COMMEMORATION, CELEBRATION AND COMMITMENT
The League Club, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) organization of 600 motivated, educated, influential women who have been or still are members of a Junior League that is a member of The Association of Junior Leagues International. Our mission is to strengthen communities through fellowship, education, volunteerism, and philanthropy.
Over the past 34 years, The League Club has provided more than $5.3 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in Collier and Lee counties supporting the environment, education, children and families. In 2020, we provided $10,000 to Meals of Hope and $10,000 to Collier Comes Together for coronavirus relief through our emergency funds and raised an additional $38,444 in a member challenge to provide pandemic relief for St Matthew’s House and Harry Chapin Food Bank.
A Brief History of The League Club, Inc.
Daphne Denby, Linda Pfeffer and Betty Wemple founded The League Club, Inc. in Naples in 1986. Formed with the consent of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), the initial objective was for Junior League sustaining members to meet when wintering in Naples. Surprisingly, ninety-eight women attended the first luncheon held at The Naples Beach Club and Golf Resort.
During its first year, The League Club (TLC) incorporated, developed bylaws, applied for tax-exempt status, and published its first newsletter. The minor League Club was also created as an auxiliary, allowing the husbands of TLC members the opportunity to also support our mission. Beginning the very next year 1987, TLC held their first fundraising fashion show, which raised $8,000. These funds allowed our organization to begin our first project and establish The Volunteer Center of Collier County with the goal of connecting volunteers with nonprofit agencies seeking assistance. By 1990, The Volunteer Center was operating independently.
The League Club continues today as a grant giving organization overseen by the Community Involvement Committee. Our fundraising event with the financial support of Circle of Friends, The minor League, and corporate partners allows us the opportunity to strengthen the communities of Lee and Collier Counties. Over $5.3 million in grants has been awarded to more than 170 agencies serving the needs of women, at-risk children, and the elderly in our communities during the past 34 years. With the onset of Covid-19, our grant focus will now shift to address crucial recovery needs.
The League Club women have also contributed thousands of volunteer hours in various areas in our community. Many members have served on local agency boards, chaired nonprofit agency fundraising events, and offered support as agency mentors. Members have also volunteered directly with agency clients through our Done in a Day program. More than 50 agencies have requested volunteers for assistance for a specific one day event through Done in a Day.
In addition to philanthropy and volunteerism, The League Club has a lengthy history of providing stimulating and timely Educational topics at our General Membership meetings and providing Fellowship through a variety of Interest Groups and social events. Next year 2021, we will begin our 35th season. We are a dynamic group changing and writing our history as time demands, and as we do, we will continue to respond to the needs of our community and our organization.