JLSD Gives Back: 2018 Grant Presentations, Part I

In the Fall of 2018, the Junior League of San Diego presented $20,000 to 7 of our Community Partners who helpTransition Aged Foster Youth and other issues that effect our community and mission based programs, such as homelessness and domestic violence.  Our Partners help with everything from getting a leg up, an education, or just a hot meal.

Read below for highlights of Community Council Vice-President, Brandi Cropper presenting the grants to our Community Partners as well as words from our President, Joni Flaherty about what each Community Partner means to the Junior League of San Diego and information on what the funds will be used for.  Don’t forget to check out our Facebook Page for videos of the presentations!

Monarch School, $3,000

The Monarch School has served San Diego for almost 30 years with a mission to provide education to homeless youth for grades K through 12.

This grant was used to purchase school supplies for 6 of the 13 classrooms so the students could start the school year strong!

“The women of the Junior League of San Diego and Monarch have partnered with one another for decades to support Monarch’s efforts of educating San Diego’s homeless youth. We are honored to support Monarch in its mission and value our longstanding relationship in the San Diego community.”  — Joni Flaherty, 2018-2019 JLSD President

Monarch Grant 2018
Brandi presenting the grant on the first day of school at Monarch.


San Diego Youth Services – TAY Academy, $4,000

TAY Academy serves Transition Aged Foster Youth through San Diego Youth Services and provides emergency needs to at risk youth.  Our grant is allocated for “Flex Funds” usage.  Grants and budgets do not allot for fresh food or emergency needs — things that are both so important to the youth that is served.

“TAY Academy was one of our first partners when we adopted transition-age foster youth as our community focus several years ago. We are proud to support TAY Academy and its unparalleled efforts to serve the varied needs of hundreds of current and former foster youth each year.” — Joni Flaherty, 2018-2019 JLSD President

Brandi and the LCSW at TAY Academy, Gillian.


Promises2Kids, $5,000

Promises2Kids provides over 3,000 foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities and guidance they need to overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow into healthy and successful adults.

This Grant specifically goes towards the Guardian Scholar Program in order to help two former foster youths through their college career. This program boosts graduation rates ten-fold.  It will be used to send them care packages and help with expenses!

Brandi presenting to Promises2Kids CEO (and former JLSD member) Tonya Torosian, MSW, CFRE.

“This year, we have the opportunity to fund two Guardian Scholars, a program that supports the higher education or trade school dreams of former foster youth. Promises2Kids is at the forefront of making education accessible for these students, and we are honored to support their efforts.” — Joni Flaherty, JLSD President 2018-2019

#dearjlsd: Libby Lopez

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.
Dear JLSD,

Thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to grow as a woman.
Thank you for opening up my network to female professionals with a variety of skills and expertise!
Thank you for all of the volunteer shift opportunities where I can give back to the community.
Thank you for the laughs, tears, hugs, and long talks with amazing women.
Thank you for introducing me to powerhouse Community Partners like Joseph Travers of Saved in America, Kathryn Ashworth of Voices for Children, and Stephanie Ortega of Promises2Kids.

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Thank you for providing hundreds of new friends!
Thank you for opening my eyes to areas of need in the community that I would not have seen otherwise.
Thank you for the lessons learned as I attempt new things and develop new skills.
Thank you for the opportunity to meet dynamic political affiliates such as Congresswoman Susan Davis, District Attorney Summer Stephan, and Assemblymember Todd Gloria.
Thank you for giving me a creative outlet outside of my full time job.
Thank you for changing my life, and the lives of those around me.

I love you, JLSD.

Libby Lopez
Marketing Vice President, 2018-2019

#dearjlsd: Jane Fetter

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.
Dear JLSD,
It was with a sense of wonder that I sat down to write this letter and realized it was 60 years ago this past spring that I received my invitation to join the Junior League of San Diego. I was a senior at Stanford University, married (which was highly unusual) and 20 years old. I was an economics major and my career counselor kept telling me I should be a pilot.
I joined the Junior League and it was the perfect graduate school. The provisional course in 1958 was a summer long intensive course about San Diego. Although I had lived here since I was two, I had never been to the police station, the court house, the department of Education and had never been aware of all the many needs of our city. It was an incredible education. Along with the places and stories I met the city’s most remarkable women.
During the year I learned how to run a meeting, how to become a leader of women and all about non-profit governance and By-laws. I also found the volunteer corps who would be by my side as I enjoyed serving the Junior League on committees, projects and the board. The Junior League provided me with memorable experiences at regional meetings and at 3 national conferences.
My year as President of the Junior League was a highlight of my life long career as a volunteer. The Junior League provided me with the tools to serve not only our community in many capacities but our state and our nation. It gave me the inner self confidence to tackle any challenge and to find the resources to do so. It also gave me the knowledge that I had to impress my children and grandchildren with the importance of “giving back”.
I love the Junior League of San Diego.
Jane Trevor Fetter
JLSD President 1970-1971
Sustainer since 1977



#dearjlsd: Janet Fall

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.

