Editorial: The Junior League


One of the great opportunities I have as Publisher of the Greenwich Sentinel is that I get to learn about so many organizations in town and what they do for our community. It is a fun and worthwhile process because there are so many organizations that do so many wonderful deeds. Every once and a while, I find myself saying, “Wow! I did not know they did that!” Such was the case this past month.

If there is one organization in town that deserves a shout-out and a hearty thanks for all they do, it is the Junior League of Greenwich. You would be hard pressed not to see their accomplishment this past month.  Because of their herculean effort, the town now benefits from a renovated and expanded Byram Pool.

The Junior League partnered with the town to raise $2.5 million of the $9.5 million price tag for the new pool complex. It was not an easy project, ten years in the making, but pool committee co-chairs Debby Lash and Carisa Sykes, as well as every member of the Junior League, did an incredible job of ensuring a dream became a reality.

The Junior League was founded in 1901, in New York City, by a committee of women who wanted to improve the living conditions of immigrants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The Greenwich chapter was established in February 1959 and has been serving the community ever since.

For the past 59 years, the members of the Junior League have worked on many projects and services that have benefitted our community greatly. While they are widely known for putting on the Festival of Trees during the winter holidays, they are also involved in a myriad of projects. It is remarkable to see the breadth and depth of projects they have worked on: from alcohol education to domestic abuse services at the YMCA to the playground at Bruce Park to supporting Kids in Crisis, the United Way and the Marine Discovery Room at The Bruce Museum. Their touch has been everywhere and all to our benefit and health.

They step in when others hesitate and accomplish more. There is no doubt that the Byram Pool project may have languished longer were it not for the Junior League’s involvement. They really should be called the “Power League” because they have the fortitude and perseverance to power through to complete their goals. 

We were in awe when so many Junior League members showed up to honor Susan Wohlforth when she recently received the Greenwich Sentinel Foundation Award. We heard stories of how they worked together over the past decade to support one another. They cheered and clapped when they were recognized. It was not until the end of the event at the historic Tomes-Higgins House that we were reminded that the Junior League was the driving force behind its restoration many years before.

Today, in our busy lives, it is not always easy to spot all the good that happens around us. But, it is almost impossible not to look around our community and recognize all that the Junior League has accomplished over the past six decades. Quietly, or with the fanfare of opening a pool, they should be recognized. They are super heroes, and we salute them.

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