The end of summer means a back-to-school shopping event with the JLT’s annual Kids’ Boutique. The JLT works directly with guidance counselors at Leon County elementary schools to identify children in need of essential school clothes and shoes. In partnership with Kohl’s, the League purchases back-to-school items for over 100 local children and provides each child with a backpack filled with school supplies, not only giving the children much-needed tangible items, but also a sense of self-esteem and pride to start the school year off right.

The 2014 event was held August 3rd at the Kohl’s Department Store on Apalachee Parkway. Kids’ Boutique featured a Wellness Fair, where students and their families had the opportunity to meet McGruff the Crime Dog and receive information from the Dairy Council of Florida, Walgreens Tallahassee, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Drs. Carey and Jones, D.M.D., Florida Department of Agriculture and Florida Department of Health.

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For many young women, prom is an important, but costly, part of the high school experience. At its annual Operation Prom Dress, the Junior League of Tallahassee invites area high school students to attend a one day boutique-style shopping event where prom dresses, shoes and accessories are provided at no cost.

Operation Prom Dress began in 2001 as an event for the students of Gretchen Everhart, a school for exceptional students. The event has since grown into a regional project serving hundreds of local teens each year.

Operation Prom Dress would not be a success without support from sponsors and generous donations from the community. Dress, shoe, and accessory donations from the public are accepted year-round.

For more information: jltopd@gmail.com

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The Junior League of Tallahassee has partnered with with the Girls on the Run Big Bend (GOTRBB) since the summer of 2014. The mission of GOTRBB is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running. The JLT assists GOTRBB achieve their mission by volunteering and providing organizational support for their existing events.

Girls on the Run Big Bend (GOTRBB) currently serves 7 schools and over a 100 girls in Leon County. During the first year of this partnership, the JLT assisted this organization by volunteering at several community events including the Turkey Trot, Springtime Tallahassee and other community festivals. The JLT also provided volunteers for GOTRBB existing events including the Practice and Celebratory 5k. Several of the JLT members also participated as Running Buddies, serving as mentors for the with GOTRBB girls by actually running side-by-side during the 5k. At both the fall and spring GOTRBB Celebratory 5k, the JLT provided over 50 volunteers between the GOTR Committee, General Membership and Running Buddies for this important event.

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In the summer of 2015, The Junior League of Tallahassee will be launching a new partnership with the PACE Center for Girls of Leon County. PACE Center for Girls of Leon County provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. The girls, ages 11-18 in grades 6-12, present risk factors such as school truancy, academic failure, single or no birth parent at home, exposure to substance abuse, an incarcerated parent, sexual abuse, and physical and/or emotional abuse. The PACE & JLT Club will be a semester long program teaching PACE girls the social life skills essential for scholastic, networking and professional success.

This project will promote confidence, develop leadership and empower children and their families by teaching at-risk girls the importance of good manners in relation to developing social skills. The ability to handle new social situations with poise will increase their confidence and expose the girls to a way of life they can have if they so choose. The girls will recognize that they belong wherever they want to be, and the program will aid PACE’s efforts to help these girls see doors out of violence and poverty that they can open for themselves.

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