Junior League New Member Year: What to Expect

Thinking about joining the Junior League of Omaha? 

It can be scary to try new things, we get it, and we’re here to help!

Here’s a rundown of what to expect when you join Junior League of Omaha:

First things first – Before you join:

  1. Get acquainted with the League: Current members meet with prospective members online and in person at various events to get to know each other. 
  2. Complete a Membership Application 
  3. Pay Dues: Membership Dues support the League’s overall programmatic, training and administrative needs, including our physical headquarters, event facility rentals and food and beverage at in-person meetings. 

Enrollment opens up for new members every year between late May – June. 

Membership is open to all women, at least 21 years old, who have an interest in voluntarism, a commitment to community service and an interest in developing her potential for voluntary community participation. The Junior League welcomes all women who value our mission. We are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations and communities. 

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2021-2022 New Member Committee Members

New Member Requirements and Commitments

Your New Member year is typically a commitment of approximately 50-60 total hours between the months of August through May.  

It might sound like a lot, but it’s not!

 You will participate in monthly meetings for 1-2 hours that include:

  • Training Sessions on the Junior League of Omaha and its history in our community.
    • Did you know that members of the Junior League of Omaha began the Gift Shop at Children’s Hospital in 1948, which still operates today and serves as income to assist with many of the hospital’s programs and services?! Children’s Hospital is one of many local organizations impacted by the service and talents of our League. 
  • Social Time to Get Connected with Junior League of Omaha members – both new and active.

You will be assigned a cohort of new members who live in nearby geographic areas so that you can continue the conversation between new meetings. Each group is kept intentionally small with about 10 members, with an active member who mentors and helps guide the group in questions and activities. 

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2021-2022 New Member Music Bingo Night

New members also get to attend:

  • General Meetings with all other active members (held monthly, with members asked to attend 5 per year)
  • Fundraising activities and events, such as the JLO Classic at Top Golf and more
  • Community service shifts, experiencing the ability to immediately and directly make an impact on the community especially related to food access and hunger in Omaha.
    • New members always report they love the immediate impact they can make in just a few hours time, through shifts at area non-profits like Together, Inc., etc. 

Then what:

After completion of the new member year, you enter Active Member status. As an active member, you serve a placement on one of many committees. Each placement lasts one year (August-June).  After seven years as an active member, you can become a League Sustainer. 

You will learn all about what active service looks like as part of your new member year. 

New Member Q&A

Read what one new member, Jazmyn Brown, had to say about her experience: 

Jazymn recently completed her new member year and is currently in her first active year placement as Shift Coordinator for the Food Access Committee.  

Q: Why did you join JLO? 

A:  I joined to meet like-minded women, to network and to volunteer, helping the community I care about.

Q: How would you describe your new member year?

A: It was so much fun. I built friendships that will last years and learned a lot about the league.

Q: Did you find it easier or harder than you expected to fulfill the responsibilities of new members?

A: It was easier because I learned the expectations upfront. I was able to complete all my shifts by Fall simply because I signed up for any of them that I was interested in.

Q: What would you say to someone considering JLO?

A: It’ll be the best decision you’ll make. You’ll meet amazing women who want to make a difference in the community. What other organization can say that?

Learn more about joining:  Email Join@JLOmaha.org

Support the Junior League of Omaha Annual Fund.

One month away: Second annual JLO Classic at Top Golf!

Tickets are on sale now for the fundraiser Sunday, September 11, 2022. 

Individual tickets are available, or you can purchase an entire bay for six total golfers. 

The Classic is one of the Junior League of Omaha’s newest fundraising events that took place at Omaha’s Topgolf, which supports JLO’s Kitchen Connections program. The 2021 event included a silent auction, including two VIP concert tickets donated by Centris Federal Credit Union and multiple men’s and women’s season ticket packages donated by Creighton University Athletics. We still can’t say thank you enough to all of our 2021 sponsors, including Centris Federal Credit Union who sponsored our hole in one challenge. 

“We had a blast at the first annual JLO Classic! TopGolf is always a great time, and it was such a fun, unique opportunity to give back. We’re looking forward to going again and many more years to come!” – 2021 Attendee

We have even bigger plans for this year’s event. Non-golfers alike will enjoy the drinks, buffet and door prizes. 

