Junior League to announce grants

The ladies of the now 30-year-old Junior Service League will celebrate their successes at an event tonight and hand out some large sums of money to area programs in need.

Topping the list at the celebratory get-together at Bookcliff Country Club is St. Mary’s Cancer Survivorship Program, which will get a check for $30,000 from the women of the Junior Service League.

The program is one that includes education and therapy, as well as practical assistance like offering day care services for women who are going through chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer. The program also provides transportation assistance and bus passes, among other support services.

“Once you are diagnosed with cancer, people just kind of go, ‘OK, now what do I do?’ ” said Lori Ellis, past president of the Junior Service League. “It’s an area that is just not as well-funded.”

In addition to the $30,000 for the survivorship program, the league will also present some $40,000 to local nonprofits in need, in various denominations big and small.

Ellis said there will be 10 to 15 other local recipients of Junior Service League support this time around.

This year, the group is celebrating its 30th year, and has raised more than $850,000 over that time, Ellis said. The group’s two main fundraisers are October’s Walk For Life, for assistance related to breast cancer, and the Viva El Vino event in April. The wine-tasting event alone raised $40,000 this past year, Ellis said.

Of the 60 to 70 women who are current members of the Junior Service League, she said, “We just come together to raise money for the community. We are about raising money for children, women, education and the arts, and the environment.”

Group members come from all walks of life, Ellis said, and include every type of person from business owners, lawyers, doctors, hairdressers to stay-at-home moms. Ellis is the owner of Johnson’s House of Flowers in Grand Junction.

For information on the group, go to http://www.jslgj.com.


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