#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

#dearjlsd: 90 Love Letters for 90 Years

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.

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Greetings! I am honored to serve as the 2018-19 President of the Junior League of San Diego! This year, we celebrate our League’s 90th year in San Diego, and we have big plans in store to celebrate this milestone year. To honor our League’s vibrant history, I am kicking off #dearjlsd, a campaign where 90 of our members, partners, and supporters share their own personal love letter to JLSD. Please share your own #dearjlsd love letter here.




What a ride! As I enter my tenth year as an active member of the Junior League of San Diego, I am filled with gratitude. I joined the League as a second-year law student seeking an outlet to give back between study breaks, and meet like-minded women outside of school. Now, more than a decade later, I have found my own community within San Diego– a community of women seeking to better themselves while making San Diego a better place. I am now an IP and business litigation partner here in San Diego, a supportive spouse to my husband, and the proud mother to a baby boy. I am consistently impressed by the accolades and experiences of the women of JLSD. Among us are doctors and business owners, mothers and activists, philanthropists and community organizers, survivors and caretakers. We have unique life experiences, but we all come “home” to 210 Maple Street to make our community a better place. I love the energy that comes from a group of women – each with their own stories and backgrounds – coming together for a common goal. And that goal is to develop our own potential, the potential of our fellow League members, and the potential of women on a broader platform. On a daily basis, the members of JLSD work together to solve problems, make (and learn from) mistakes, break convention, strive for better, dream bigger, empathize harder, and serve more compassionately. I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for my time as a member of the Junior League. But I am certain that I would not be the leader, friend, partner, and mother that I am today.

I am grateful to lead such a dynamic organization, and look forward to celebrating our 90th year and beyond. The women of the Junior League rise by lifting and empowering one another. I am honored to support my fellow members, and eternally grateful for those who have supported me along the way.

In community spirit,

Joni Flaherty

President, 2018-19

A Message from the 2018-2019 JLSD President

JoniFlaherty Welcome to the Junior League of San Diego!

The Junior League of San Diego is an organization of women united by our interest in building better communities and cultivating the next generation of women as community and civic leaders. Our mission is simple: we promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve our community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. We offer unique opportunities for personal growth through comprehensive leadership development and training, community service, and lifelong connections. By welcoming all women, our organization thrives through its members’ diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences.

In 2018-2019, we have the special privilege of celebrating the Junior League’s 90th year in San Diego. Over the past 90 years, the Junior League of San Diego has had a lasting and positive impact on our community. We are on the forefront of key initiatives and advocacy efforts to improve the well-being of women, children, and families in San Diego. JLSD projects and members have been pivotal to the founding of several remarkable programs in San Diego, including the Polinsky Center, Voices for Children, and LEAD San Diego. Our nearly 1,200 members dedicate tens of thousands of volunteer hours each year, in addition to being pillars of strength and charity in their homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, and broader communities.

We hope you will join us in celebrating this special milestone year. We have big plans in store for this year ahead.

Since 1981, the Junior League of San Diego has called 210 Maple Street its home. Our historic headquarters in Bankers Hill is No. 156 on the city’s list of historical landmarks and was built in 1916. It was designed by Louis Gill of Gill & Gill to be the family home of Rachel Granger Wegeforth, a community leader, philanthropist, and founder of the Silvergate Riding Club, and her husband, Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth, founder of the San Diego Zoo. In 1940, it was sold to Adele Palmer, another noteworthy philanthropist, then JLSD purchased the property in 1982. For more than 35 years, thousands of Junior League members have roamed the halls of 210 Maple, which serves as the League’s hub for its groundbreaking training programs and community work. In 2019, during this 90th League year, we will break ground on a momentous restoration of our beloved headquarters. We hope you will learn more about our capital campaign and restoration efforts. Please join us in our efforts to preserve this historic property, which will be restored to better serve our members and community.

In the year ahead, the Junior League and our members have big plans to serve our community. We will continue our mentorship program, where our members are paired with a foster youth transitioning into independent life. We will develop and execute the “solutions” developed from our now-biennial Solutions Summit conference, where community leaders, policymakers, and volunteers come together to problem-solve distinct challenges. We will continue our advocacy efforts to combat human trafficking and other issues affecting women and children, and in 2019 will host the 17 California Junior Leagues comprising the State Public Affairs Committee. We will expand our tremendously successful training programs – Board Academy, Public Policy Institute, and a new Leadership Development Series – and offer more opportunities for community members to participate in these innovative trainings. And we will continue to partner with worthwhile organizations and offer them the time and experience of our trained volunteers.

Please join me in supporting the Junior League of San Diego, its members, and our community. Whether you choose to make a donation, sponsor our projects and programs, become a community partner, or join our membership, your support of our mission will ensure that we continue to deepen our impact and transform our volunteers into civic leaders.

We hope to share with you our history of 90 years of community service and together look forward to our next 90 years.

In community spirit,

Joni Flaherty, Esq.

2018-2019 President


JLSD Community Partner Spotlight: Urban Street Angels


Urban Street Angels, founded in 2012, is a non-profit addressing youth homelessness in San Diego, CA and beyond. They began as a small group of volunteers hitting the streets of Ocean Beach several times a month, with backpacks of supplies and home-cooked meals to hand out. They quickly discovered that San Diego has a vast number of resources dedicated toward feeding and supplying the homeless. However, a key service was missing – transitional housing and work programs for transition-aged youth.

Their current mission aims to end youth homelessness by providing supportive housing and job training to cultivate personal responsibility. Urban Street Angels operates an emergency overnight shelter for 20-25, which provides much needed love and support for San Diego’s young homeless population. Their shelter currently operates on Tuesday nights at Mission Gathering Church in North Park, and on two or more Fridays a month at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

In addition to addressing the immediate needs of San Diego’s homeless youth, many of their shelter guests go on to join their housing and transitional employment, 8 West, where they receive the training and support necessary to leave the streets behind for good. The 8 West team members make and sell organic soaps and artisan products, creating an income to help offset the costs of operating the shelters and empowering the youth.

JLSD has partnered with Urban Street Angels for 4 years, contributing hundreds of dollars worth of hygiene supplies through annual Impact Shift drives, and providing dinners at their shelter coordinated through JLSD’s Impact Committee. This year, ​​Urban Street Angel’s Director of Operations also presented at our annual Community Partner Breakfast and brought tears to the eyes of our “sold out” event. 

Social Workers from Urban Street Angels/8 West attended Solutions Summit​ and  Brand of Brothers to share their mission and collaborate on ways to help transition age youth in San Diego. 

JLSD Volunteers of the Month

JLSD Volunteers of the Month

Sheridan Mulphurs and Julie Montgomery have spearheaded the new “Active Member” Mentor Program within Junior League of San Diego (JLSD).

After spending countless hours researching other League’s programs, they created a detailed program designed for JLSD to further support and engage first through third year new actives.   These two ladies have been instrumental to the Training Council and the League!  Thank you!