Leila Sisson Case: The league still going strong at 82

Published 1:46 pm Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Junior Service League (JSL) of Americus, now in its 82nd year of service to the community, pulled off another outstanding spring luncheon honoring the 2019 provisional and elected honorary members last Saturday, April 13. Since I became associated with JSL in the 1980s, I don’t think I’ve missed a one of these spring “flings.”
Almost 200 actives and honoraries gathered at the John M. Pope Center on the campus of South Georgia Technical College for a morning that began with a festive social period of mixing and mingling with old friends and new, followed by a delicious luncheon and lively presentation of trendy fashions coordinated by Katie Tondee, entertainment chairman, and her committee, Ashley Austin and Felicia Harper, with music provided by Thurston Clary.
In her formal welcome, Mackenzie Greene, president, remarked, “It’s hard to believe the league is in its 82nd year. The legacy and tradition that a small group of twenty women began (in 1937) is now the Junior Service League of Americus that has grown to over 400 ladies. The founders began a tradition of countless hours of dedication and service that still holds true today. We must always remember that no matter how small the acts, when multiplied by numerous people, can transform our community to be a better place for all.”
She recognized Volunteer of the Year awardees including the most recent, Caitlin Downs (2019) and Honorary of the Year recipients: Michelle Gatian Andrews (2017) and Meg Usrey (2018), and praised the board of directors for their exceptional strength and leadership. They are: first vice president Michelle Parker, co-chair Elizabeth Greene; second vice president Hannah Ricketts, co-chair Angie Flegel; third vice president Felicia Harper, co-chair Caitlin Downs; recording secretary Dr. Alex Riccardi ; corresponding secretary Kristi Clements; treasurer Jenny Frantz, assistant treasurer Morgan Whaley; sergeant at arms Megan Scott; parliamentarian Brittney Singley; entertainment chair Katie Tondee, co-chair Ashley Austin; and past president Angie Brunson.
And she formally welcomed the 2019 provisionals: Eva Bass, Dr. Jessica Brown, Lori Elder, Ashley Foote, Meg Goodin, Misty Jones, Amanda Kutzler, Alex Lindsey, Lily Ricketts, Alina Taylor, Kalynn Vanlandingham, M.C. Whitlock, and the 2019 elected-honoraries: Patti Griffith, Cheryl Fletcher, Jo Jones, and Lisa Weldon.
Greene announced the league is launching additional spring fundraisers: attractive decorator pillows designed by Caitlin Downs and Kristi Clements, the second annual Character Café for children on Saturday, June 1 at the GSW Storm Dome, and the traditional Cowpoke Carnival on Oct. 19.
“As you can see there is nothing junior about the Junior Service League’s impact on our community,” said Greene in closing. “It goes without saying that our service commitments and annual fundraisers would not be possible without all of your support and the community’s. It is because of you we are able to meet the requirements of our annual budget.” Proceeds from fundraisers after expenses are returned to the community to use for worthwhile causes.
The main entertainment was the fashion show featuring stylish men and women’s spring and summer styles modeled by local citizens and narrated by Caitlin Downs. Participating merchants were Allie’s Boutique and More; Chandler Morgan Eyeworks; Honey Hush Boutique; Main Street Hair Salon; Tepuy Activewear; The Kinnebrew Co. and Three’s Company Too.
Gathered around our table were Anne Barrett, Lori Shivers, Terri Joiner, Christy Lightner, Ginger Perkins of Auburn, Alabama; Mary Davenport, Beth Carroll, Kelli Kinslow and Leila Jones. Others I spoke to were Brook Hart, Marylynn Shealey, Billie Gatewood, Candy Riccardi, Elaine Thomas, Jane Arnold, Mary Beth Rogers, Jerry Crisp, Jean Buchanan, Jan Hobgood, Andrea Powell, Karen Austin, Jeffie Wall of Kathleen, Michelle Andrews, Lynde Parker, Sara Catherine Parker, Crystal Waddell, Laura Kinslow, Mary Torbert, Vi Roach, Dot Smith, Emily Ann Thomas Strickland, Cindy Pryor, Claire Pryor, Kim Baldwin who sported a chic white fascinator paired with a seersucker dress; Betty Buchanan Filbey and daughter, Beth Smith; Jolie Ledger, Lee Shiver Yates, Pam Law, Charlene Hayes, Hope Henderson, Jane Sullivan, Jenny Lashley, Susan Welch, Allene Reeves, Wilma Kinslow, Ann Harris, Mara Durham, JoAnn Pope, Nancy Herron, Millie Cohen and Joanna Arnold, Jessi Simmons, Faith Pinnell, Jarrett Hooks, Janet Kinnebrew, Morgan Whaley, Rachel Arnold, Kendall Dragoin, and Tiffany Dean.
It was truly a fun occasion.
We also managed to attend the Americus Arts’ annual Jazz Night held at its newly opened gallery. It, too, was a festive occasion attended by many from the community who enjoyed smooth jazz, good food, and conversation.
And I attended the Garden Club of Georgia annual convention in Columbus on Wednesday. I’ll tell you about that next week, especially meeting authors Stacey Catron and Mary Ann Eddy, who penned the beautiful book “Seeking Eden; A Collection of Historic Gardens of Georgia.”
Amy Carter, daughter of President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter, is in town to spend Easter weekend with her parents. I was shopping in downtown Americus and we stopped and chatted.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.