Dear JLSD,

My most memorable placement in the 1980’s was a skin cancer awareness project. We accompanied dermatologists as part of an educational outreach program to the Over the Line Tournament (the perfect place to study skin), and the doctors screened for skin cancers on the spot. After the informative training and learning so much about the ABCDEs of skin cancer (Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color not uniform, Diameter larger than a pencil eraser, and Evolving size, shape, or color), I enthusiastically shared the knowledge with the students and teachers at my school. Because of that knowledge, a friend saved her husband, the love of her life. After studying the information card I had brought to everyone’s attention, my friend noticed a questionable spot on her husband’s back. She encouraged him to have it checked, and it was diagnosed as melanoma. Doctors were able to catch the melanoma in time. Almost 40 years later, her husband is alive and well. That valuable Junior League project made a difference!

Janet Fall, JLSD Sustainer since 1991


#dearjlsd: Katie Quartuccio

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.

Dear JLSD,

As a Fourth Generation San Diegian, I didn’t think there was much I was missing out on in town.  I joined with a friend as a way to give back to the community and volunteer in an organized manner and maybe network a bit.  Little did I know I would meet lifelong friends, develop my professional skill set through amazing training events, and also see a true impact in the lives of those less fortunate in our community.

The early mornings or long nights don’t even feel like work (even after a full day of my real work) when you get to spend them with like minded women creating lasting change for our community. Not to mention, we know how to have fun, whether it is goat yoga or trivia nights — every woman in the League has a healthy life outside of our volunteer work and we can lean on each other to provide balance.

Our meetings are so inspiring hearing from Rachel, Joni, other leaders in the League, and amazing guest speakers like Dr. Ken Blanchard –  I don’t even mind if I stay out past my early bedtime! It is in those meetings that I felt encouraged to apply for a leadership position even though I had only been in the league one year as a provisional.

That’s the thing about the Junior League of San Diego…it is a safe place to try new things, get out of your comfort zone, and discover new strengths. It is a comfortable place to ask questions, get advice, and engage in honest conversation.  It is amongst these women that I have found mentors and friends I would never have been able to meet otherwise. We were brought together having nothing in common except this passion for community and volunteerism but learned we share so much more!

While I am only in my first active year of JLSD, I cannot imagine my life without you. Thank you for a rich history and paving the way for us women now. Here’s to another 90 years (or more!) of all the wonderful things you do best!



Social Media Chair 2018-2019

#dearjlsd: Larissa South

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.
Dear JLSD,
Three years in, and I already can’t imagine my life without you! All jokes aside, after transferring from another JL chapter, I am so lucky to have found the Junior League of San Diego. The women that comprise our league and their passion for giving back are truly impressive. I’ve been so lucky to be a leader in our Community Council where I witnessed first hand the thoughtfulness, down to earth go-get ’em attitude and open hearts the women have shared. Together we have made such an impact in San Diego, and I feel so honored to be a part of it.
Cheers to you and the next 90 years,
Larissa South
2018-2019 Nominating Chair Elect
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#dearjlsd: Darlene Davies, Sustainer

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.
Of many fond memories of Junior League of San Diego, two are highlights for me.
The first was when I was the 2011 JLSD Charter Day Honoree at a beautiful luncheon on Harbor Island at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse. An account of that wonderful day will be found in the 2011 JLSD newsletter (now digitized and online at the JLSD website). I suspect Barbara Kramer was behind my selection as Honoree. I will be forever grateful. The Vice-President and Provost of SDSU, Dr. Nancy Marlin, and the Dean of SDSU Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Geoff Chase, completely surprised me by attending the luncheon. Libby Carson, Betty Peabody, Gladys Jones (now deceased due to a tragic accident in 2017) and so many other dear friends were there. Thank you JLSD for the joyful experience. The beautiful etched bowl I received that day has sat on my dining room table since 2011. It meant, and continues to mean, that much.
Charter Day 2016 featured the “Central Park Jogger,” Trisha Meili, in one of the most uplifting and inspirational speeches I’ve ever heard. She has no memory of the assault that resulted in years of surgical repair of her body and constant physical rehabilitation. Trisha has rebuilt her life, married, and has re-established a professional career, but in Florida, not New York. In spite of all the physical and neurological damage she underwent, she is now a fully functioning woman with a purpose filled life. Trisha’s talk was about her long recovery, and did not address the controversial aspects of the criminal case, in particular the prosecution of young men who have now been exonerated. Her comments emphasized essential elements of support, hope, and endurance. I will forever be thankful to JLSD President Liza Pinard for providing a photo from that day, and also for arranging for Trisha to communicate with me ( didn’t ask). Liza was very thoughtful. Charter Day has presented numerous important speakers over the years, but, for me, listening to and meeting Trisha Meili was a highlight.

I joined as a Provisional in 1998, completing my Provisional year in spring, 1999. I was an Active member from 1999 through spring, 2006, then became a Sustainer in fall 2006. I joined JLSD as a Provisional when I was 59 years old, something I had wanted to do for my entire adult life. Many other obligations prevented my doing that until 1998. By that time, I’d chaired many large events, served on boards of directors of many large institutions and City of San Diego boards and a commission, and been honored as a Woman of Dedication (1989) by the Salvation Army. But, still, there was that longing to be a member of the Junior League. I wanted to do it right, to get it right. Up until that time, I’d done everything backward.
I made lifelong friends in JLSD, and actually accomplished even more once I was a member of the League. The work has never stopped.
Darlene Davies
JLSD Sustainer