“I loved attending last year’s event. JLO Classic is an all around good time and you don’t have to have experience on a course to have fun! Between the drinks, food, and atmosphere it’s the kind of Sunday afternoon good time I want to have every week. And you can’t beat doing it all for a wonderful cause!” – JLO Member

Don’t miss out! Learn more and purchase tickets

Go ahead…

“Give it a little tap, tap, taperoo.” ← Name that movie. Golfers know. 😉

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a sponsor or donating any silent auction items for this year’s event, please contact golfclassic@jlomaha.org or visit our website at jlomaha.org/jlo-classic.

Holiday Baked Goodies

Let’s face it, the holidays just aren’t going to look the same this year. We’re all hunting for ways to spend distanced time with our closest family, and the Junior League of Omaha cookbook can help you find recipes that can be made into single servings to make life a little easier.

Have a peanut butter lover in the family? Try our Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe! If you want something a little smaller, our Dark Chocolate and Seas Salt Sables more than get the job done. You can also find a recipe for Apple Pie Bars or Bourbon Baked Apples to put a single-serving twist on a holiday favorite dessert, or keep it even more simple with Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownie Bites. Whatever you’re craving, the JLO cookbook can satisfy.

The best thing we can do in this complicated time is keep the holidays simple, so our gift to you this holiday season is our amazing recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.

You can find this recipe and more in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online or at one of our many local retailers: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is right around the corner! Celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is your reminder to shop local during the holiday season and remember that you are a key part of helping your local business owners thrive. 

The Economy of Shopping Small: Keeping it in the Community posted a report in 2017 showing that 42 cents of every dollar spent in a small business comes back to the local community in the form of salaries to local residents, payments to local suppliers, and sponsorships that support local schools, charities and other initiatives. 

One way you can support local business owners this holiday season is by purchasing Junior League’s A Century of Serving Cookbook at the area retailers stocking our book: 

  • Everbloom Floral & Gift (Loveland location only, 90th & Center)
  • Dusk Goods and Gifts (1234 S. 13th St, Suite 201 & 202)
  • Voila! Magdalene Blooms (4922 Dodge Street)
  • JH Interior Design (Clocktower Village: 721 N 98th Street)
  • Stir Coffee Bar (Legacy – 19650 Wright Plaza)
  • Salt Creek Mercantile (1502 Silver St – Ashland)
  • Made in Omaha (Countryside Village, Old Market)
  • Prairie in Bloom (1702 Cuming St.)
  • Village Pomegranate/The Linen Gallery (Countryside Village)
  • Village Grinder (Countryside Village, 87th & Pacific)
  • Clarkson Gift Shop (UNMC)
  • CornerStone Gift Shop (UNMC)
  • The Bookworm (90th & Center)
  • Mine Custom Gifts (114th & Davenport)
  • Spruce Interiors & Gifts (5022 Leavenworth Street)
  • Children’s Hospital Gift Shop (82nd & Dodge Street)
  • Reve (Rockbrook Village)
  • Hearts & Fire (Rockbrook Village)

Check out the link below for more information on our local wholesalers! https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving: French Silk Pie Recipe

I will be the first person to admit that pies are very intimidating for me. Crusts seem complicated and the filling seems easy to screw up, but they’re also easy to buy premade.

That said, I’m a sucker for French silk pie. This recipe seemed doable, so I gave it a shot—I am so glad I did! This recipe is surprisingly simple and uses a lot of ingredients I already had at home. Bonus, it turns out AMAZING.

What surprised me most was that I already had most of the ingredients. (Ignore the cherry preserves in the photo—whoops!)

This recipe starts with the graham cracker crust. It calls for chopped almonds, but I couldn’t use them for dietary reasons, so I replaced the same amount with graham crackers. I also had a 9-inch pie plate instead of 10 so I did end up with a little extra crust. It did seem like I needed more butter to make the crust easier to form in the pan but using a spoon to spread the crumbs out actually worked well to make things stick together.

Next you cream the sugar and softened butter, then add your melted chocolate. I didn’t have any baking chocolate on hand, but I did have Hershey’s cocoa powder. The instructions on the back said to mix 3 tablespoons of cocoa with 1 tablespoon of oil and that worked great! I did add just a little more oil in at the end because it wasn’t the easiest to mix, but I’m happy with how it turned out.

Now this is the part where I was 100% not convinced this was going to turn into a pie. The chocolate did not mix well into the butter and sugar, and the recipe uses the words “cream” and “mix well” and was not sure how what I was seeing was going to get us to that but went with it. As you add each egg, mix it for four minutes like it says, but it definitely begins to get to a creamy mix by the end. Color me surprised!

