers and daughters in Middletown led by Miss Virginia USA 2002 Julie Marie Carrier.
Carrier also led an assembly, through the JLMC, for Keansburg students in grades 7-12 on the importance of building self-confidence and character, healthy choices and relationships, goal setting and dealing with peer pressure.
“It was amazing to see the empowerment of the young women in the room,” Porter said. “The young girls learned how to stand up, step out and learned what it means to be a woman of character and excellence.”
The JLMC holds its provisional meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at JLMC headquarters at 55 Center St., Rumson.