Presented by JuniorLeague of Scranton in partnership with Springboard Healthy Scranton.
The panel discussion speakers were: Bernadette Downey - No Kid Hungry, based in Washington, D.C.; Gretchen Hunt - Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank; Teri Ooms - The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development; Clancy Harrison - Community Registered Dietitian; Meghan Loftus - Friends of the Poor; and Missy McTiernan - Scranton School District.
Moderator: Brian Ebersole - Springboard Healthy Scranton
Touch A Truck is a one-day, interactive children’s event and family safety fair hosted by the JLS membership. The goal of the event is to allow children in the community to “touch” and experience a variety of different trucks and vehicles, while also providing to children and families several educational programs pertaining to safety and related themes throughout the day. These programs can be anything from stranger danger and seat belt safety to first aid and energy conservation. The Junior League of Scranton partners with local fire, police, and rescue units to bring the program to the community, as well as highlight local businesses that help sponsor the event.
The Junior League of Scranton's 10th Touch A Truck event is scheduled for September 22, 2018 at Nay Aug Park in Scranton
Throughout the year, the Junior League of Scranton organizes several 'Kids in the Kitchen' events. The purpose of Kids in the Kitchen is to empower youth in the community to make healthy lifestyle choices and in turn, reverse the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and its associated health risks. JLS has hosted Kids in the Kitchen at numerous locations around the Scranton area, such as the Green Ridge Library, Friends of the Poor, the Boys and Girls Club, and others.
The Junior League of Scranton performs numerous 'Done in a Day' projects over the course of a year. These projects allow our members to get out in the community and put their volunteers skills to work with many different organizations. Over the course of a year, JLS members may participate in over 15 Done in a Day projects. Past projects include, AJLI's Kids in the Kitchen, a healthy eating initiative which JLS hosted at numerous locations around Scranton; a Halloween party for children of the Catherine McAuley Center; holiday caroling at local nursing facilities as well as holiday decorating and meal preparation at the Ronald McDonald House. These and other Done in a Day projects allow our members to reach out to local organizations and broaden our impact in the community.
The Junior League of Scranton's 2016-2017 Provisional Class project was 'The Crockpot Cookery.' This event provided a free cooking demonstration to women in transition, teaching them how to cook healthy meals with a slow cooker. A slow cooker is not "just another kitchen tool"; it can serve as a reasonable means to feed an entire family after a long day. The Cookery aims to raise awareness on nutrition by providing each participant with healthy recipes, and a list of local resources, to include local food banks and economically-priced grocery stores. After the cooking demonstration, the Provisional members hosted a dinner so the Cookery participants could enjoy each of the recipes demonstrated during the class. Each participant was able to take home a slow cooker and a gift basket of essential kitchen tools in an effort to continue our mission to bring awareness to childhood hunger and nutrition.
Project Vitality was a community project of the Junior League of Scranton focusing on park and neighborhood revitalization. Our goal was to revitalize and spruce up neighborhoods all around Scranton, as well as eliminate graffiti and clean up litter -- all while empowering local neighbors to be proud of their neighborhoods and maintain the vitality. We worked with the Catherine McAuley Center in Scranton to plant a community vegetable and fruit garden with their clients at the center on Pittston Avenue. Through planting four garden beds, potatoes and trellises of sunflowers with the women, we hoped to instill a sense of pride in them and help them to maintain the garden. We also partnered with the Frances Warde House, a residence of the Catherine McAuley Center, to do a spring clean-up and plant a flower garden with their residents. Junior League members have done clean-ups at Gerrity Park in North Scranton and at Catherine McAuley’s Frances Warde House as part of Project Vitality. Junior League members also assisted with a playground build in Factoryville near Lackawanna Trail Elementary School in June 2014.
The Junior League of Scranton completed its final Cinderella’s Closet Unique Boutique in April 2013. Over the past 10 years, this community event grew and changed in many wonderful ways. The first few of these events were held at the Junior League homestead, The Tripp House in Scranton. The Boutique grew beyond the walls of the historic home, from which it was transitioned to the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple. The Junior League added a Fashion Show with high school models to provide girls the opportunity to preview dresses available at the unique boutique and ESTEEMTOWN, a self-esteem workshop of activities promoting self-worth. These workshops reminded all young women the importance of self-confidence and inner beauty.
Cinderella’s Closet Unique Boutique goal was to give as many young women as possible the opportunity to attend a formal event and feel like “the bell of the ball.” Proceeds from the boutique benefited the Junior League of Scranton’s Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship is awarded by the League, through an application process, to a young woman who is in her senior year of high school. The Junior League of Scranton will utilize a different fundraiser for its scholarship in future years.
The collection of dresses grew each year and the attendance of high school girls exceeded the expectations of the Junior League. The storage of donated dresses became an expense for the Junior League, but thankfully, The Mall at Steamtown offered free space to store the hundreds of beautiful gowns collected each year. The last Cinderella’s Closet had record attendance and dress sales. The young ladies were treated to a boutique shopping experience, complete with personal attendants, a DJ, and more than 2,000 gowns, shoes and accessories from which to choose – all for $10 and under. Nearly 400 girls attended the event representing 14 school districts in Northeastern PA.
With the Boutique growing larger each year, the Junior League of Scranton decided that the event should become its own entity, a non-profit organization supported by community members as well as individual members of the Junior League of Scranton. The newly formed local organization will take the reins of the annual spring tradition of “Cinderella's Closet” under the direction of the new non-profit organization, Cinderella’s Closet of NEPA.
Anyone interested in becoming a part of the Cinderella’s Closet of NEPA or donating dresses can e-mail CCofNEPA@gmail.com. The mailing address of the organization is: Cinderella’s Closet of NEPA, P.O. Box 20133, Scranton, PA 18502.