Spoon the mixture into the pie crust and chill for 24 hours—and voila! You have French Silk Pie. Again, this was much easier than I expected the recipe to be. It took about 20 minutes for me to make everything and then it chilled for a day before serving. It doesn’t get much simpler than that! It is rich, but delicious.

I did not take any pictures of individual slices because it honestly isn’t pretty coming out of the pan, but dang it—so very good. I hope this becomes a new favorite in your household because it most definitely is in mine!

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving 

French Silk Pie

# Servings: 8

Category: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ⅔ cup chopped almonds, lightly toasted
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • Whipped cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, almonds, melted butter and ¼ cup sugar in a bowl and mix well. Press over the bottom and up the side of a 10 inch pie plate.Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand to cool for 1 hour.

Cream ¾ cup butter and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the chocolate and vanilla and mix well. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating for 4 minutes after each addition. Spoon into the pie crust. Chill for 24 hours. Top servings with whipped cream.

To learn more or purchase your own copy of the A Century of Serving cookbook click here.

Join Us for The JLO Classic!

The Junior League of Omaha’s newest fundraiser is taking place Sunday, September 26 at Topgolf Omaha, and sure to be a swinging good time. Contact karinakiewel@gmail.com for a JLO Classic flyer you can post or share.

Throughout the event is a silent auction with door prizes and a hole-in-one prize opportunity. Stay tuned to the Junior League of Omaha’s social media channels for more details on the awesome prizes and silent auction items. If you or someone you know would like to donate anything to this event, please contact our chair Beth Kalal at golfclassic@jlomaha.org.

Don’t know what to wear to the event? We’ve got you covered! This year’s theme is Caddyshack—the greatest golf movie of all time. Fire up Netflix (or do a quick google search) for outfit inspiration. There will be prizes for the best individual and team outfits that feature our theme, so come dressed to impress! Bottom line is you won’t want to miss this event!

Member Spotlight – Alysia Radicia

Alysia is an Interior Designer at RDG Planning & Design. She’s been there since graduating and really enjoys it. Alysia said the firm treats everyone like family and is extremely supportive in helping individuals succeed and pursue their interests. Like being involved in the community!

Speaking of community involvement, Alysia stays busy! Having been born and raised in Omaha (technically Elkhorn), she has a deep passion for investing in the community and helping make it a better place for everyone. She currently serves as the President of the Friends of Nebraska Children, serves on the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Young Professional Council, sits on Opera Omaha’s Community Advisory Panel, volunteers for the American Heart and Stroke Association … ALL while being an active member of the Junior League.

Alysia considers herself a cat lady, but not a crazy cat lady. Gus is her main squeeze, and she’s constantly teetering on whether or not to adopt another passive aggressive cuddle bug. Check back in a few weeks.

She thoroughly enjoy party planning and dinner parties. Which is also why she enjoys working out. Life is all about balance.

This year she is taking some sort of creative class each month. She previously enrolled in pottery classes at the Union for Contemporary Art and cooking classes Metro Community College. Have any suggestions? Send them her way!

Junior League of Omaha announces new focus area

The Junior League of Omaha wrapped up the year and the decade with the announcement of an exciting new focus area: hunger and access to healthy foods. On December 2, the Board of Directors decided on this focus area after assessing criteria including membership interest, opportunity in the community to make an impact, sustainability, variety of volunteer opportunities and potential barriers. 

The decision comes as a result of a tireless process led by the Community Research and Development (CRaD) committee. They assessed needs in the Omaha metro in three different areas: hunger and access to healthy foods, abuse of women and children and opportunity youth.

The CRaD committee worked to set up and host around 30 service learning opportunities in these three areas between June and November. Members completed the service learning opportunities and provided valuable feedback which was compiled by the committee. This feedback was critical in making a decision on a new focus area.

“The CRaD team has been working diligently all year to ensure that education and volunteer opportunities were available for members to learn and participate in with the three focus areas. The focus area and research teams have collaborated with local organizations to envision future strategic goals and programming for years to come. We are grateful to have such passionate women involved in this process and for the participation and feedback from all of our membership,” said Emily Barr,| Junior League of Omaha Community Research and Development Chair. 

Building on the impact made over the last 100 years, the Junior League of Omaha is entering this new decade with an exciting area of focus and renewed commitment to voluntarism. 

