History 1982-1992

1982-1987 Members 277-264

In 1982-83, the Women’s Center Project was established in collaboration with Westbrook College with $10,000 and volunteer support.  “A Resource Book of Volunteer Needs in the Greater Portland Area” was underwritten for the Greater Portland Association of Volunteer Agencies.  The Thrifty Yankee netted $16,000 and the RSVP cookbook entered its second printing.  Sally Vamvakias became a member of the Area I Nominating Committee in May.  Mary Nash Flagg received the Sustainer of the Year Award and 50-year membership certificates were given to four members.

In 1983-84, the Junior League sponsored the Women’s Center Project, Project K.I.S.S. (Kids in Safety Seats), and the volunteer coordinator’s position at the Children’s Museum of Maine, giving some $22,130 and volunteers to community projects.  The League adopted the AJL position on children and received training in pubic affairs activities.  The Nominating and Placement Committees functioned as a single entity and the Admissions / Provisional Committee changed to the Membership Development Committee receiving Provisional members throughout the year.  An Endowment Fund for the benefit of community projects was established. Mary Rines Thompson received the third annual Sustainer of the Year Award.

In 1984-85 the League sponsored the Women’s Center Project for a third year, initiated the Parenting Center Project, and sponsored a Youth Recognition Halloween Hayride and Party with Portland’s Youth Opportunities Office.  A Provisional Volunteer Project was undertaken with the Maine Youth Center.  The position statement on children was reaffirmed and position statements on volunteerism and women’s issues were adopted.   The League took a public stand on four issues during the year. Both League fundraisers had record breaking years with $17,000 from the Thrifty Yankee and $14,270 from RSVP turned over to the League. Three community and 17 in-League training opportunities were held with 42 and 351 participants respectively.  Hope Bramhall received the Sustainer of the Year Award.  Mike Nobel performed “When Put to Song, Our Purpose Blooms” at Annual Meeting, theme song for the Junior League.

In 1985-86 the League funded the Women’s Center Project so their Advisory Board and staff members could receive training and development at “Continuum” in Newton, MA; and the Parenting Center Project in coalition with Holy Innocents.  The Provisional Volunteer Project was once again undertaken with the Maine Youth Center.  The League sponsored its first “Junior League Day” with the Bangor Junior League at the State House in Augusta during the Legislative session.  An energetic group was responsible for a spring ball.  The Thrifty Yankee raised $20,000, the most ever, and the RSVP cookbook was in its third printing for 10,000 cookbooks.  Anne W. Payson received the Sustainer of the Year Award and Sally Vamvakias was elected to the AJL Board of Directors.  Jamie Sanborn, Thrifty Yankee Shop Manager for 18 years, resigned.

In 1986-87 The Parenting Center continued to be the major JLP project with its new affiliation with University of Southern Maine.  Sally Vamvakias was awarded our League Volunteer Award.  Bettsanne Holmes was our Sustainer of the Year.

1987-1992 Members 264-330

In 1987-88 the League continued to fund the Parenting Center.  We entered Phase I in the Woman to Woman Project. We helped the Victoria Society of Maine by funding a weekend manager’s position at the Victoria Mansion for summer hours.  We helped fund and publish a series of brochures for the Rape Crisis Center.

The League voted to support two new fundraisers: The Fashion Event and The Flower Show (later the Maine State Horticultural Show). RSVP and Thrifty Yankee continued to be viable fundraisers, netting profits of $21,000. The League developed a commitment to membership growth and retention by adopting a vision statement: “120 x ‘92.”

Sally Vamvakias completed her two-year term as AJI Director.  A.L. Carlisle was awarded the Marion Brown Payson Award.  Mrs. Barbara Bush, wife of the U.S. Vice President, and Virginia T. Austin, AJL President, were guest-speakers at our 66th Annual Meeting.

In 1988-1989 the League supported the Center for Grieving Children an entered Phase II of the Woman to Woman Project. Our new fundraiser, the Maine State Horticultural Show was executed and netted the Junior League of Portland Community Trust Fund over $66,000.  Over 15,000 people attended the three day event.  The Board voted to secure professional legal and accounting services.  Our active membership grew to 98 and our total League membership to 295. Joan Pendexter was elected to serve Area I Council.

In 1989-90 the League voted to support the Center for Grieving Children for another year with $15,266, plus added two new projects: Preble Street Resource Center ($10,000) and Maine Audubon Society ($9,734).  Our fundraisers were: the 2nd Annual Maine State Horticultural Show, the RSVP Cookbook, and the Thrifty Yankee.  The Fashion Show was voted not to be continued.  The Thrifty Yankee was converted to an administrative / program / project /growth fundraiser to help balance the budget.  Our membership this year continued to grow with 111 Actives, our most ever.  New Programs include the Flower Show Scholarship Fund, the Membership Dues Fund, the Mini-Grant Program, and Environmental Task Force, and a Position Statement on the Environment.  The Projects Council was revamped and revitalized.

In 1990-91, the Mini-Grant Program was implemented.  In November mini-grants were awarded to Southern Coastal Family Planning, AIDS Education Project; JLP Environmental Task Force, WasteCap Demonstration Project: Portland Ballet Company / Portland School of Ballet, lecture demonstrations and mini performances.  In April, four mini-grant projects were approved: Foster Grandparents/PROP “Grammie Bag” Project; Preble Street Resource Center Committee Homeless Video Presentation; Cumberland County Affordable Housing Venture Building Materials Bank; Rape Crisis Center Date Rape Awareness.

Two community projects were approved: Preble Street Resource Center and WasteCap Portland.  The first recipients of the Maine State Horticultural Show Scholarship were selected.

It was voted that the Community Trust Fund would be determined at the close of the fiscal year so that the project funding would be determined based upon actual rather than projected figures.  The League approved extraordinary funding for the Relocation and Expansion Project of the Children’s Museum, 25% of the 1991Community Trust Fund to this project.

In 1991-1992 the League noted the start of its 70th year at the Annual Meeting in May with a celebration honoring founding members, past presidents, and a review of the League’s successful fundraisers and community projects.

Throughout the year the League positioned itself to make greater impact on the community by studying and committing itself to the focusing process which means that over an extended period of time the League will work in one area of community need providing extensive financial and volunteer support.  The League also committed time and effort to AJLI’s Partnership Project, which was an in-depth review of the Association’s governing process.  This culminated with new Association Bylaws being adopted at the Association’s Annual Meeting in May.  Member Leagues have been given a greater amount of autonomy in deciding how they will define themselves in their community.

RSVP continued with strong sales and consideration was given to the idea of publishing a new cookbook.  Mini-Grants were awarded to the Lighthouse Shelter, a Salvation Army shelter for Teens, and Project Safestart, a joint effort between Reiche School and Cumberland Count Child Abuse and Neglect Council designed to provide care for children before school starts each morning.  In April the membership voted to fund WasteCap and Preble Street Resource Center.