Celebrating 100 Years: Looking Back, Looking Forward
ABOUT THE CENTENNIAL
The Junior League of Buffalo was established according to the principle that women could and should make a meaningful contribution to society; an ideal that was first advanced by Mary Harriman in New York City as Founder of the Junior League in 1901 and borrowed in Buffalo in 1919 by Mary Crate Taylor as the Founding President of the Junior League of Buffalo. This same purpose endures today, 100 years later. Purpose is what unites us across generations and with 292 sister organizations of AJLI.
Since 1919, the Junior League of Buffalo has been investing in the welfare of Buffalo’s children, families, neighborhoods, and heritage. Through voluntarism, fundraising, and advocacy, the Junior League of Buffalo improves the quality of life for residents of Western New York. By delivering solutions in support of healthcare, nutrition, the arts, literacy, criminal justice, the environment, historic preservation and downtown revitalization, the Junior League of Buffalo empowers individuals and strengthens our community.
We are very proud of our legacy of service and our diverse impact on our local community. Finding the right balance between tradition and change has been critical to our longevity; indeed, our continued relevance depends on it. The historic occasion of our 100th anniversary is cause for both celebration and contemplation as we look back on our bright past and look forward to our brilliant future.
Starting in May 2018, we are launching a year of Centennial events to commemorate our historic birthday. Join us as we celebrate 100 years of impact and empowerment. Discover JLB. Discover partners for prosperity.
Since 1919, the Junior League of Buffalo has trained approximately 4600 women in voluntarism, advocacy, and fundraising. Our members have gone on to serve as leaders and influencers in business, academia, government and non-profits.
The Junior League of Buffalo actively fundraises to support its community impact and membership development efforts. The Follies, the Thrift Shop, and the Decorators’ Show House are among our well-known fundraisers. All proceeds support our mission and help us continue to positively impact the community we have proudly served for 100 years.
Since 1919, the Junior League of Buffalo has been investing in the welfare of Buffalo’s children, families, neighborhoods, and heritage. By delivering solutions in support of healthcare, nutrition, the arts, literacy, criminal justice, the environment, historic preservation and downtown revitalization, the Junior League of Buffalo empowers individuals and strengthens our community.
Did You Know?
During the Junior League of Buffalo’s early history, children and families were the primary recipients of JLB’s generosity.
Children and families continue to benefit from Junior League of Buffalo’s support today but our focus of concern has expanded to include the arts, literacy, criminal justice, the environment, historic preservation and downtown revitalization.
During the Junior League of Buffalo’s early history, membership was closed to a privileged few.
Today’s membership roster reflects our inclusive values. We welcome women of all races, ethnicities, religions, ages, and socio-economic classes.
For 85 years, Thrift Shop sales provided a continuous source of revenue and helped finance the Junior League of Buffalo’s scholarship, training, and community grant programs.
The Junior League of Buffalo and the Buffalo News will jointly present the 20th Decorators’ Show House in 2019. Over $4.1M in proceeds have already been returned to the community.
Points of Pride
In 1921, the Junior League purchased a Thrift Shop for $1.00 from the Red Cross. The Thrift Shop was a continuous money raising activity for the League from 1921 until its final closure in late 2006. It was the first thrift shop among the members of the Association of Junior Leagues.
In 1949, the doors of the Cerebral Palsy Young Adult Center were opened to young people in an effort to meet their recreational needs. The Center, one of the first in the country, was guided to success by a Steering Committee on which the Junior League was well represented.
In 1965, the Junior League formed a Community Education Council with 35 organizations as charter members.
In 1967, the Junior League combined efforts and funds with those of the Community Welfare Council and established a Community Volunteer Bureau.
In 1970-71, the Junior League assisted with the formation of the Environmental Clearing House Organization.
In 1976-77, the “Options” Program for women at the Erie County Correctional Facility received national recognition from the Institute of Government.
In 1980-81, in partnership with the Buffalo News, the Junior League hosted Western New York’s first biannual Decorators’ Show House.
In 1987-88, the Junior League sponsored the formation of Leadership Buffalo in cooperation with the Greater Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.
In 1994-95, the Junior League introduced LEAF (Learning, Empowerment, and Families), a family literacy program. As a result, the Junior League was invited to participate in the United Nations’ NGO Conference in Vienna, Austria and again at the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.