Third Annual Bargain Bash

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The Junior League of Omaha (JLO) hosted its third annual Bargain Bash at the Ralston Arena on Saturday, August 10, 2019 and Sunday, August 11, 2019. The event raised funds which help JLO to support community programming throughout the year.

The rummage sale featured designer and name-brand clothing, shoes and jewelry for men, women and children as well as baby supplies, toys, kitchenware, home decor and furniture. One of the standout items for sale this year was a 10 piece, hand-painted bedroom set.

For a $20 donation, early bird shoppers could shop 90 minutes before the official opening to get their first pick of the items for sale and enjoy coffee with donuts.

Bargain Bash co-chairs said the committee sold 50 presale tickets and they were elated to see a line of customers waiting Saturday morning when the event officially opened to the public. In total, shoppers purchased $14,000 in merchandise throughout the weekend.

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Also of note, nothing went to waste. JLO donated unsold inventory to Heartland Hope Mission, where items will be donated directly to flood victims who lost their homes and personal belongings.

Still not sold on shopping secondhand? Here’s a little more motivation to thrift:

  • Find unique pieces and valuable items at great prices
  • Reduce waste through reusing gently loved goods
  • Think of thrifting as a treasure hunt – you never know what you might find
  • One-of-a-kind goods that tell a story

Are you feeling motivated to shop secondhand?

Comment with some of your favorite thrifted purchases below!

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Ladies Who bRUNch

The Junior League of Omaha is hosting a new fundraiser this year and planning committee members are passionate. This April, the League will host a 5K fun run that combines two events that League members just love: running and brunching. The concept is pretty simple, really: run 3.1 miles, eat brunch, support the League’s child-minded community projects. And everyone’s invited. We asked the committee members what keeps them running.

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Lisa Tronchetti will tell you she is an indoor runner. She remembers doing a 5K before, but lately she hasn’t made it past the one mile mark. Even though her distance has shortened, she keeps plugging away, because she has motivation. “I run to stay healthy and prevent Type II Diabetes,” she says. “Type II Diabetes is common for women in my family as they grow older and my hope is that by living a healthy lifestyle NOW with a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule that includes a little running, I will greatly delay or prevent any onset of Type II Diabetes in my own health,” Lisa says. When the Junior League of Omaha announced a 5K run this spring, Lisa saw an opportunity to volunteer and get back on a training regimen. “I’m in my favorite Athleta pants and listening to the second season of Serial while I train,” she says. 

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It took Stacey Sellers a little time to warm up to the idea of loving a run. “I started running in middle school when I started cheer and dance, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I actually started to enjoy it,” she says. “Living in Charleston, SC at the time, the scenery and weather were perfect; and running outside was a must!” Stacey runs for enjoyment, opting out of a music playlist, no formal training program and no set distances. There is one thing she does commit to, a lacrosse ball she uses to massage her muscles after good run. 

Colby Jensen prefers to run with a crew. “When I run with friends, we talk about our days, what’s new in our lives, etc. so no music is needed,” she says. Her friends and the training program she found with a quick Google search keep her focused when training for half marathons. “I train with friends to hold myself accountable and make the longer runs seem easier,” she says. But when no one is around, she’ll crank up a good Pandora station Jock Jams, Pop & Hip Hop Power Workout, 2000s Hip Hop – to name a few. Her Nike+ training app keeps her motivated when she runs on her own.

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Pictured League Members: Lauren Hellman, bRUNch 5k committee, Allie Bruening, and Colby Jensen, bRUNch 5k committee.

 

Lauren Hellman might just go crazy if she doesn’t hit the pavement. She takes all her frustrations and stress of the day out on the wide open road. Often she will bring her dog along for company. She uses this time to catch up on her favorite podcasts. When weather forces Lauren to run on a treadmill, she might deviate slightly from the podcasts and opt for some Taylor Swift. “My favorite item to have on a run with me is a great pair for shoes,” she says. Typically she gets her shoes from Altra Running. But she recently picked up a pair from Skora Running. “They may become my new favorite,” Lauren says. 

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Pictured League Members: Lauren Hellman, bRUNch 5k committee, Allie Bruening, and Colby Jensen, bRUNch 5k committee.

No matter what your running style- or even if you’re not a runner- Lauren, Colby, Stacy and Lisa agree that there’s a place for you at the April 16 bRUNch 5K. Families are welcome to bring their kids for a 1K fun walk around Turner Park and if you’re not up for racing, you can purchase a ticket to the after-run brunch. Registration information is now available on jlomaha.org. We can’t wait to see you there!